Kathy Tran Mrs. Fabrizio AP United States History January 12th, 2018Transportation The development of new transportation systems in the early 19th century came about when Americans could no longer rely on roads alone to meet the demands and needs of the nation, thus they began to look for new means of transportation and ways to improve it. Developments in transportation systems proved to be efficient, as they resulted in new economic opportunities. Canals, specifically the Erie Canal proved to be effective and successful as it brought the east and the west together and brought about the growth of new businesses and industries in New York, making it a commercial center. Railroads surpassed canals and increased trade by transporting agricultural and manufactured goods across the nation for export to Europe and provided employment for many people and was responsible for western settlements. Transportation promoted and contributed to improvements in both agriculture and manufacturing. Although both manufacturing and agriculture played a key role in the growth of the American economy, developments as well as improvements in the transportation system played a far more influential role in sparking the economy’s growth during the first half of the 19th century. Turnpikes had improved communication and commerce within the first half of the 19th century. It had garnered capital to expand the coverage and quality of the American road system that posed as a problem to those who wanted connections to markets. Turnpikes proved to be beneficial to nearby farmers, merchants, and landowners as they were able to increase trade and easily control it. Those who traveled the roads were charged tolls so that turnpike companies were to pay back the money it cost for the labor and production of the turnpikes and to gain money. Although the use of turnpikes represented an improvement in transportation, traveling by road was still difficult as it was slow and expensive. Americans sought to find and improve their means of transportation to resolve land transportation difficulties. Goods could sell more in larger quantities if there was a way for merchants to transport their goods more directly and economically to the west, thus people began to look at canals as an alternative means of transportation to meet their needs. New York was the first to act on the building of canals and the Erie Canal proved to be both an engineering and financial success and was considered to be the greatest project the United States had ever undertaken. The canal proved to be efficient as it transported goods at a lower cost and faster rate. It had given New York easier accessibility to the markets in west and made it a source for selling manufactured goods and was responsible for developing New York as a dominant commercial center. Areas that were unsettled in the past were now taken over by businesses, agriculture and manufacturing. Not only did the Erie Canal benefit New York but it benefited the entire nation as a whole. It canal brought the east and the west together and allowed the United States to compete with western markets. The success of the Erie Canal had influenced the growth and effort of canal building throughout the east. The development of railroads grew rapidly in the 1830s and 1840s, surpassing all other modes of transportation and eventually became the primary transportation system in the states. Baltimore and Ohio were the first to take action and begin operations. Railroads, like canals, provided opportunities through markets, and also influenced more people to start businesses. Industries had relied on railroads to get raw goods and products to market in the nation. It increased trade by transporting agricultural and manufactured goods across the nation for export to Europe and was seen as responsible for the western settlements that thrived along the railroad networks. Railroads were able to connect both industrial and agricultural areas in the east and were able to lower costs of transportation, making it efficient in transporting goods quickly and cheaply. The rise of railroads allowed lines to connect major cities especially within the North. With railroads came the invention of morse code and the telegraph line that ran along railroad tracks which solved the problem of long distance communication. Ultimately, transportation proved to be more influential than agriculture and manufacturing when it came to the economic growth of the United States in the first half of the 19th century. Developments in transportation, especially with canals and railroads, opened opportunities for trade with others for a low cost at a faster rate. Turnpikes paved the way for improvement and development of transportation systems as people sought more efficient means to transport goods and to connect the east and the west. Canals like the Erie Canal connected the country and allowed merchants to transport merchandise directly and turned New York into a commercial center to compete with other rival cities. Railroads cut the travel time in half and was responsible for efficiently establishing businesses and settlements westward and creating new means of communication due to the large land covered by the railroads. Agricultural commodities and manufactured goods were able to be transported through the use of the new transportation systems, causing trade to boost thus the economy was able to grow at a greater rate. Developments in transportation linked the nation in a new way like never before. Transportation improved the way agriculture and manufacturing influenced the economy thus it was responsible for the majority of economic growth that came in the early 1800s.