Date How and why transportation and expansionist developments spark the economic growth during the period from 1860-1900 in the US The period from 1860- 1900 was characterized by remarkable economic growth in the US…
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In fact, most of them agree that the period from 1860 to 1900 is when the US shifted from farm economy to industry- based economy which was very critical in spurring economic growth. Most records show that this is the period when the US leaped ahead of the UK for the first time to become the first in quantity of manufacturing output. It should be noted that there are numerous important factors that helped promote remarkable economic growth during the period from 1860- 1900 in the US (Engerman and Gallman 16). Out of the numerous factors, transportation and expansionist developments were credited for sparking the economic growth during that period. The US economic development during this period was characterized by massive developments in transportation sector in general and expansionist development whose main features were accumulation of productive land in the West and westward movement of population (Cain and Jonathan 24). Throughout human history, development in transportation has always been seen to make human lives better and facilitate not only the economic exchanges but also the cultural exchanges. This scenario was no different in the American economic history where transportation proved to be the key driver of economic growth and development. During the period from 1860- 1900, there were explosion of new inventions and discoveries that aided advancement of transportation (Cain and Jonathan 76). Some of the main transportation developments that sparked economic growth in the US at that period were expansion of railroads and construction of stringer bridges and tracks that could handle heavier locomotives and cars. Therefore, these locomotives and cars would carry increased quantities of goods and more people at a given time which spurred economic growth. Transportation of enormous quantities of goods that were produced at that time such as wood products, textiles, food, steel, coal, and oil was much easier and cheaper thus spurring economic growth because these goods are critical ingredients in production (Engerman and Gallman 43). Besides, such advancements in transportation played a crucial role in reducing the cost of production; locomotives and cars would carry goods and people at much cheaper cost since the railroads had been greatly expanded. Also, completion of transcontinental railroad in 1869 facilitated the connection of major US cities which was critical in spurring economic growth through effective and cheaper transportation of goods and people (Cain and Jonathan 106). As a result, the US economy experienced increased economic activities as conducting business was relatively cheaper, hence increased economic growth. Moreover, development in transportation enhanced commerce that resulted to huge tax revenues for the US thus spurring economic growth. As a result of increased economic activities because of significantly developed transport system, the US economy was growing at a rate of over 4 percent for real GDP per capita and over 6 percent for real; undisputable impressive economic growth. This significant economic growth prompted Economist Milton Friedman to state that this rate of economic growth was the highest rate of the decades during that period compared to previous decades (Cain and Jonathan 185). In addition, expansionist developments played a very critical role in sparking the economic growth during the period from 1860- 1900 in the US. This period was marked by expansion towards the West was
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