Modern Marvels: The Transcontinental Railroad
1. What did the Wild West symbolize to the American people?
2. Explain why different people moved West. What are different methods by which people traveled West?
3. When was the steam engine invented? What were some of the benefits of railroad travel over older forms of travel? What were some of the dangers of railroad travel?
4. What were some of the natural barriers encountered in building railroad tracks across the country? Who were the engineers who mastered these problems?
5. When did California become a state? How were the Big Four of California involved in the railroads?
6. How was the government involved in the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroads? What were the goals of each company? Who was in charge of each company?
7. How did the workers for the Central Pacific resemble military regiments? Who were some of the different jobs required to build the railroad?
8. How did the Central Pacific acquire the materials and find the laborers needed for building the railroads? How did the Union Pacific acquire the materials and find the laborers needed for building the railroads?
9. How did the Casement Brothers working with the Union Pacific revolutionize railroad building? In what ways did they invent modern management? Why did their men respect them?
10. How did railroad expansion affect the Native Americans? What happened to the buffalo? What threat did Native Americans pose to railroad workers on the Union Pacific?
11. How did Crocker's Central Pacific handle the problems posed by the Sierras? What were some problems posed by the winter of 1867-68? How did they handle these problems?
12. What was the importance of water to steam engines? Why was water difficult to obtain at times in the West?
13. What were some of the differences between the owners of the railroad companies and the workers at the opening ceremony?
14. How long did it take to join the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads? How many miles of track did each company build?