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The Rise of Capitalism
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The Transportation Revolution Key Events Maps Transcript Webography

What generalizations can you make about the timing and nature of developments in transportation?


The economic transformation of America in the early 1800s was linked to dramatic changes in transportation networks. Investments in roads, turnpikes, canals, and railroads led to the expansion of markets, facilitated the movement of peoples, and altered the physical landscape. In the distances traveled, Americans, some commentators thought, had learned to "annihilate time and space."

Map of Canals, Roads, and Railways in the Eastern U.S., c. 1830 Map of Canals, Roads, and Railways in the Eastern U.S., c. 1840
Map of Canals, Roads, and Railways in the Eastern U.S., c. 1850 Map of Canals, Roads, and Railways in the Eastern U.S., c. 1860

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