The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.



Assignment 1

This assignment is a \”think piece,\” which is an essay that requires you to interact with a subject and develop your own interpretation based on that experience. After your initial analysis of a specific topic, you should synthesize that with other outside research to support your ideas. You should use a minimum of two other scholarly, peer-reviewed resources found in the APUS library. .The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.


Specifically for this assignment we will use an interactive map of westward expansion from 1860 to 1890. You can access it at this (The interactive map will often not work with Google Chrome). Once you have the map open, click on the boxes for Major Cities, Railroad Networks, Improved Agricultural Land, and States and Territories. At the bottom of the map, you will notice the decades 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1890. Click on each of these decades in succession and you will see the ways in which the country changed. The goal of this assignment is for you to interpret, synthesize, and analyze what you are seeing on the map. You will make a well-organized argument, support that through research, and then write a conclusion for your findings.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

Analysis is the process whereby the researcher separates something into its component parts. In an analytical essay, the writer examines a subject relative to its own terms, and explains the problem by studying the individual parts. In contrast, synthesis requires that the researcher examine individual unrelated parts in an effort to discover something new. A good essay will utilize both analysis and synthesis. Instead of examining the simple facts of a problem, the writer will go beyond the obvious, making connections between different pieces of evidence to discover something new.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

As an example, consider a modern map of the world illustrating the growth of the internet over the last thirty years. It demonstrates the new ways in which the world is connected by facilitating the spread of ideas through instantaneous communication. Access to much of the information that once required us to physically travel to a library is now accessible through a computer at home (or a mobile phone in your pocket). Social media has also given us the ability to discuss and debate ideas, not only with our friends and family, but with people we may have never met. We all have the power to disseminate knowledge around the globe within a matter of seconds.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

If you were writing a paper on this topic (this is an example only, as your paper will focus on the period from 1860 to 1890) you could analyze this larger topic by focusing on a specific aspect like use of the internet in online education. You might make the argument that the internet has enabled more non-traditional students to pursue a higher education. Your synthesis would include understanding the connections between your outside research and your argument.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

This essay should be at least three double-spaced pages of text (Times New Roman, font size 12) and you must consult a minimum of two academically credible sources. Bibliographies and citations can be in MLA, APA, or Chicago format. If you are a history major, we strongly suggest that all citations adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style.This essay needs to be turned in through the assignment section for grading. If you use any of the information from your sources word-for-word, you must cite the source by using endnotes or footnotes, and enclose those words within quotation marks. If you read the information and write it in your own words and it is not common knowledge, then you must cite the source because you are paraphrasing someone\’s information.The short paper must include a cover page with your name, course number and course title, instructor\’s name, and date. You must also include a bibliography at the end of your paper. While composing your paper, use proper English. Do not use abbreviations, contractions, informal language, passive voice, or first/ second person (I, you, we, our, etc). Before submitting your paper, check your grammar and use spell check. Remember, the way you talk is not the way you write a paper. Please label your paper as follows: lastnamefirstnameHIST102ShortPaper.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure



The Westward expansion saw its most significant period being between the year 1860-1890. During this period, the US recorded a tremendous development in terms of infrastructures, ranging from major cities, as well as expansion of the railroad network. As such, numerous cities with improved housing and transport network came up, mainly as a result of increased trade and the continued improvement of agricultural land. As the population grew over the years, there was also demand for the improvement of amenities to sustain both growth in agriculture, as well as facilitating the human movement (Aldrich, 2003). This essay will focus on the Westward expansion of 1860-1890 and the development of infrastructure that it brought along with it.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

Development of Infrastructure

During the mid-19th century, there was increased demand for wheat and other agricultural foods in Europe. As such, the US was strategically located to take such an advantage to produce the products for the export as well as sustaining the growing population. With this regard, there was increased trade between the US and its territories with the outside world mainly the Europe in terms of agricultural export. The geographical placement favored the East side most as it was close to the trading belt as the widely used means of transport was by sea. The activities of trade, as well as agriculture were thus more concentrated along the East coastline of the US, which resulted in the early settlement and development of infrastructure to cater for the trade, as well as the growing population (Atack et al., 2014).The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

By 1860, several major cities had emerged along the Eastern coastline, with all having fitted with rail road which meant the intercity transport was available, as well as transportation of the agricultural goods from the interior to the coastline where trading took place. Cities such as Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and New York city had already emerged with infrastructures that accommodated a significant population that had settled by then. A railroad, which was a significant mode of transport had been connected in every East side city, both as intercity connector, as well as connecting major cities with the agricultural areas that surrounded them.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

By 1870, cities such as Baltimore, Louisville, San Francisco and buffalo had come up adding to the list of developing cities with San Francisco joining the Eastside league by being the only city from the far West. Since the early 19th century, San Francisco area in the West had already been occupied with most population practicing agriculture and trade along the West coast (Steckel & Ziebarth, 2013). Although the city had not been placed on the map by 1860, the trading activity and the need to open up the interior led to the connection of the city with a railroad network all the way from the East side through the interior, to the West (Aldrich, 2003). This opened up new opportunities and there was attraction and enabled trade between the California region and the rest of the East side states, which had seen the increased development of the rail network by 1860.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

The rail road effect led to increased agricultural activities as farmers from the interior would find a cheaper and fast way to transport their goods to the market, especially along the East coastline which was favored by the export trading in Europe and Asia. By 1880, the cities of Chicago and New York city had realized the full potential of having enough infrastructures, especially on the basic amenities, with each of the city recording a high population of more than a million people. Along the rail from the Eastside, there emerged cities such as Omaha and Denver as the population grew with increased demand for improved transport and other social infrastructures (Aldrich, 2003).

By 1890, the railroad network had already expanded to the Northwest and Southwest side connecting emerging major cities and the interior regions, providing a great opportunity for the improved transport system, increased trade, as well as heightened agricultural activities due to increased agricultural product demand. By this time too, Philadelphia had also developed into a mega city, with a whopping population of over a million people living within the city and its environs. Although agriculture was the main drive for the settlement and development of infrastructures, a growing population and the emergence of the industrial boom in the late 19th century contributed much to the growing demand for social amenities, which pushed the development of railroad and modern urban centers to cater for the population in general.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.


In a recap, the Westward expansion saw a significant growth in infrastructure, both in emergence of cities as well as development of the railroad network. Although the development was first more concentrated in the East by 1860, the West side would realize its fair share of development by 1870, with the city of Francisco being the first beneficiary of being connected by a railroad running from the East through Denver, all the way to the far West California. More cities would emerge by 1880, with increased rail development which coincided with the increased population and demand for improved social amenities.The Westward Expansion and The Development of Infrastructure.

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