Issuu on Google+

Name:_________________________ The Railroads – Westward Expansion Study Guide 1) Describe the terms of the Pacific Railway Act.

2) How did the U.S. Government benefit from the construction of the first transcontinental railroad? (there were multiple benefits)

3) How did the American people benefit from the construction of the first transcontinental railroad?

4) What other ways could travelers reach the Pacific Coast from the Eastern United States prior to the railroad’s completion? What were the benefits and drawbacks of each method of travel?

5) What was at stake for the railroads who finished the completion of the first transcontinental railroad?


6) Who were the “Big Four” and what was each of the individuals responsible for? (It might help to be able to recall what they look like!)

7) What was the Central Pacific Railroad Company? Where did it start from? Who controlled it?

8) What was the Union Pacific Railroad Company? Where did it start from? Who controlled it?

9) What is meant by the term “land grant railroad?” What was involved in the actual “land grant?”

10) How many “land grant” railroads were there? When were they built? Where were they located? What were the names of the “land grant” railroads?

11) What was the guiding philosophy concerning construction of American railroads during this period of railroad construction? What was meant by this philosophy?


12) What were the dangerous facing the first transcontinental railroad? For that matter, what were the dangers facing any railroad during that time period? What dangers faced travelers and shippers?

13) What type of conditions did the crews of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific live in?

14) What ethnic group built the Central Pacific Railroad? What implications would this have within the next two decades for Americans living on the West Coast? What implications did this have for present day America?

15) What ethnic group built the Union Pacific Railroad? What implications did this have during this period in American history?


16) Describe in detail the Credit Mobilier scandal.

17) What was the “race?� What was at stake?

18) What was special about Promontory Point, Utah?

19) What was the Golden Spike ceremony?

20) What is meant by the term narrow gauge? Standard gauge? What advantages were/are there to narrow gauge? What disadvantages are there to narrow gauge? What advantages is there to standard gauge? What disadvantages are there to standard gauge?


21) How did the proposed transcontinental route of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway differ from earlier transcontinental railroads?

22) What was the Royal Gorge War? How was the outcome decided?

23) What impact did the outcome have on the Denver & Rio Grande Railway? How did this impact the states of Colorado and New Mexico?

24) What was the bet between Jack Casement and Charles Crocker? Who won and why?

25) Railroads used to play a dominant role in the daily lives of Americans in many different ways. Today, railroads are seldom thought about by the average American except for when they have to wait at a railroad crossing for a long freight train to pass. What roles do American railroads play today in U.S. society? What roles might the American railroad industry play in the near and distant future of the United States and why?


/The_Railroads_Study_Guide