The Transportation Revolution Essay Example
The Transportation Revolution Essay Example

The Transportation Revolution Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (869 words)
  • Published: December 29, 2021
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This essay reviews classic study, The Transportation Revolution by George Rodgers Taylor in 1951. Due to the vital information conveyed in the book, it is still held with significance up to date due to its continuous information on the introduction to the development and consequences therein in changes in transportation by the 19th century. The book clearly detailed different modes of transport that evolved as per the demand by those particular eras and periods.


George Rodger Taylor an American economic historian was born in 1895 in Wisconsin, Beaver Dam. He pursued his doctoral and undergraduate degrees in the university of Chicago. From 1924 to 1965, Taylor became a member of Faculty at Amherst College. His book, entitled The Transportation Revolution (1851-1860), remains vital among its writings. The key text of the book is critical in the analysis of the develop


ment of capitalism in the early republic. This has led to the George Rodgers Taylor Prize being annually awarded to a student who according to the American Studies Department, constantly shows scholarly and creative works in American Studies.
Rodgers Taylor also made other publications such as Agrarian discontent in the Mississippi valley preceding the war of 1812(1931), the American railroad network (1956), the Turner thesis concerning the role of the frontier in American history (1949), Jackson versus Biddle; the struggle over the second Bank of the United States (1949).

The Transportation Revolution book is an essential economic history covering detailed on how the world of transportation evolved from one mode of transport to another. The books clearly explain the evolution of turnpikes, Canals, Federal roads, steamboats, railroad, and steamships. In addition, the book also brings out brief coverage o

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technology and manufacturing during that era. This provided discussion on economy emphasizing the depressions and deflations therein.

Modes of transport have immense significant as far as economic, social and technological advancement is a concern. It plays significant roles in shortening the distances between individual, personal interaction, trade facilitation and unity among different societies. In his book, Taylor captured the below as the transportation sector evolved.

Transportation Revolution Eras

Turnpike Era

By 1790s, Americans hard no direct experience with turnpikes especially the private ones. The town government was had a role in construction, managing and financing the roads. Though the direct profits from the taxes were relatively low, the capital investment increased to in terms of coverage and quality of road system networking. During the 19th century, over 3000 companies successfully finance, build and managed roll road resulting in three episodes of toll construction. These include eastern states, the plank road boom and toll road of the war of west. The led to the formation of first private turnpike chartered in 1792 in Pennsylvania, united Sates.

The Canal Era

Due to the presence of water bodies such as rivers, seas, and oceans, led to the construction of canals. The emergence of the canals was because of key element mode of transport enabling economic development, agricultural stimulation, trade and urban growth and development. According to Taylor in 1951, he asserted that canals as an integral element in economic integration and industrialization. The advocate was for the point that long-distance canals were too expensive for a single company.

Steamboat and Steamships Era

Since waterways were highly concentered in the eastern part of the country, it plays a vital role in transportation. The proximity to the water

surfaces made it more critical in the innovation of the means to navigate through them. Most agricultural activities were practiced along the waterways hence calling for the best option for production and transportation.

As a demand for cotton bales production rises, it called for effect means to cross several water bodies. Before the steamboats, western merchants were compelled to transport their raw materials using small flatboats and rafts to cross across river Ohio and Mississippi. This was not only labor intensive but also time-consuming hence the materials transported could not reach on time and in the required quantities.

The Railroad Era

As Americans were looking for better means to access the market, the poor state of road system was to construct railroads to overcome the challenges of transporting bulky goods over long distances. During the 19th century, the economic transition took place from merchant to industrial capitalism. This lead to the innovation of trains and other locomotives, which uses the railroads to replace the heavy horse pooled dragoons.

The fundamental reasons for the innovations in locomotives was as a result of coal mines which coal not be transported to various places using the existed modes of transport such as roads and bridges, canals and steamboats. The railroads come into extensive use in the 1860s prior to and after the Civil war.

The Importance of The Transportation Revolution

The transportation Revolution is of great significance. Firstly, it explains how transportation played a significant role in shaping the location and nature of economic progress. Secondly, it reveals the inconsistencies of information about the transportation diffusion. In addition, it shows the interaction between different modes of transport. Finally, the solutions to various challenges encounter

in each mode with respective to their economic significance.

Work Cited

  1. Taylor, George R. The transportation revolution, 1815-60. Routledge, 2015
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