HIS365 Transcending Space October 17, 2012
- Tariff of bad roads
- Changes in transportation
- Up to 1812 mobility was rudimentary and limited
- Tied to organic forms of power and natural forms of power
- Most common of transportation- water transportation
- Lake Ontario and Erie were functionally disconnected
- The power for water transport – winded power
- Land transportation underdeveloped until 1820s/1830s
- Not good roads
- Tariff of bad roads- roads were so bad that it slowed down transportation so
it had a negative effect on trade
- Roads were effected by seasons and weather
- People felt distance. Literally. Bumps, muddy roads they got stuck in,
- With resettlement 3 key develops transcends natures limitations and
- 1. Steam ships
- 2. Canals
- 3. Railways
- Transport in this era a function of a new source of power, overcomes
- Steam Ships
o The lakes and the rivers became exploited by powered transportation.
On lake Erie – walk in the water- maiden voyage to Cleveland.
o By 1834, 84 steam boats on lake
o 90 by 1845
o By the 1840s there are tourist routes where wealthy new Yorkers go
on great circle tours: start in new Orleans go up the Mississippi river
etc. eventually to New York through the great lakes
o One site key to the great circle tour was Niagara Falls. Many people in
the area were complaining about the amount of tourists in the area.
o Steam is the vanguard of the process of change.
o Boats on the lakes don’t have to use the natural waterways, artificial
waterways start to appear – 1840s era of the canal boom
o Erie canal pushed by government after 1815. Draw the great lakes
trade away from the great lakes st Lawrence system and bring it
through New York
o New York legislature to build canal from public expense. Built in
1858? Runs from buffalo to Albany. It lowered the cost of transporting
merchandise. Massive tonnage going down the Erie Canal o The Welland Canal. It by passes Niagara Falls. Ship canal, they can go
in it. William Merritt deigned it.
o Symbiosis of the Erie and Welland canal: the welland canal was built
on the Erie experience. A lot of workers worked on both canals., traffic
through these two canals merged and reinforced each other.
o Soo locks: 1855. Locks run by Michigan
o Railway Guarantee Act, Canada, 1849.
o Railways Guarantee Act, Canada 1849.
o Replaces canals
o Commercial viable railways first built in Britain and America in 1830s.
But big boom in 1840s and 1850s. by 2800 miles in Illinois. From very
little to a lot of railways
o Slowed down a bit by 1857 financial panic, but the results still
o Lowers the cost of transport.
o Required government support
o Ex Railway Guarantee act ^
o These state sponsored schemes of railway development are popular.
Everybody likes railways
- These new ways of transportation are much more, they are agents of
- They shrink distance.
- Nature is at our mercy, we define it
- Canals were natural as well. Middle landscape: between nature and
- Railways were industrial. They defy nature. They don’t need a water source
or freeze in the winter. They also shrink space. They go much faster than any
other form of transportation. It begins to sta