Filed Under (Uncategorized) by admin on 22-06-2012
Early in U.S. history, it became obvious that for our new nation to flourish, improved transportation between the coast and the interior was vital.
By the early 1800â€™s, boundaries had expanded and the population doubled, but access to the interior was still primitive. Roads and canals to access the far-flung Western parts of the country were needed. This would allow raw materials from the West to be exchanged for manufactured goods from the East, and accelerate development of the entire country.Confused? Here â€˜s a little help .
The Erie Canal, constructed between 1817 and 1825, was our first commercial canal. Its 363-mile length linked Lake Erie to the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. This encouraged Western expansion and turned New York City into an economic giant. Small towns along the canalâ€™s route also prospered.
An amazing engineering feat, it was a major catalyst in our development and spearheaded a canal boom throughout the United States.
Another “boom-era” canal, the Chesapeake and Delaware, was built in the 1820â€™s, providing a 300-mile shortcut for ships between Baltimore and the Northeast. Purchased by the government in 1919, it’s been deepened and widened repeatedly over the years, and is now the only major commercial canal from that era still in use.