AN EXAMINATION OF THE GROWTH AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRANSPORTATION REVOLUTION IN THE FIRST-HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
This research examines the transportation revolution in the United States during the 1801-1850 period. Emphasis is placed on the contribution of the transportation revolution to economic growth; however, the social and political significance of the transportation revolution are also addressed.
The industrial revolution, together with the economics of nineteenth century transportation, led to major social, political, and economic changes in the United States (Lowry, 1990). Generally, the economics of nineteenth century transportation meant that it was cheaper to move goods than it was to move people. Thus, people would tend to congregate in cities, which are located in places possessing some natural advantage¨a port site, an energy supply, a vital natural resource, and so forth. In the case of the United States in the first-half of the nineteenth century, however, the economics of transportation also meant that it became feasible for people to migrate to the west and northwest (in the late-twentieth centuries, these areas are referred to as the Midwest or as the east north central and west north central states).
Location decisions and patterns by firms, households, and individuals are capable of having significant impacts on regional economic growth. Studies have demonstrated that a variety of factors, including infrastructure development are capable of exerting significant impacts on location decisions (Graves, 1979).While urban economics is concerned with the location patterns of households, firms, and other entities which locate in densely developed areas, it also encompasses such considerations as (1) how the patterns of location evolve and change, (2) how the patterns of location are affected by government expenditures, taxes, and regulations, and (3) how the patterns of location affect the econo...