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  • Railroads important for rapid industrialisation
    • the growth of railroads
      • influx unskilled workers.
        • 1864, labour shortage, Congress passed 'Act to Encourage Immigration', legalised and bureaucratised practice similar indentured servitude.
          • companies like AEC took advantage, sent European immigrants to North for labour jobs- railroads
          • Despite act repealed in 1868, practice importing labour already under contact only made illegal until 1885, passage Foran Act, both mainly symbolic gestures rather than enforceable legislation
          • railroads themselves took advantage of such legislation, sending agents overseas to encourage both settlers in West and therefore workers to build railroads.
        • on West Coast up to 20,000 Chinese workers helped Trans-Con railroad.
          • Could be payed wages substandard to those in the United States 30-50% normal wage), working long hours because of gov act, save money.
      • Demand for industry
        • lubricant gears of industry
        • railroads helped create and prosper from the rise of factory production and diversified large-scale agriculture
          • positive feedback loop
        • the North's industrial superiority- epitomised by superb railroad system, allowed it to pummel confederacy into submission
          • showed would be a railroad boom, shown as powerful military weapon and agent civilisation
      • government
        • Pacific railway act(1862), provided federal subsidies in land and loans for construction Trans-Con
          • showed cunning investors would be railroad boom
        • 'Act to Encourage Immigration'
        • no gov intervention on freight rates, land prices e.t.c
    • Railroad problems
      • wasteful construction and overbuilding left many railroads crashing burdens of debt
      • cutthroat comp accompanied by ruinous rate-wars, granting of huge rebates, secure business large shippers
        • pay less transport, charge less for produce versus competitors
        • industrial espionage
      • Vanderbilt bribed legislators and manipulated stock for his own benefit
      • freight rate rebates favoured large customers, expense smaller. Charges different places on single line
    • Railroad regulation
      • starting Massachusetts(1869) several states established supervisory railroad commission
      • five Western states 'Granger' laws. Illinois passed regulator measure 1871, others followed suit
        • fixed maximum rates for passengers, established railroad commissions to enforce.
          • munn versus Illinois (1877) Supreme Court affirmed right of states to regulate public utilities.
            • ineffective
              • seperate state action confusing
              • some regulators corrupt
              • St Louis and Pacific Railroad comp versus Illinois (1886)
      • Interstate Commerce Act(1887). Supreme Court reversed many of Commission'sdecisions, railroads frustrated act's provisions.


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