Railroads also allowed people and goods to move faster and more cheaply. At first, railroads were confined mostly to the Eastern seaboard (from Virginia to Boston) and in the West (from Chicago to Pittsburgh). In the 1850s, though, Americans laid tens of thousands of miles of track, mostly in the North.

The Telegraph

Long-distance communication was revolutionized by Samuel F. B. Morse’s invention of the telegraph in 1835 (as well as the Morse code system that bears his name). The first transatlantic cable was laid in 1858, enabling rapid communication between the United States and Europe.

Popular pages: The Pre-Civil War Era (1815–1850)