Paperback: 366 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (November 15, 1996)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #255 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Transportation #7581 in Books > Textbooks > Humanities > History > United States #11012 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Transportation
The USA was an odd country. Mostly depopulated by epidemics before the pilgrims ever got here. Brimming with resources of timber, topsoil, minerals, cod and lobster. Mostly settled, if you discount the slave plantation states, in the most egalitarian redistribution of resources the world has ever seen.and so it was much easier for railroads to get started here when they finally arrived. A much lower population density, not encumbered by aristocrats and nobles who'd owned their land for dozens of generations. The railroaders succeeded in generating some great fortunes with their bequests of landgrants greater than the size of Texas. Somebody had to do it.The very nature of the technology or industry is monopolist, and the culture of attitudes between the customers and the industry as it would. It didn't help that the railroads conjured byzantine rate schedules based on the category of merchandise shipped, rather than merely how much it cost to ship the good. And so their was a public reaction to this, using what tools democracy managed to contrive.Later, the automobile was realized. It was difficult to know what to do with it at the time, for even then most roads were rutted dirt tracts prone to becoming rutted mud tracks as weather permitted. Fortunately, programs for improving roads had been gestating for a few decades. Initially, to make it easier for rural farmers to cart themselves to the towns with railroad stations. Its progress was slow as various organizations sprung up to do the necessary campaigning and lobbying for the legislation necessary, and engineers slowly accumulated.Finally the whole thing took off.
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