In The 1840s, The Main Argument In Congress Over The Transcontinental Railroad Concerned
For much of the mid-1800s, plans to construct a transcontinental railway system connecting the east and west coasts of the United States had been on the minds of many. In Congress, debate and discussion raged on for more than a decade. During this time, the main argument often pertained to the cost of the construction, as well as the cost of the negotiations to acquire land and easements.
The primary reasons why supporters of the project initially lobbied Congress for its approval were the potential financial benefits associated with the railroad. Entrepreneurs argued that the profits associated with the project would be significant, and that the railroad would provide a necessary and convenient transportation link between the two coasts. However, some of these assumptions were later shown to be inaccurate. Evidence suggests that the project was expected to exceed its initial cost estimates, and that the potential social benefits were overstated.
In the end, Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act in 1862, providing for the construction of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. This act allowed for the formation of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad, which would be responsible for building the tracks.
In conclusion, the main argument in Congress over the transcontinental railroad during the 1840s concerned the cost of construction and the costs of negotiations with landowners who owned the land along the route. Additionally, entrepreneurs overstated the expected profits and social benefits associated with the project.