The Canal would also connect to New York City through the Hudson River that flowed to the NYC rot and the left side of the borough of Manhattan. 1 This would connect areas that would have taken an insane amount of time to reach before the construction of the canal. The Erie Canal took almost nine years to build beginning in 1817 and ending in 1825. The first construction of the canal began in Rome, New York. The construction ended in Buffalo in 1825. The Erie Canal cost seven million dollars to build and was paid off by using tolls which were disbanded when the cost was paid for.
A project this size was almost unheard of during the time, and the cost of the project seemed insurmountable. The tolls paid off he cost of the construction within a decade which is an amazing feat. 2 The canal used already existing means of transportation and made them better. Many locks were used to safely move ships from point A to point B. The use of the lakes made transportation quicker and the ability to make existing technology thrive and to be profitable. The use of the lock systems and other new systems to allow larger ships to travel smaller beds of water was incredible. The success of the early canal made it necessary to improve it later on for better access by larger ships and to make the trips even quicker. The United States would change even further through the implementation of this one feat of engineering. The Erie Canal would also open the gateway for the development of the railroad which would see an even greater growth for the country. Why was the Erie Canal so important? One reason was the decreased price in shipping goods. The price to ship a ton of goods before the Erie Canal would have been one hundred dollars.
The cost to ship the same ton of goods after the Erie Canal was ten dollars. This meant that the poorer citizens could also begin to ship goods and start profitable businesses. This decrease in cost made it possible for those that couldn’t successfully ship goods before able to. The decrease in shipping cost also caused a boom in migration and the increase in farms in the area was phenomenal. Farmers would ship tons of produce out of their area to be sold in others and make a greater profit. The boom in migration also meant that there was more rural settling during this time period. Before the Erie Canal, living in cities was the safest and most profitable way of life. With the easier mode of transportation making a life for yourself and family in the rural areas was becoming more moon. Finding land and farming it was easy and very profitable which made settling outside the city limits very alluring to everyone from the rich to the very poor. The booming shipping businesses also increased trade in the area.
Goods and set-vices were traded through the Erie Canal system. Different goods were also introduced to different areas. The speed at which one could ship goods meant that fast profits could be had as well. Also new towns were settled and different businesses and goods able to be traded and sold as well. 5 The Erie Canal started the western migration of the united States. The second reason the Erie Canal was important is that settling the west would be to defend it from other countries such as Britain that may see the colonies as only having claim to one area.
The idea for the Canal was actually George Washington’s. He viewed the idea as a necessity to be able to keep a foothold on their country. Without being able to migrate and settle in other areas of the country, other countries would settle first and soon take over the colonies. 6 Defending the country by exploring it and using the land that it had to offer would be the greatest way to keep independence intact. The canal would also be a great way to bring the colonial people and those that were settled in unionized areas to the west.
The Erie Canal started to branch out and do what George Washington wanted to do. By opening transportation that spanned 343 miles from one city to the next, the Erie Canal opened the floodgates on how to expand even further. The ideas that came would become the reason that the country was settled and not owned in part by other countries. Taking into account all the benefits of the Erie Canal its success was short lived however. The Invention of the railroad made TTS use limited and today it is used sparingly while the rails are still an important part of shipping products.
The Erie Canal was very important to the development of the united States as it opened migration and started the journey westward. Without the Erie Canal many future events might not have happened such as the Railroad and the country could be very different today. The legacy that the Erie Canal left is astounding. It started the further growth that the country needed to survive and the added land would be the breeding ground for many historical figures and heroes.