Expanding the Transcontinental Railroad: History and Impact


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1. How did George Westinghouse contribute to the expansion of the Transcontinental Railroad?

2. Which sentence effectively describes America's relationship with Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

The first transcontinental railroad was a landmark achievement that boosted industry and commerce and cleared the way for the settlements throughout the West. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you test your knowledge of the benefits and costs of this early technological innovation that shaped the course of American history.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on:

  • The federal government's role in the railroad industry
  • Innovators and inventors who contributed to the development of the transcontinental railroad
  • The use of immigrant labor to build the railroad
  • The route the railroad cut through the American West
  • The changes and benefits the railroad brought to the developing nation

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet lets students practice the following skills:

  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained on the challenges involved in building the first transcontinental railroad
  • Knowledge application- use your understanding of the history of the transcontinental railroad to answer questions about its effect on American commerce and culture
  • Making connections - use your understanding of the concept of Manifest Destiny to examine the changes and consequences of the transcontinental railroad
  • Critical thinking - use your understanding of the effect the railroad had on Native American populations to examine this achievement in a new light

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson on the history and significance of the transcontinental railroad. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Explains the role railroad companies played in the construction and management of the railroad
  • Details the exploitation of immigrant labor
  • Reviews key dates and events in the history of the transcontinental railroad
  • Explains the effect of the railroad on Native Americans
  • Covers the opportunities and conflicts that resulted from the transcontinental railroad