The growth of the American economy began to boom in the first portion of the nineteenth century. Industry began to take hold of America, where it had been very slow to develop. Industry and agriculture were highly promoted by the increase in transportation technology. Transportation alone did not improve the economy; it facilitated the growth of industry and agriculture in the United States. The National Road, Railroads, and canals allowed the farmers to move produce to the east and factory owners to move their goods into the west and back again much more easily and quickly, thus causing the price of these goods to drop accordingly. Steamboats permitted the transport of goods throughout the year rather than just in the warm seasons. The lack of a keel on the boats allowed for further penetration into shallower waters and to more previously inaccessible regions of the waterways, and to move through muddy water much more easily. The Railroad system also allowed for more people to move out west and further develop agriculture in the virgin soil.
The first demands for a national road were head back in 1740 when the few settlers in the “west” (the Ohio river valley) called for an avenue in which to transport their goods t
Long after rivers had frozen over, railroads could still operate at near peak efficiency. Not only did the steamboats allow upriver transportation, they allowed goods to be moved throughout the dry seasons, and into the winter up until the river froze over. Construction on the road began in 1811 and was completed in 7 years. The need to transport the goods quickly helped to boost the economy of major "hub" cities like Chicago and Cincinnati; who facilitated the trade and in turn grew into centers of trade and commerce in the mid-west. People still remained the chief "cargo" on the railroads. The lack of knowledge on the way that metals behave under pressure let to many a deadly explosion. Fires were a very common occurrence, due mainly to the large furnaces used to drive the steam engines, and the fuel that the boats must carry to supply them. Dangerous as they may be, steam power was still the method of choice for moving people and products along the waterways of America. Manteno Illinois was one of the lucky towns to be selected as a stop along the Illinois Central. However, only a small group of people ever got to experience the grandeur of these saloons. The quick production and transport of the produce from the Mid-west to the eastern states increased the farms"tm values and further promoted settlement. The majority of the passengers were "deck" passengers, ones who paid quite a bit less, but were confined to sleep on the deck, as the name implies. Manufactures from the east more readily made their way west, often passing the product of the west heading in the other direction. It linked provided a link between New York and Ohio, providing a superb trading route for the desperate western farmers.