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After the Civil War
(1865-1870)

The United States Grows
(1865-1900)

The Transcontinental Railroad



The Transcontinental Railroad
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.15

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    solid-rock, waterless, communication, technological, network, traditional, newly-arrived, gasoline, livelihood, beginning, whichever, power, lines, unexpected, advance, government
     content words:    East Coast, West Coast, Native American, Union Pacific, Central Pacific, Great Plains, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Promontory Point, Transcontinental Railroad, Native Americans


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The Transcontinental Railroad
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     
The Challenge

 
2     The challenge was to build a railroad from the East Coast to the West Coast. There was already a network of railroads on the East Coast and as far west as Missouri, but the challenging part lay ahead. It would not be easy to build railroad lines through waterless deserts, solid-rock mountains, or Native American hunting territory.
 
3     Two railroad companies were up for the challenge. The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific both won government contracts to work on the railroad. The Union Pacific would build west from Missouri. The Central Pacific would build east from California. Both companies would be paid for each mile of track they laid, $16,000 per mile on the prairie, twice as much on the high plateaus, and three times as much through the mountains. Whichever company built the most track would earn the most money. The race was on.
 
4     The Union Pacific hired thousands of workers, many of them Irish immigrants, and started building track across the Great Plains. Each day, it built a few more miles of track.
 
5     The Central Pacific hired workers in California and began to build. Its first step was to tunnel through the steep, rocky Sierra Nevada Mountains. Some days, they progressed only a few inches. Many workers on the first crew quit; then the Central Pacific began hiring Chinese immigrants. Thousands of these newly-arrived Americans chipped away at the rock day after day. It was slow going, but they kept at it.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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After the Civil War
(1865-1870)

             After the Civil War
(1865-1870)



The United States Grows
(1865-1900)

             The United States Grows
(1865-1900)



United States
             United States


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    The Great Depression
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    The United States Grows
(1865-1900)
 
 
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(1914-1918)
 
 
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