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A New Nation
(1776-1830)

The Erie Canal



The Erie Canal
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.27

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    wealthy, equipment, legislature, beginning, jobs, longer, goods, train, ship, east, lived, people, structure, route, faster, send
     content words:    Erie Canal, Hudson River, New York City, New York State, New York, York City


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The Erie Canal
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     New roads and steamboats really helped people who were going west. These improvements did not always help farmers. Farmers in the west wanted to send goods to the east. To do this, Americans started to dig canals. A canal is a path that is dug out and filled with water. Boats then use the canal to go from place to place.
 
2     The Erie Canal was built from Buffalo to Albany. Boats could then go down the Hudson River to get to New York City. The New York State legislature passed a bill to pay for the canal. People would then collect tolls to pay the state back.
 
3     The canal was started in July 1817. The first part went from Rome, New York, to the Hudson River. Many people who dug the canal were wealthy farmers. They lived along the canal route and would dig a little part of it. Immigrants also worked at digging out the canal.
 
4     Digging the canal was very hard work. Many parts of it went through thick forests where no one lived. To help the work go faster, people began to invent new equipment. One of these was a stump puller. It could pull out almost forty stumps a day.

Paragraphs 5 to 13:
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