Roark Chapter 11: The Expanding Republic,
Notes and Questions for HIS1043 by
Rex H. Ball, Senior Lecturer
In the first four decades of the 18
century, the U.S.
Look at the map on page 237.
The transportation system was expanding as fast as the
Reflect one the settlement patterns during the
colonial period—look at pp. 53, 57 and 83.
With roads, canals, steamboats, and soon railroads settlement
patterns cold break from the river patterns of colonial
Land that would have been marginal, at best, could
contribute to the national wealth through each addition of the
For those who wanted speed, or access to reliable
transportation of goods and service (and people), the changes
Land speculators could turn a windfall for
themselves, or if they didn’t guess right might suffer losses.
For the Indians, the system only meant faster and larger
encroachments on their land and way of life.
Indians were prescient calling the steamboat a “fire canoe”
and dubbing it an evil omen (Roark 237).
On a more poetic level, there were those who mourned the
intrusion of the machine in the garden.
First the steamboat
went plowing the waters of the Mississippi, Ohio, Hudson and
other Rivers, belching smoke, sparks and steam as it went,
and then came the steam locomotive.
The quiet of the forests
would never be the same once the machines broke their
The system was financed by private investors often with the
aid of states through subsidies and monopoly rights. Thus
Hamilton’s vision of a diverse economy was taking root, but
instead of Federal control and direction, states played a role
and individual investors did as well.
What was happening?
How was it important for
the New Nation?
What might the maps hint
at when you consider the
map on page 237?
Was this an unbridled good
What paralleled this and
helped enable it?