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Before 1815, transportation in the United States was slow and expensive; it cost as much to ship a crate over

thirty miles of domestic roads as it did to send it across the Atlantic Ocean! A stagecoach trip from Boston to New York took four days. But between 1815 and 1840, networks of roads, canals, steamboats, and finally railroads dramatically raised the speed and lowered the cost of travel.  Transportation advances cut travel times significantly. On the Erie Canal, goods and people could move from New York City to Buffalo in four days, a two-week trip by road. Steamboats cut travel time from New York to New Orleans from four weeks by road to less than two weeks by river.  

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Canals were built the most extensively in the northeast region of the country. Most of them crossed state borders and... View the full answer

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