Thursday, January 22, 2009

This chapter had two main focuses.  The first half was job opportunities of the new frontier(the west) and the second half was about varying topics of southern reconstruction.  Western job opportunities included, but were not limited to, railroads, mining, ranching and farming.  Railroads was a booming industry because America needed a quick and efficient way to travel in between cities on the east and west coasts.  The building of railroads brought in many immigrants because the construction work didn't require much skill.  The railroads also brought in big time jobs for investors and owners because trains were going to be such a vital form of transportation.  Another job was mining when gold was discovered in California in 1849.  This lead to a huge rush of people heading for the mountains in the west hoping to strike gold.  This career was highly rewarding but also very risky, for it was very dangerous and based on a little bit of luck.  Farming and Ranching was also a very big opportunity after the Homestead act that guaranteed anyone over the age of 21 160 acres of land.  So as long someone knew what they were doing they could easily set up a living farming crops or herding cattle.

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