Water Transportation Improvements

Category: Education

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Warm-Up Write down the two words that you feel best describe water travel using flatboats and keelboats.

Water Travel:

Water Travel Man-Power to Steam-Power


Target I can explain how water transportation improved in the early 1800s.

Water Travel in the Early 1800s:

Water Travel in the Early 1800s Faster, cheaper, more comfortable than land travel It wasn’t tremendously effective in the beginning Going downstream was relatively easy Most commonly used a flatboat 6 weeks from Pittsburgh to New Orleans Upstream was a challenge Could use paddles or long poles Some hauled them from the shore Return trip to Pittsburgh took at least 17 weeks!

The Steamboat:

The Steamboat This new invention changed water travel forever First created by John Fitch Demonstrated capabilities to Constitutional Convention He opened a ferry service with it, but his business failed Robert Fulton successfully used a steamboat Clermont served as a ferry on the Hudson River 300 mile trip in 62 hours


Continued… Benefits to steamboats Cut travel time tremendously Easily travel upstream Negatives Technology was not perfected yet Explosions and fires were very common


Canals Man-made waterways Like rivers A few existed early on They were very short Used to connect things very close together With the steamboat, the desirability of canals increased

Canal Boom:

Canal Boom Erie Canal “ Clinton ’ s Ditch ” DeWitt Clinton (NY Governor) People laughed at him for the idea Work began in 1817 Much dug by hand Stump-Puller (40/day) Bridges over rivers Complete in 1825

End Result:

End Result Success! Travel costs were 1/20 the original cost!!! This encouraged others to make canals $20 $1

Transportation Improved!:

Transportation Improved! This allowed farmers to profit further inland Pushed America forward “ Of all the countries in the world, America is that in which the spread of ideas and of human industry is most continual and most rapid. ” Alexis de Tocqueville- Visitor from France


Wrap-Up Your group work assignment is on the back of your note guide! New Joe Farmer What do you think? Will it be easier?

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