The Erie Canal was built from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. All Rights Reserved. A canal is just a ditch, right? Between 1835 and the turn of the century, this network of Canals was enlarged twice to … The Ohio and Erie Canal was one of Ohio's most important canals during the mid nineteenth century. were funded by the federal government. New York. On October 25, 1825, the entire length of the Erie Canal was complete. In the late 1800s, railroads became increasingly dominant and complemented the canal in supporting Buffalo’s economic and cultural growth. It transformed New York City into the nation’s principal seaport and opened the interior of North America to settlement. The original canal was 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and floated boats carrying 30 tons of freight; over the next hundred years the canal was enlarged and the capacity of the vessels traversing the Erie Canal increased to a maximum of 1,600 tons. It improved the economy in some … FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Water continually flowed in and out to power the hydraulic elevators known as locks. 189 years ago this month, the Erie Canal opened. The time to ship goods from Buffalo to New York was shortened from twenty days to six; and the cost per ton reduced from $1… Think again. The amount of people in Flood Hazard Zones, that don't know they are in potential danger, is a serious issues now that Erie Canal Dams are being uncovered. The city’s population quadrupled between 1820 and 1850, and the financing of the canal’s construction also allowed New York to surpass Philadelphia as the country’s preeminent banking center. “They became filled with political pork,” Kelly says. “The Erie Canal really made New York City,” Kelly says. Cloudflare Ray ID: 61691ab29fa40472 By providing cheaper and more efficient means to transport goods, the canal had a substantial and enduring impact on the economic development of New York State, as well as the United States as a whole. Instead of staying at inns along the way, sightseers slept on packets boats pulled by mules through the night. None, however, could replicate the success of the New York waterway. “It gave New York City access to this huge area of the Midwest, and that was an enormous factor in establishing New York City as a premier port in the country.” As the gateway to the Midwest, New York City became America’s commercial capital and the primary port of entry for European immigrants. Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal joined the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, linking the East with the West and for the first time allowing freight and settlers to easily move back and forth between the regions. Dan Ward is curator of the Erie Canal Museum. The economic significance of this canal system launched New York far ahead of her It was a more efficient way of travel than that on a dirt road. Soon after, the quest to construct a link between the two bodies of water began. The Erie Canal played an important role in New York state's history, and -- through its influence on local tourism -- could play an important role in its future as well. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. All of upstate New York and the upper Ohio River valley were now connected to New York. Within a decade of the opening of the Erie Canal, tolls paid by barges had paid back the construction debt. It has been enlarged several times to accommodate larger boats and became part of the New York State Canal System in 1918. ... New York governor who built the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal was part of the New York State Canal System, which connected the Great Lakes basin to New York City by opening up new trade routes. Explore eight ways that the Erie Canal, which married the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes, altered the course of American history. The Erie Canal Financed at public risk through the issuance of bonds, the Erie Canal ran over 360 miles from Albany on the Hudson River to Buffalo on Lake Erie when it was completed in 1825. The canal put New York on the map as the Empire State—the leader in population, industry, and economic strength. By providing a direct water route to the Midwest, the canal triggered large-scale emigration to the sparsely populated frontiers of western New York, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. The Erie Canal stretched for 363 miles providing the first waterway connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. 1825. “The success of a port depends on how big a region it can draw from inland,” Kelly says. The Erie Canal was first opened in 1825. That thinking would change in the 19th century, however, when scientists determined such a canal could actually work. The Erie Canal brought not only rapid change, but anxiety, to towns along its path. established important transportation links … Equally important, the Erie Canal became a … Farmers could grow wheat in western New York, sell it and have cash to buy furniture and clothing shipped up the canal that they otherwise would have made at home,” Kelly says. Prior to the construction of the Erie Canal, most of the United States population remained pinned between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west. Robert Fulton; 1807. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. The Erie Canal was built from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. It was significant because it connected Lake Erie and the Great Lakes system to the Hudson River, and thereby gave the western states direct access to the Atlantic Ocean without shipping goods downstream on the Mississippi River to New Orleans. The Erie Canal, finished in 1825,was the engineering breakthrough of the 19th century. “Manufactured goods had been pretty much unknown on the frontier until transportation costs became cheaper. The Erie Canal was first opened in 1825. Kelly says that apprehension sparked an evangelical religious revival in the 1820s and 1830s along the canal route as well as the birth of religions such as Adventism and Mormonism. It was one of the most important constructions in the 19th century in the United States. Definition: The Erie Canal was the nation's first Important transportation system connecting the Atlantic Ocean, via the Hudson River in Albany, eastern New York, with Lake Erie. The Erie Canal played a very important part in the history of the United States of America. The canal was 363 miles (584 kilometers) long, 40 feet (12 m) wide, and 4 feet deep (1.2 m). The only previous all-water route that reached the Midwest was through New Orleans, which made the Erie Canal an important conveyor of goods not … It developed a strong economic tie between the regions; it was faster. The Erie Canal affected the United States economically, politically and socially. It contributed to decrease the industrial North's dependence on the South, and in this way helped decrease the power of slavery, as it weakened the South. “The other parties saw this as a great morale booster and publicity, so they staged their own conventions beginning in that same year,” Kelly says. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. Why was the Erie Canal important to the U.S.* Allowed people to live farther away from the river Why was the Erie Canal important to the U.S." United a growing country by providing ways for people to travel and transport goods easier He says the Erie Canal was incredibly influential on the history of Michigan. History section reviews 10.1-10.2. Why was the completion of the Erie Canal important to U.S. development? The Erie Canal in New York is part of the east–west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System (formerly known as the New York State Barge Canal).It was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, originally stretching for 363 miles (584 km) from the Hudson River in Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo. What city took the lead as commercial center of the nation during the time of the canals. The Erie Canal brought not only rapid change, but anxiety, to towns along its path. After the Erie Canal was constructed, many other canals were built to connect important waterways that ran from the West to the East to make it even easier to transport goods. Why did the canal became so important to the northeast and Midwest? The Erie Canal: Facilitating Travel TO Michigan Regardless of the prevailing views of Michigan’s land and climate, a more important factor is delaying any large-scale movement into Michigan in the immediate postwar years was the difficulty in reaching the territory.Transportation to Michigan by water was "dangerous, unreliable, and fraught with discomfort." (Credit: The New York Historical Society/Getty Images), In addition to providing an economic boost by allowing the transport of goods at one-tenth the previous cost in less than half the previous time, the Erie Canal led to a transformation of the American economy as a whole. Between 1823 and 1828, several lateral Canals opened including the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca. The failure of any Freemasons to be brought to justice ignited such outrage along the canal route that it led to the creation of America’s first “third party”—the Anti-Masonic Party. By providing cheaper and more efficient means to transport goods, the canal had a substantial and enduring impact on the economic development of New York State, as well as the United States as a whole. “Plus, they were expensive to build and maintain and had to be closed in the winter, so the railroad eventually took on a lot of the transportation function of the canals.”. The canal had four waterways including the Erie, the Champlain, Oswego, and the Cayuga-Seneca which travel through New York. The Erie Canal connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes through the Port of New York and the Hudson & Mohawk Rivers, cutting the time needed via the St. Lawrence significantly. 189 years ago this month, the Erie Canal opened. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. The Erie Canal Is Completed . Erie Canal. 787 views View 4 Upvoters A major goal was to link Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes with the Atlantic Coast through a canal. The Erie Canal, finished in 1825 ,was the engineering breakthrough of the 19th century. Prices drastically decreased on goods from Buffalo to the City of New York: From: $100 per ton (before the Erie Canal) To: between $5 and $10 per ton (after the Erie Canal)! The Erie Canal is said to be important due to diverse reasons to the economy and the state as a whole. That connection between the Hudson River in New York and Lake Erie became extremely important to Michigan, which at the time of its construction was on the road to statehood. The completion in 1825 of the Erie Canal (below), connecting Lake Erie with the Hudson River, was an event of major importance in Michigan history because it greatly facilitated the transportation of passengers and freight between the eastern seaboard and Michigan ports. The Ohio and Erie Canal was one of Ohio's most important canals during the mid nineteenth century. Before the opening of the Erie Canal, New Orleans had been the only port city with an all-water route to the interior of the United States, and the few settlers in the Midwest had arrived mostly from the South. By providing a direct water route to the Midwest, the canal triggered large-scale emigration to the sparsely populated frontiers of western New York, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. It was a more efficient way of travel than that on a dirt road. That made the Port of New York the most important in 19h Century America, surpassing Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Charleston. an artificial waterway connecting the Hudson river at Albany with Lake Erie at Buffalo. During the late 1810s, Governor Thomas Worthington and Governor Ethan Allen Brown both supported internal improvements, especially canals. In 1826, Freemasons in Batavia, New York, were suspected in the kidnapping and likely murder of William Morgan, who had vowed to expose the order’s secrets in a new book. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. The Erie Canal’s commercial success, coupled with the engineering knowledge gained in its building, led to the construction of other canals across the United States. Scholars differ on the makeup of the workforce that built the canal. The canal had four waterways including the Erie, the Champlain, Oswego, and the Cayuga-Seneca which travel through New York. The Erie Canal was a huge and immediate success as a transportation artery. He says the Erie Canal was incredibly influential on the history of Michigan. Believing the Erie Canal to be a pork-barrel project that would only benefit upstate towns, many of New York City’s political leaders tried to block its construction. However, the Canal brought all sorts of travelers to New York City, as well as Philadelphia and Baltimore, quite possibly the largest and most populous cities at that time. Construction on the canal began on July 4, 1817 in Rome, NY, … The Erie Canal, completed on October 25, 1825 improved transportation and helped populate the interior of the U.S. The Outer Harbor factories also provided man… The canal impacted American culture, economics, politics, and more. However, the Erie Canal is still used today by recreational watercraft. The Erie Canal Today By the late-1800s canals were overtaken by railroads as the most important form of transportation. The Erie Canal was so important to the United States (U.S) because it was the water way connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie through New York State. That connection between the Hudson River in New York and Lake Erie became extremely important to Michigan, which at the time of its construction was on the road to statehood. Both the National Road and the Erie Canal established important transportation links between the North and the South. The canal consisted of 85 locks to manage a 500 foot (150 meter) rise in elevation from the Hudson River to Buffalo. THE ERIE CANAL. The picture on the left shows the Genesee Falls in Rochester that provided power for flour mills The canal had to be precisely level–a discrepancy of a few inches over a hundred miles meant serious problems. Your IP: 54.36.54.1 Prior to the construction of the Erie Canal, most of the United States population remained pinned between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west. It improved the economy in some cities in New York such as Buffalo Lockport, and Rochester. “That was the first inklings of the consumer economy.”. The Erie Canal is said to be important due to diverse reasons to the economy and the state as a whole. The new waterway, though, proved to be a 19th-century “information superhighway” that aided the spread of the new religion. Thousands of tourists, including Europeans such as Charles Dickens, flowed down the canal on excursions from New York City to Niagara Falls. The Erie Canal played an important role in New York state's history, and -- through its influence on local tourism -- could play an important role in its future as well. Travel also proceeded … Goods from the west could be taken across the Great Lakes to Buffalo, then on the canal to Albany and New York City, and conceivably even to Europe. The Erie Canal is purely a tourist attraction today, but it also attracted vacationers when it opened as well. Since ancient times, a passageway between the Red and Mediterranean Sea was sought after, but thought impossible due to differences in elevation. With this Google Map tool I was able to get some nice images of this area to show why it is CRITICAL that resident along the Erie Canal make sure they know where flood water might flow from. Good thing for them that they failed. Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French diplomat, was responsible for developing the Suez Cana… It was along the canal route in 1823 that Joseph Smith claimed to have been visited by a Christian angel named Moroni and where in 1830 he published the Book of Mormon and founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Artificial rivers like the Erie Canal were dynamic systems that challenged engineers of the 1820s. The Erie Canal's success was part of a Canal-building boom in New York in the 1820s. • Not only did New York citizens use the canal as a transportation system for goods, but people also used it to travel from the upper Ohio Valley west into New York. The Erie Canal Important to the Northeast region because it reduced transportation costs by 90% and made New York City the busiest port on the Atlantic. The Whigs and Democrats quickly followed suit. During the late 1810s, Governor Thomas Worthington and Governor Ethan Allen Brown both supported internal improvements, especially canals. Located just outside of Erie Canal Harbor on the banks of Lake Erie, the outer harbor became home to “heavy manufacturers” producing cement, copper, steel, and other important materials that contributed to the city’s industrial growth. 1847 painting of the Erie Canal. • The Erie Canal connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes through the Port of New York and the Hudson & Mohawk Rivers, cutting the time needed via the St. Lawrence significantly. One of the main themes that the author addressed was the fact that by building the Erie Canal, the population significantly increased in the New York area. Welland Canal, waterway in southern Ontario, Can., that provides navigation for large vessels between Lake Erie to the south and Lake Ontario to the north and forms an important link in the St. Lawrence Seaway. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Why was the completion of the Erie Canal important to U.S. development? “The New Englanders and Europeans beginning to stream across the canal were opposed to slavery, and it set up this confrontation,” Kelly says. were funded exclusively by the states in which they were located. Dan Ward is curator of the Erie Canal Museum. It was significant because it connected Lake Erie and the Great Lakes system to the Hudson River, and thereby gave the … Prior to the canal’s construction, ports such as New Orleans, Philadelphia and even Baltimore outranked New York. It was one of the most important constructions in the 19th century in the United States. The Erie Canal affected the United States economically, politically and socially. “Southerners had been moving up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers into southern Ohio and southern Indiana, which did become sympathetic to slavery,” according to Jack Kelly, author of the new book “Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal.” The Erie Canal checked that trend as the new settlers from New England, New York and Europe brought their abolitionist views with them to the newly established Midwest states. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal joined the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, linking the East with the West and for the first time allowing freight and settlers to easily move back and forth between the regions. Kelly says that apprehension sparked an evangelical religious revival in … As the 1832 presidential election approached, the grassroots movement lacked the elected representatives in Congress and state legislatures that traditionally selected candidates, so it staged a nominating convention instead. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Although the Anti-Masonic Party quickly disappeared, it left behind a considerable political legacy. Buffalo’s outer harbor also played a significant role in the city’s economy and history. The Erie Canal had a huge effect on the economy of New York. “Many people don’t realize Mormonism started right on the Erie Canal since it’s so associated with Utah,” Kelly says. “Southerners became more hardened and Northerners more adamant.” Kelly adds that the transformation of the Midwest into America’s breadbasket by the new settlers also “reduced the dependence of the industrial North on the agriculturally dominant South.”. IT WAS DESIGNED BY AMATEURS. What city took the lead as commercial center of the nation during the time of the canals. Why did the canal became so important to the northeast and Midwest? The Erie Canal was part of the New York State Canal System, which connected the Great Lakes basin to New York City by opening up new trade routes. It set America on a path of destiny, from a fledgling nation to a worldwide superpower. 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