History of the United States

How were railroads important to Texas ranchers?


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2011-10-18 19:36:31
2011-10-18 19:36:31

They drastically reduced the distance the ranchers had to travel to sell their cattle, as they often grazed on the Great Plains - but the introduction of the cross continent railway system allowed a much easier transportation of cattle from point A to point B.


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Before railroads were built in Texas, cattle had to be herded on cattle drives to the nearest railroad. The first railroads in the United States ran from east to west. After the railroads were built that ran north and south, the Texas cattle ranchers had less distance to cover to reach a railroad for transport.

The phrase Texas ranchers calf is the same thing as maverick

Railroads made it much easier for ranchers in the cattle industry to get their cattle to markets that were far away. A rancher in Texas could put cattle on a train and have them at the market in a matter of days.

The railroads significantly opened the cattle industry to sales and sales meant ranchers could expand their lands and herds. Ranchers from even Texas could drive herds north to meet the railroad, and both factors helped develop towns in the Great Plains.

Access to railroads, in the Midwest, helped to create a cattle boom. They railroads gave ranchers easy access to large cities.

Jolly Ranchers are not important

Demand for beef in eastern cities, but the railroads did not yet reach out to the areas of the Texas (and other western) ranches. Prior to the railroads the cattle drives would have been prohibitively long and impractical, early western railroads made cattle drives practical. After the railroads were extended and cattle could be loaded directly on the trains without having to take them on long drives, the cattle drives cease.

After the Civil War Texas ranchers drove cattle in herds to Kansas because that is where the big stockyards were at the time. It was also a place for the Texas ranchers to use the railroad for shipping cattle elsewhere.

The growth of the cattle industry was dependent on the development of the railroads because the ranchers needed a way to get their beef to markets in the eastern United States and further west if needed. Before the railroads ran north and south, the ranchers had to herd their cattle hundreds of miles to the train in Kansas.

Was a faster, easier, and safer mean of transporting goods such as crops etc...

The market for cattle was someplace else (back East) and there was no other way to move them. Herds of cattle were driven (on the hoof) to where there were railroads that could take them to market.

Nowadays, it's just the Union Pacific, KCS and the BNSF. Before 1980, other large railroads were forced to have a subsidiary in Texas and operate it independently. Examples include: The Texas & Pacific, The Texas & New Orleans (Southern Pacific) and others. Check out the list of railroads in Texas on Wikipedia.

They provided a way to transport meat to eastern markets.

It encouraged western settlement by making it possible for farmers and ranchers to send their products to the East.

The Chisholm Trail was important because it is how cattle were driven from Texas to Kansas before the railroad expanded. It was the main route ranchers used and it allowed them to get beef to the Northeast and the sale of cattle helped Texas get out of the poverty left over from the Civil War.

Texas Ranchers sent their longhorns on cattle drives because the demand of the cattle in Texas was low. But high in the north and east. Demand and supply affect the price of nearly everything that was bought and sold - not just the cattle.

As ranchers failed in the mid-1800s many ranchers sold their land. or Membership in the Texas Grange declined in the 1800s.

Ranchers hired cowboys to gather and drive the cattle east. The expansion of the railroads shortened the cattle drive, enabling the cowboys to simply drive the cattle to the nearest rail stockyard.

they used it for transportation

To get them to the railroads for shipment east.

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Texas ranchers needed to get their cattle to the railroad in Kansas,Missouri, and Nebraska.

Texas ranchers grouped their cattle into herds and marched them across the countryside to get to the railroad to be shipped east or west. This was called a cattle drive and needed about 4 or more people on horseback to control where the cattle went.

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