How the States Got Their Shapes

Season 1 Episode 2

The Great Plains, Trains & Automobiles

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM May 10, 2011 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

The history of transportation has rewritten our map several times as we changed from a culture of canals and Riverboats to steam-powered locomotives and then to cars and trucks. As we expanded westward, even the shapes of states changed due to the landscape forged by train tracks, communication lines and highways. The "drive" for transportation prompted Illinois' fight to control Chicago, -which meant access to the Great Lakes and an all-important rail bridge. Later, however, as transport needs changed, some sections of the country were left behind and all but forgotten.


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