Class Notes

One of America’s great feats and more important accomplishments is the Erie Canal.  It was a feat in that it was 363 miles long, 40 feet wide, and four feet deep.  All of the digging was done by hand.  It had an elevation of 565 feet requiring the creation of 35 locks (today in Lockport, NY you can still see some of the original, it’s worth the trip).  It was also an important accomplishment because it did more to connect the Midwest to the East than anything else.  Now Midwesterners looked to NYC as their main port instead of New Orleans.  It shifted the Midwest’s attention East instead of South.  Possibly without the Erie Canal, when the Civil War broke out, some Midwestern states might have considered siding with the Confederacy instead of remaining in the Union

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