How Railroads Changed American Government?

MR points to this nice review of this book on American Railroad history – The Great Railroad Revolution: The History of Trains in America. It is written by transport historian and expert – Christian Wolmer.

We think govt has been hugely affected by imternet and technology. Well, railroads created a similar impact:

Anyone reading the scholarly literature on the “e-government revolution” might be tempted to think that technological change has never affected American government so profoundly as it does today. Christian Wolmar’s The Great Railroad Revolution provides an invaluable corrective to this sort of thinking. The advent of the railroad was probably a more important technological shock, and Wolmar’s book provides an unusual opportunity to examine how it affected the role and structure of American government. The current fashion is to emphasize the ways in which ideology and institutional inertia constrain the governmental response to such shocks. But Wolmar tells a different story. In the long run, The Great Railroad Revolution suggests, the governmental response to this innovation was pragmatic, hard-headed, and flexible.

The book suggests the positive role played by govt in developing railroads. Looks like a great read..


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