The Erie Canal

In 1825, the gates for rapid economic and population growth opened to New York City (NYC). The Erie Canal, considered one of the world’s great wonder, connected NYC to the rest of the Continent starting a growth faster to the city than it has seen in over 200 years. The land was fertile, the ground was solid for construction, there were animals for food, but there were not an easy way to export and import goods from other parts of the continent.

The Erie Canal was not built without opposition, even though it was one of the longest man made canal of its time, the fastest and cheapest to build and the least amount of experienced workers; there were people who opposed this venture, because of the increase of taxes and the possibility that it will fail to serve its purpose. Even though risky Governor DeWitt Clinton persisted with his vision and influence to construct this canal.

At this time in NYC history, the city was prosperous with a population of 165,000 and an available capital in the banks of $25 million. When the canal was completed the cost of shipping goods were reduced by 95% and the population growth in five years after the canal was 202,589 and in the next thirty years it quadrupled. The canal promoted the fast pace growth of NYC and encouraged immigrants from Europe.

This Canal almost 200 years after its completion serves the purpose it was designed for, bringing goods to New York State and taking out to the world. It has influenced the growth of the city economically and population. Today this city is one of the most desired cities in the world and has developed to one of the most powerful places in the world. The population in NYC has grown from 160,000 in 1825 to 8.3 million. From small Wooden houses to Buildings that stretch beyond the surface.  From an opposed vision to an accepted change, The Erie Canal has changed the way people view NYC.

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