Blog 2

The Erie Canal opened in 1825 making a direct connection from the west to the east for the very first time. It has a tremendous influence in the history of New York for it had helped the city prosper in trade beyond the ports. Before the Erie Canal was constructed, any trade between the east and the west required long journeys through the Allegheny Mountains. Right from the inception of the Erie Canal, it had proven to be a success. New York became the busiest port in North America, shipping and moving tons of good per day through the canal. New York City certainly was not the only state to benefit from the Erie Canal, by means of the canal, the importance of New Orleans as the economic capital of the nation was largely supplanted as well. With the development of the steam boat, the canal became even more important, as goods were then shipped upstream from the Midwest, then by the canal to the port cities of the Northeast.

People from New York started migrating westward in great numbers for the first time but the stream of immigrants still flooded the city. The rapidly growing population culminated in poor living conditions and overcrowded streets. In the 1830’s small apartments were resultant factors of the stream of immigrants that came. These tenements were small and dark and unsanitary. The rooms were windowless and were linked together. Between buildings there were communal water closets. There was a lack of proper plumping and draining which spread disease and illness. Tenement laws were passed and by 1850 the tenements were required to have natural light and cellars were replaced.

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