Round Tour > America 2/6
When the emigrants arrived the American continent was home to numerous Indian tribes, and much of it - by European standards - was made up of uncultivated wilderness. As the immigrants gradually moved westwards, this wilderness was duly cultivated - and the local Indian populations were usually forcibly expelled or enslaved.

The settlers were helped in their progress westwards not only by their fierce determination to survive, but also by new technology: ever more accurate rifles, and also the rapid construction of a railroad network. In 1829 the first stretch of rail was opened in Maryland between Baltimore and Ellicot Mills; by 1840 the track was already 4,500 kilometres long, and on May 10, 1869 the two huge lines from the East and West Coasts - the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads - finally met up at Promontory in Utah.

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