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Current Event Journal-US Modernization

Current Event Journal-US Modernization

Article Summary      

Hampton’s article, ‘Amtrak CEO outlines plans for spending $66 billion from infrastructure funding’ on NCBC News on November 28, 2021, delves into the federal government’s ongoing efforts to revive the U.S. rail system. Despite being one of the earliest rail systems to be developed, the U.S. rail system lags behind some of the world’s largest economies. The efforts to modernize the rail system are part of the increased infrastructural budget. A whopping $1 billion was allocated towards infrastructural development, with the railway system authority set to receive much of the budgeted allocation. The effort marks the most significant single allocation throughout the railway system’s history, indicating the government’s appreciation of the role of rail in the U.S. economy (Hampton, 2021).

The Link between Article Information and Coursework

Whereas the article emphasizes the importance of the rail system in modern America, the course covers its contribution to the reconstruction of the union. During the reconstruction period, the rail system served as a crucial link between conflicting states, especially in trade activities and the movement of people (Clack et al., 2009). Initially, railroads were built to transport agricultural products, including wheat, tobacco, and cotton. These agricultural products were moved through the railroad to strategic ports. The designers of the railroads never anticipated too much traffic to use the system. However, the rail system was overwhelmed at the onset of the Civil War, contributing to its wearout.

Biden administration’s decision to improve the railroad system is based on its critical role in the nation’s economy. Traditionally, the railroad system was mainly used to transport agricultural products (Marrs, 2009). However, today, more people prefer to use the rail system to move from place to place. One of the factors pushing people to use the railroad system is the inherent environmental conservation awareness (Donaldson & Hornbeck, 2016). Rail improvement, especially on the northern corridor, will reduce people’s time connecting cities. Specifically, the improvement will reduce the time it takes to travel between the U.S.’s major cities of Boston, New York, and Washington.

The article reveals the failures of previous governments to repair the rail system. Despite knowing how vital a railroad system is to the American economy, most past governments have ignored restoring the railway. Somehow, they must have believed that railway transport was already outdated; hence, there was no need to spend significant money repairing it. However, more people are turning to railway transport to conserve the environment, gradually rendering the rail system valuable.

It is worth noting that the efforts to improve the rail system may not be successful immediately. It will take time to complete the repairs and improvements because they are phased. Besides, it will also take time to convince the people who have already changed their mode of transportation that they can now trust rail transport.

Reflection

I believe the Civil War contributed to the damages the U.S. rail system sustained. The railroads are so worn out compared to those in China and India. As the government implements all possible ways to bring the railroad back on track, the people will decide if the efforts will succeed. Once citizens use rail transport, the railway authority will make enough revenue for sustained improvement.

References

Clack, G., Mildred Sola Neely, & Hamby, A. L. (2009). Outline of U.S. history. Nova Science Publishers.

Donaldson, D., & Hornbeck, R. (2016). Railroads and American Economic Growth: A “Market Access” Approach *. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131(2), 799–858. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjw002

Hampton, D. (2021). Amtrak CEO outlines plans for spending $66 billion from infrastructure funding. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amtrak-ceo-outlines-plans-spending-66-billion-infrastructure-funding-rcna4786

Marrs, A. W. (2009). Railroads in the Old South: Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society. JHU Press.

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Question 


Why do we study history? You’ve probably heard many references to the idea that we must learn history because history repeats itself. While this does hold validity in some instances, it is also essential to understand that history connects today to yesterday. Political decisions today are based on past decisions or events; we continue to work on social justice and see new interpretations of past legislation and primary source documents. History surrounds us.

Current Event Journal-US Modernization

Current Event Journal-US Modernization

Throughout the class, you will be retrieving and evaluating current event articles (in the last five years), making connections between the units we are studying and today. You will be responsible for finding an online article from a reputable news source. For example, Time.com, USA Today, The New York Times, etc.

Instructions:

 In your current event assignment, please address each of the following:

  • Provide a summary of the article (include source, date, important people and events, place/location).
  • Explain the connection to the information we studied in Units 3 and
    • Use the following questions/prompts as a guide:
      • How does this current event article connect to the unit we are currently studying?
      • What impact did the past have on the events taking place today? Is it political, economic, and social?
      • Describe specific historical events/people/documents that are involved and explain how they are
      • What does the current event article tell us about the past?
      • What predictions do you have about how this event will affect the future?
    • Reflect on your opinions regarding the current event article and the historical event to which it is connected.
    • Ensure you provide a hyperlink to the article (check to ensure the hyperlink works).

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