The Canadian Pacific Railway

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The Canadian Pacific Railway. Building, Chinese Workers and the Role of the Railway. Building the Railway. Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Company was founded in 1881. Canadian Government gave the CPR $25 million and 10 million hectares of land. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of The Canadian Pacific Railway

  • The Canadian Pacific RailwayBuilding, Chinese Workers and the Role of the Railway

  • Building the RailwayCanadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Company was founded in 1881.Canadian Government gave the CPR $25 million and 10 million hectares of land.In order to make more money, the government allowed the CPR to sell their land to settlers.In 1881, the CPR hired William Van Horne as their general Manager.

  • Building the Railway- continuedThe CPR began in the Prairies because the land from Lake Superior to Winnipeg was not very rugged.

  • Building the Railway- continuedVan Hornes next strategy was to build the railroad through the Canadian Shield.This region is made up of hard granite rock and soft, marshy muskeg.Dynamite was used to break up the rock so the pathway could be created.It took about 7 years to build this section because of the rough terrain.

  • Building the Railway- continuedThe next region to conquer for Van Horne was the Rocky Mountains which proved to be the most difficult region in building the CPR.Many railroad workers were killed in blasts, landslides and falls from cliffs.The last spike was hammered into the tracks on November 7, 1885 in Craigellachie British Columbia by Donald Smith of the CPR.

  • Chinese WorkersThey had originally built railways in California.Many came to BC to work on the CPR because not enough men in BC were willing to work on railroad because it was too dangerous.Chinese workers also came from China hoping to make money to send home to their family.By 1885 there were 15,000 Chinese railway workers. They were paid $1.00 a day which was less than other non-Chinese workers.

  • Chinese Workers- continuedThe Chinese were responsible for paying for their own tools, food, shelter and clothes.They did not get paid during the winter when the work stopped.The Chinese workers faced more explosions, rock slides, cave-ins and disease than other workers.More than 600 Chinese workers died while building the BC section of the railway.

  • The Role of the Railway in Western ExpansionOnce the CPR was complete, Canada was now a country from sea to sea.The CPR carried people and goods from the Atlantic provinces to the Pacific Ocean and back.The CPR opened the North-West Territories for settlement by people from the rest of Canada and Europe.The Natives on the Red River Settlement could now trade with the rest of Canada rather than the US.

  • The Role of the Railway in Western Expansion- continued

  • QuestionPut yourself in the shoes of either William Van Horne or a Chinese worker and write/create two or three journal entries about your experiences on the railroad or building the railroad. One entry MUST take place during the Summer and the other during the Winter. Your third can be any other time of the year.