To answer this question correctly, students must identify the event depicted in a historical photograph and clearly explain why the event is historically significant. For the first question, successful students will identify this as the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. For Question 2, successful students might elaborate on one or more of the following:
- The completion of the first transcontinental railroad revolutionized travel, connecting areas of the Western United States with the East. Prior to its completion, traveling to the West Coast from the East required months of dangerous overland travel or an arduous trip by boat around the southern tip of South America.
- Telegraph lines built along the tracks facilitated rapid communication between the East Coast and the West Coast.
- The completion of the railroad facilitated Westward migration by white Americans, leading to increased conflict with Native American nations in the West.
- The Central Pacific Railroad recruited thousands of Chinese immigrants to build the railroad. Many of these workers stayed in the United States, establishing large communities of Chinese immigrants on the West Coast.
Student clearly and specifically identifies the event depicted in the photograph.
Student clearly and specifically explains why the event was historically significant.
Student provides correct information related to the event but does not clearly identify the significant event.
Student correctly elaborates on the event but does not clearly explain why the event is historically significant.
Student does not correctly identify the event.
Student does not provide a correct or relevant explanation for why the event was historically significant.