Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kyle Bulthuis


The primary reason for urban growth in the Early Republic was the growth and linking of transportation networks. This study will show how two cities, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wheeling, Virginia, sought to bring the many rapidly changing transportation networks to their city. Through the examination of the role of boosters, local, state, and federal investments, and the conflict or cooperation between eastern elites in each state versus the concerns of the western counties, one of these cities, Pittsburgh, will be show to have achieved regional hegemony by bringing more trade networks into its hub. The role of geography in settlement patterns and construction of these networks will also be discussed.

This study examined existing scholarship in books and journals as well as archival evidence from the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, the University of Virginia, the Historical Society of Wheeling, the Carnegie Foundation, and records from the United States Congressional Series.


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