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why was Santa Fe an important city during westward expansion in the United States?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    if you go to Albuquerque, on the west side of town on I-40 there's this wonderful overlook. You can see down the mountainside into the city, the valley, and across to the other side.

    Going up this hill from the east was an immense barrier in the old days. Horses perished in the dry heat hauling wagons uphill and the early steam engines didn't do much better.

    Heading west before the Gadsden Purchase opened the low level route now followed by I-10 in Southern New Mexico was thus very difficult. It was easier to depart westward from Santa Fe, then continue uphill toward the mesa country that leads across to Farmington, NM and Flagstaff, AZ before heading off southwest toward LA and /or San Diego.

    There's a major rail route from LA to Chicago that still follows this route, I believe.

    Source(s): grampa
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