Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Prairie Public (X) - Economics (X) - Technology (X)

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | The Decline of Railroads and Streetcars

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Discover how the building and use of railroads declined due to the popularity of automobiles and trucks. One effect was the development of regional and short line railroads that served smaller communities. Several larger cities used local electric streetcars until the automobiles took over.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Road Improvement

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Learn how by the 1910s, state government began making an effort to improve roads by financially aiding counties, and the federal government began assisting with funding. The economic hardships of the 1930s meant less funds, but the state authorized the state patrol and began issuing drivers' licenses.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Barnstorming

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Learn about early airplanes, and how they were a novelty and flying a source of entertainment for bystanders, but quickly became essential in the transportation of passengers and goods.

E-Business | Web Security

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Learn about the importance of web security which becomes top priority with more information changing hands electronically.

E-Business | Jeffrey Bezos

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Hear about the flexibility of the internet and its shaping by new technologies and decreasing costs in these early years of development, from Jeffrey Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com. The rise of the Internet has provided a new market for North Dakota businesses. With shopping at a store now being as easy as typing in a web address, distance from consumers is becoming less of an issue in the business world.

E-Business | The Dos and Don'ts of E-Business

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Hear about the “do’s and don’ts” of doing business on the internet, from a representative of Microsoft Great Plains. The rise of the Internet has provided a new market for North Dakota businesses. With shopping at a store now being as easy as typing in a web address, distance from consumers is becoming less of an issue in the business world.

People and Businesses | Steamboats on the Red

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Learn how communities began to develop on the banks of the Red River along the steamboats’ route in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. With new, cheaper means of transportation come people—first workers, then settlers, then merchants. 

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

Old Red Trail | Construction Changes

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Early road construction was time-consuming and expensive.  In 1959, road crews could lay out one mile of road a day at best. With today’s technology and equipment, paving and grading roads is much easier and faster.  Construction of bridges required specialists who could design the river-spanning lengths.  In the 1960s, road construction cost $400,000 per mile of four-lane highway, including the cost of land, equipment, workers’ pay, bridges, and materials.  Today, roads cost more than four times that for two lanes in one direction, but they last 50% longer

Money Drives | Steamboats on the Red

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Find out why businessmen considered the Red River of the North a water highway in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The Red River of the North isn’t the first river that comes to mind when a person thinks of a water highway. So what could have possibly driven businessmen to think of it as such? Money. Money drove companies, like the Hudson’s Bay Company, to find a shorter and more economical route from New York to St. Paul, Minnesota. But as these businessmen would find out, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.