The Two Major Advancements in Ships in the Transportation Revolution
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4
"Water [has been the] lifeblood of American trade and travel for centuries..."
Two Factors That Made Water Travel Superior to Land Travel:
Water: A Man's Best Friend
Though land travel advancements were profuse in the Transportation Revolution, there were equally many improvements in the field of water-based travel. As Davidson said in "On the Move: Transportation and the American Story," water was always one of the cornerstones of American growth. Trade, commerce, war, international agreements -- everything relied on some form of travel via the world's rivers or oceans. Water has always been, and remains to this day, one of the crucial elements of transportation.
Why Water? (See diagram to the left)
Water travel, simply put, was far superior to land-based travel in a plethora of ways, but the two foremost factors were speed and efficiency. By manipulating the forces of nature and using them to guide ships and boats, water travel reduced reliance on human labor and increased dependence on natural factors like flow rate. With better navigability came faster travel times. Additionally, water travel had the added capability of transporting bulky goods, whereas land travel could not.