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Railroads and Farming
The Spindletop strike marked the beginning of the Texas oil boom and the age of oil in Texas. Over the next nine days some 8000000 barrels of oil shot out of the Spindletop well before the workers could cap the gusher. Word of the strike quickly spread around the world, with newspapers calling it the great gusher in Texas.
Railroads opened up new areas to commercial farming. Spur lines were extended off main lines into regions where cotton could be grown. Railroad companies offered lower rates for shipping cotton and built large cotton loading platforms that at each railroad stop.
The longhorns became more valuable as cattle ranching grew in the late 1850s. When the Civil War broke out, the demand for Texas beef increased rapidly. The Confederate army needed to feed the troops. However, as the war dragged on, Texans found it difficult to move their cattle to the front. By 1863 the Union Army had blocked trade from Confederate states, including Texas. As a result the number of cattle in Texas grew rapidly. And longhorns were resistant to the cattle disease commonly called Texas Fever.
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