Browse collection by subject:
The Erie Canal was part of the New York State Canal System, which connected the Great Lakes basin to New York City by opening up new trade routes. By providing cheaper and more efficient means to transport goods, the canal had a substantial and enduring impact on the economic development of New York State, as well as the United States as a whole. The canal’s construction began in 1817 and officially opened for travel in 1825. With stops along many parts of New York State, trade and travel grew and the state prospered. A large number of laborers, many of whom were immigrants, worked to construct the Erie Canal.