This fascinating book, based on current research, scrutinizes the Erie Canal and the pivotal role it played in shaping the economic, geographic, and political growth of New York State. • Explores the planning, building, and success of this historic canal. Demonstrates how existing towns expanded and new towns grew along the canal. • The text provides students with a hands-on look at how the canal was built, the impact it had on commerce, how people use it today, and its far-reaching influence on the development of New York State. • Primary sources, photographs, and maps help readers grasp the significance of the canal and the how it helped shaped New York State and the country.