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The city of Erie, Pennsylvania, home to the Great Lake of Erie, is the county set of Erie County. In 1753 the French built Fort Presque Isle in order to garrison New France against the English, who were beginning to encroach upon French territory. Once the object of dispute, with three different states, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts each claiming the land, Erie became part of Pennsylvania in 1792 after those three states relinquished their claims on the land to the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy which sold it to Pennsylvania for 75 cents per acre. The Erie Railroad War took place between the people of Erie and the two railroad companies in Erie due to the non-standardization of track gauge. The Erie and North East Railroad started to lay track going eat from Erie toward the border with New York in 1849. The gauge, which is the spacing of the rails on a railroad track, of the rail was 6 feet. Meanwhile, the Buffalo and State Line Railroad was laying track from Buffalo to the New York border and the Franklin Canal Company was busy laying track west from Erie to the border at Ohio, both with a gauge of 4 feet 10 inches. Passengers would be forced to change trains in Pennsylvania and get to another track due to the difference in gauges, and Erie reaped the benefits from those who missed their connections who sometimes had to spend days in Erie, pumping up the economy. After almost a year of this, in 1853, the Railroad companies decided to re-lay the track between Erie and the New York border so that it would be the same size gauge as the Ohio gauge. In order to keep the change from happening, the city council enacted laws which forbade the railroads from crossing the city’s streets. The railroad didn’t heed the law, and violence ensued. For several months, the conflict went on with people ripping up tracks and gunfire as a result. In 1854, the legislature stepped in and the gauge was standardized.

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