Part I Figure 3. 3 on page 67 illustrate the influence of the Roman Empire in relation to road construction and transportation and the similarities of those early systems with modern day Europe. A great deal of events has occurred between the time periods of the two maps. The first major road system was established by the Roman Empire from 300 BC and onwards, mainly for economic, military, and administrative reasons.
The road system relied on solid road engineering methods, including the laying of foundations and the construction of bridges. This was also linked with the establishment of pan-continental trading routes like the Silk Road that linked Europe and Asia by 100 BC. After the fall of the Roman Empire after the 5 th century, integrated road transportation fell out of favor as most roads were locally constructed and maintained. Due to the lack of maintenance of many road segments, land transport became a very dangerous activity.
It wasn't until the creation of modern nation-states in the 17 th century that national road transportation systems were formally established. Through central government efforts the French built their Royal Roads system spanning 24, 000 km, over which a public transport service of stage-coaches carrying passengers and mail was created. The British built a 32, 000 km system of turnpikes where tolls have to be paid for the use of a road. It was mostly a private sector effort.
1794 introduced the beginning of modern road transportation with the first mail coach service between London and Bristol, operating under a timetable. Also of historical importance were the technological innovations in road engineering that permitted the construction of reliable and low cost hard surface roads. One such achievement came from the Scottish engineer Macadam who developed a process where hard and waterproof road surfaces were made by cemented crushed stone, bound together either with water or with bitumen. It provided a cheaper, durable, smooth and non-slippery pavement, which considerably improved the reliability and the travel speed on roads. This was a major technological advance that contributed to roads being used year round. Part II While the road routes of the Roman Empire are similar to the routes of modern day controlled access highway routes, much has changed.
Modern highways have branched out into parts of Russia, Poland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Turkey, and Northern Africa. The roads on map (a) symbolize the extent of Roman political and imperial power at the time while map (b) is more representative of modern day political boundaries within the European Union. Sources Braunfels, Wolfgang. Urban Design in Western Europe: Regime and Architecture, 900-1900.
Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press and the University Chicago Press, Ltd. , London, 1988. McKay, John P. Tramways and Trolleys: The rise of Urban Mass Transport in Europe. New Jersey: Princeton, 1976.
The Roman Empire in the First Century. Margaret K oval, Producer and Director. DVD. PBS DVD Video, 2001 Tung, Anthony M. Preserving the Worlds Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis. New York: Clarkston Potter, 2001..