The rise of big business
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The Rise of Big Business. Henry Bessemer. 1850’s – Henry Bessemer creates the Bessemer Process – allowed manufacturers to make steel much quicker and more efficiently This allowed for faster expansion of railroads & more construction of buildings. Andrew Carnegie.

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The Rise of Big Business

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The rise of big business

The Rise of Big Business


Henry bessemer

Henry Bessemer

  • 1850’s – Henry Bessemer creates the Bessemer Process – allowed manufacturers to make steel much quicker and more efficiently

  • This allowed for faster expansion of railroads & more construction of buildings


Andrew carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

  • Andrew Carnegie – he and his company dominated the steel industry *Video 203*

  • Used a philosophy known as vertical integration – owns not only the company that produces goods, but also the companies that provide the materials needed


Carnegie s gospel of wealth

Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth

  • Carnegie owned the steel mills, the iron ore and coal mines, and the railroads/ships that transported the coal and iron

  • Through this, Carnegie created a monopoly – exclusive control over the supply of a particular product without competition

  • Despite being a powerful businessman, Carnegie donated much of his wealth to the public causes

    • Gospel of Wealth – believed that it was the responsibility of the wealthy to make sure their money was put to good use helping others


Edwin l drake

Edwin L. Drake

  • 1859 – Edwin L. Drake – conductor of a New Haven railroad

  • Successfully drilled for oil in western Pennsylvania


John d rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller

  • John D. Rockefeller – became one of the nation’s richest and most powerful businessmen

  • He created a company, Standard Oil which became the nation’s first trust

    • Trust – a business arrangement under which a number of companies unite into one system

  • Allowed Rockefeller to dictate prices, eliminate competition, and control the oil industry


Cornelius vanderbilt

Cornelius Vanderbilt

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt – in 1869 he extended a railroad from New York to Chicago

  • Revolutionized the railroad industry to move faster and easier for passengers


J p morgan

J.P. Morgan

  • As US business grew, there came the birth of the finance capitalist – bankers who handled stocks and bonds of businesses

  • J.P. Morgan – most powerful and influential finance capitalist

  • 1913 – worth over 22 billion

  • Became so rich he eventually purchased Carnegie’s steel company and renamed it US Steel

    *video 204*


George westinghouse

George Westinghouse

  • George Westinghouse – made a significant impact in the field of electricity

  • Founder of Westinghouse Electric Company – used a transformer that enabled electricity to be transmitted further distances


The idea of social darwinism

The Idea of Social Darwinism

  • Mid-1800’s – Herbert Spencer – political theorist introduced the idea of Social Darwinism

    • Belief that life is a battle and it is “survival of the fittest.”

  • This idea was appealing to business leaders who placed their faith in laissez-faire capitalism – belief that the government should not interfere with the market or regulate business

    • They believed that only the strongest businesses would make it and letting them survive was of benefit to the consumer as well as the businessman


Social darwinism cartoon

Social Darwinism Cartoon


Horatio alger

Horatio Alger

  • People in society had great respect for these businessmen

  • People began to believe that anyone could make it and “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”

  • Horatio Alger – his children books expressed characters who left poverty for success through hard work and diligence versus inherited social status

  • Most famous of these stories – Ragged Dick


The gilded age

The Gilded Age

  • Not everyone however felt that this rise of Big Business was as great as it appeared

  • Many felt that the wealthy continued to get rich at the expense of the working class

  • Mark Twain – famous author who coined the phrase known as the Gilded Age

    • Period between 1877 and early 1900’s – comes from the idea that a thin layer of wealth was covering the overwhelming amounts of poverty


Mark twain picture

Mark Twain Picture


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