In this lesson, our instructor Elizabeth Turro gives an introduction on the rise of the industrial U.S. She talks about the age of steel, Andrew Carnegie, two Carnegeian influential ideologies, the railroad business, the map of railroad development, corporate consolidation, corporations, Cornelius Vanderbilt and the modern colossus of roads by Joseph Keppler in Puck in 1879. She also explains the Great Strike of 1877, John D. Rockefeller, the vertical and horizontal integration, Gustavus Swift and Philip Armour's meatpacking, other businesses and Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. The other key points are Laissez-Faire, the gilded age, Robber Barons and how the history repeats itself.
Early factories produced consumer goods and then gradually, capital goods began to drive America’s industrial economy during this “Age of Steel”
Steel making was revolutionized: the Bessemer process (Henry Bessemer)--the process of refining raw pig iron & making steel
Andrew Carnegie was the first American to fully exploit Bessemer’s invention by erecting a steel mill outside Pittsburgh, PA
RR construction increased and gov also helped underwrite the cost of RR construction although it was primarily paid by free enterprise; corporations with limited liability gave RRs a boost as well
Investment banks (J.P. Morgan & Co & Kuhn Loeb & Co.) helped forge better rates via interlocking directorates (when the same directors ran competing companies) & used monopolistic practices
The big business model used by the RR companies spread to other industries: corporate consolidation. Some businesses used vertical and horizontal integration.
John D. Rockefeller used vertical and horizontal integration to control the oil business with Standard Oil.
Labor strikes, anti-trust laws, and the Supreme Court began to challenge monopolies: the Great Strike of 1877, the Sherman Antitrust Act, etc... but the federal government tended to advocate for laissez-faire policies
Critics of greedy capitalists and cut throat competition named the era the “Gilded Age” and called the businessmen “robber barons”
The Rise of the Industrial U.S.
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.