Andrew Carnegie, John Davison Rockefeller, and John Pierpont Morgan: Captains of Industry

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In the years following the Civil War, the American economy was suffering from extreme disorder. However, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, important leaders of American industry arose, essentially transforming the American financial system from chaos to efficiency. These powerful men shaped America into a world superpower and the country’s economy sparked jealous across the globe. Their contributions to business positively affected not only the United States’ economy, but society as well. Andrew Carnegie, John Davison Rockefeller, and John Pierpont Morgan reflect the mammoth industrial age of America. Although some may argue these industrialists were “robber barons,” these men were, in reality, “captains of industry” utilizing modern business practices and technology which provided both cheap products and job opportunities for the public, as well as becoming large-scale philanthropists and contributing much to American society.

Carnegie became the head of the steel industry by founding the Carnegie steel company in the 1870s. He employed the use of new technology which modernized his business strategies. The use of modern technology such as the Bessemer-process among other inventions led to increased productivity, and, in turn, cheaper goods for the American public. These innovations also led to an efficient mass production of steel for railroads, positively influencing transportation as well as westward expansion. Furthermore, the speed at which the production of steel allowed for the construction of railroads instituted infrastructure necessary for the future. Carnegie’s steel industry was clearly technologically ahead of the competition of his time.

Rockefeller sparked efficiency in the oil industry as he created the...

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...y people today.

Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan were clearly “captains of industry”. Carnegie took advantage of the modern technology available at the time to positively affect the steel industry. Rockefeller spread order throughout the oil industry and led to the development of new products as well as a decrease in the cost of oil. Morgan saved the country from financial disaster on two occasions, as well as brought stability to the nation’s economy. The job market now held various opportunities for immigrants, which constituted the majority of the work force. These great men were also philanthropists, essentially separating them from “robber barons”. All in all, they encouraged the growth of the American economy into one of the strongest in the world.

Works Cited

Hakim, Joy. As History of US: An Age of Extremes. New York: Oxford University Press. Print.

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