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1900-1930

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Throughout centuries, we as a society have come to realize American history’s pros and cons. It has been both optimistic and unconstructive, throughout the late 18th century through the end of WWII. Politicians and business leaders showed us how our societies have eventually come together in the creation of modern society. It has been an extensive and tough struggle from the 1870’s horizontal and vertical integration to the 1930s great depression and the ending of World War II. In this essay I will discuss how the government and big businesses impacted and intertwined with one other in the growth of modern society.

In the early 1870s, people were eager to expand and control their society. It was around this time, which also showed us consumerism at its best. It was the start of the big business boom, which included different methods and parts, some even involving corrupt politicians in order to gain control. A man by the name of Andrew Carnegie led this era of the industrial society. Carnegie was ambitious and hard working which showed people that anyone could do it. He would work a low paying job and take classes at night like most of us citizens do today. Carnegie would just grow in the corporate world and gain knowledge by getting promoted in Pennsylvania Railroads. After years of developing his skills, he decided to build his own steel mill. He introduced us to vertical Integration, meaning purchasing all the products, which are needed. Carnegie would buy the mountain, create a melting device, hire cheap labor and initially create a factory. This form of integrated goods made the process a lot cheaper. Carnegie was in the steel production integration scene, which was used to create the railroads. (Boyer, P. 369). These railroads helped create a form of transportation for local businesses to transport goods. In “The Enduring Vision”, the author explains by the 1900s, 193,000 miles of railroad track crisscrossed the United States. (Boyer, 369) Connecting every state in the union opening an internal market. This illustrates the relationship between railroad expansion and corporate America. It also was a start for John Rockefeller, a local oilman who believed in vertical integration and also created horizontal integration. Horizontal integration was a form of control, which meant buying out your competitor legally or illegally. His method was very similar to Carnegie’s: cost cutting and efficiency. Rockefeller would use aggression and dishonesty to force out competitors. He would sell below cost to repress rivals, and when they tried to go against him, he would set up agreements with bigger benefits for him. Boyer explains in “The Enduring Vision”, Rockefeller integrated the oil industry both vertically, by controlling every function from production to local retailing, and horizontally, by merging companies into a giant system with stockholders involved. (Boyer, P.371) This was the start to creating new forms of corporate organization. This is where politicians come in and try to find a mean to this industry by lending a hand. This was a form of “quid pro quo”, which stood for, you help me I help you. It was a way for senators to buy their way into the senate. Politicians raised taxes in order to help Rockefeller sell and make other businessmen go out of business. I believe this was very similar to today Microsoft and Apple situation, which is a form of monopoly. This did help get business practices more and more involved within the political world.

Moreover, there was a time when politicians and the government had a hand in how businesses were ran, and how it impacted society. The United States had a barrier in the way of economic development. The industries were rapidly growing and a lot of companies were struggling, basically due to lack of capital. The banks needed to support various businesses which were having difficulty staying alive. It was very difficult for banks due to federal policies to open. To finance the larger-scale businesses required during this industrial era, the Stockholder Corporation emerged as the dominant form of business organization. Companies expanded by combining into trusts, and by creating single firms out of competing firms, known as monopolies. There were also federal policies that were designed to aid the northern industries. This made it harder for southern industries to expand, which was caused by federal tariffs. This caused the south to pay more for important machines that needed to expand their industries, lands and crops. They needed to do something to gain capital like the north was doing with control of finance and low rates. The south used tax immunity for new northern businesses coming to the south. They also set up industrial and agricultural trade fair, and leased prison inmates for cheap labor. This attracted railroad companies to build railroads and start doing business with the north. The government was helping

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