The Men Who Built America
Two hundred years ago the United States of America was not what it is today. After the original thirteen colonies gained freedom from the U.K. the country continued to grow and prosper; however, it wasn't until after the civil war, when the industrial revolution began, till America began its rise to becoming one of the top economies in the world. This was due to the abundance of businesses that we're started by America's elite. However, some of the people who contributed most to America's rise did not come from wealth.
Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest Americans of the 19th century, was not born with an abundance of money. He worked hard to build the empire he created. As a kid he worked with his father on a ferry that transported goods around New York. After working as a steamboat captain he invested in steamboats and cultivated one of the country's largest steamship operators. He was a fear and ...view middle of the document...
Rockefeller was also innovative and minimized costs by transporting crude oil through pipes rather than train. He, later, started to buy own failing refineries and started an empire. By the 1880s controlled about 90 percent of U.S. refineries and oil pipelines. He was attempting to gain a monopoly in the industry which would allow him to price kerosine at whatever price he wanted. Rockefeller was also a philanthropist and donated over $500 million to various causes, he was still able to die one of the wealthiest men of his time.
Andrew Carnegie also came from humble beginnings. However, like Rockefeller and Vanderbilt, he made a name for himself in American history. While working as superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad he invested in various industries, including iron and oil, and ended up making his first fortune in his early 30s. In the 1870s he entered the steel business and made himself a household name, and over two decades dominated the steel industry. In 1901 he sold Carnegie Steel Company to J.P. Morgan for $480 million and developed himself to charity. By the time of his deaf he had given away of $350 million to charity.
Unlike Carnegie J.P. Morgan did not come from humble beginnings, however, he did live under the constant scrutiny of his father which taught him his ways of business from the moment J.P. could speak. J.P. began as a powerful banker, he financed major corporations including General Electric. In the late 1950 Morgan started a banking firm named J.P. Morgan and company, a predecessor of JPMorgan Chase. Morgan helped finance Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb which brought him great success. Morgan also used his vast wealth to stabilize the American market. Morgan was a rare type of banker, a patron of the arts, and spent a vast amount of his wealth on a massive art collection.
Without the contribution of these great entrepreneurs America, and possibly the world, would not be what it is today. Their investments and aggressive behaviors have built America from the ashes it was after the civil war. Their success should be proof to any prospective entrepreneurs that no matter their background they can achieve astronomical heights and change the course of history.