Business Leaders of the Industrial Age (1870-1890)

Business Leaders of the Industrial Age (1870-1890)


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The rise of industry in the United States caused the growth of competition between companies manufacturing the same products. By the 1870s, competition had reduced many industries to a few major corporations. One of the business leaders leading these corporations was Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie was a Scottish immigrant, and began working at the young age of 12 in a textile factory. From there he worked his way up until he became a railroad supervisor. Using the business skills he gained from his experience, he began buying stocks and was making up to $50,000 a year. He quit his job at the age of 30 to focus on his own business investments. This was probably one of the best decisions of Carnegie’s life, for he built his own steel company using new production techniques and vertical integration. This means that instead of buying raw material, he bought places that raw materials could be collected from. Vertical integration saved money and helped expand industry in the United States.

Another business technique used was horizontal integration, or when one company grows by buying up its competitors. John D. Rockefeller. Instead of drilling for oil like many other entrepreneurs at the time, Rockefeller decided to build oil refineries instead. His company, Standard Oil, controlled 90% of the oil-refining industry by 1880, making his company a monopoly.


I believe the actions of these men were extremely important to the growth of industry in America, making it what it is today. The invention of new business techniques allowed for faster growth as well. The only issue I have with the massive increase of industry in America caused by these men is the ecological damage created by burning fossil fuels.