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History 152 - Lecture 2

History 152 - Lecture 2 - History 152 Lecture Two Stealing...

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History 152 Lecture Two: Stealing from the Robber Barons: Capitalism and its Discontents I. Expansion of corporate America A. Abundant sources of raw materials and energy B. Cheap labor C. Growth of Railroads II. Railroads A. 1869 Tracks of Union Pacific and Central Pacific came together in Promontory Utah, linking new markets in East and West B. Between 1870 and 1880 amount of track doubled, and nearly doubled again in next decade C. By 1900 nation boasted 193,000 miles of track – More than Europe and Russia combined III. Jay Gould – knew little about railroads, and cared less about their operations A. Mania for speculation – before 25 years old, bought first RR - 62 miles long and sold it two years later for 130,000 profit. B. Looked for vulnerable RR, bought enough stock to take control and threatened to undercut his competitors until they bought him out at a high profit. C. The RR that fell into his hands fared badly and often went bankrupt – cared less about transportation, - genius and deviousness lay in buying and selling stock D. Created first empire business. Before Civil War largest textile mill in New England employed 800 workers. Pennsylvania RR boasted payroll of 55,000 workers
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