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47 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Bessemer process
1850’s discovery that made production of steel possible on a much larger scale—price dropped by ½ in next 20 years, more durable and longer lasting than iron.
Thomas Edison
Started an “investment factory” later Edison Electric Light Company, won backing of banks to organize a central electric power station to power homes and cities. 3000 by1898
George Eastman
1888-Kodak camera affordable at $25 and $10 for processing and returning 100 developed pictures and a new cartridge. Practical use appealed to the consumer—making a business out of useful things that consumers want now driving force.
1861-76,000 miles, 1900-million miles and 63 million messages/year. Used Morse code to transmit messages quickly across any distance. Connected businesses, cities, and nations by wire, railroads allowed lines next to them for free service. Businesses could react to news happening that day, fast exchange of information.
Samuel F.B. Morse*
Sent first message in Morse code in 1844,
Alexander Graham Bell*
Scottish immigrant working with the deaf who experimented with sending voice electronically and got a patent on the telephone.
Made communication direct and personal, no need for a middle-man. Made being in different locations less of an issue, made its way into homes and tied the country tighter.
Finance capital
Industries now had huge start up costs—due to labor, construction, etc—and the money came from people or companies that had begun to save money to invest in industry.
Robber barons
Businessmen who were ingenuous, skillful, and ruthless enough to be enormously successful.
Corporation rights
Make money fast by selling shares of company (stocks), outlive owner/stockholders no legal reorganization upon death, limited liability of owners b/c assets protected from corporation’s debt, owners could employ management so didn’t have to manage day to day.
International labor pool
Necessary to supply labor in factories, transport systems, and construction. 4.3 million 1860, 20 million workers 1900. Fueled by push pressures of Europe including seasonal migration, oppressive governments, or bad times, and pull pressures from the US including promise, family ties, work. Foreign sources: Europe, Asia, South America. American farm families also migrated to cities for money or a change.
Railroad time
Each station set clocks differently by the sun so each had a different time. In 1883, Railroad companies divided nation into 4 time zones each 1 hour apart to make time more uniform, made official by Congress 1916.
Managerial revolution
More workers and markets required more comprehensive management—tree branch format where there was a central office responsible for big decisions to which middle managers and local superintendents (local level) answered.
Informal agreements between railroads in the same regions to synchronize the prices and split the earnings—failed because not backed by law and some cheated in hopes of quick gains.
Banks acting as receivers oversaw businesses during hard times (until the original owner could buy it back) and often merged the businesses they received into one—consolidating and often gaining control of them. Helped to stabilize rates, eliminate rebates, reduce competition, and impose order by consolidating small lines.
John D. Rockefeller
Standard Oil Company across the country was an empire of oil refineries that his company controlled to produce a standard quality of oil that consumers could depend on, used railroads to ship-sometimes at a discounted price.
Standard Oil Co.
Horizontal integration
Strategy used by Rockefeller to control his company’s territory: buy up all competitors to eliminate competition so yours is the only company offering a product. Also a joining of companies that would otherwise drive each other into bankruptcy vying for consumers-band together and make joint decisions.
Vertical integration
Swift’s strategy to protect his company’s assets and control everything from production to market: Buy the source of materials, transport of raw materials, factories, machinery, packaging, and shipping/marketing finished goods to keep costs manageable. Moved producers towards sources and marketplace.
Gustavus Swift
Bought refrigerated rail cars to ship meat to the East where beef was in demand, then ice cooled warehouses to store it, then wagons to distribute to sellers from warehouses, then buying the cattle from stockyards. Swift and Company in 1885, example of vertical integration that allowed him, and 4 other of the “Big Five” in meatpacking to control the meat industry of the country.
Andrew Carnegie
Shares in key industries including railroads and iron factories gave young Carnegie the capital to build his own steel mill after seeing the Bessemer process in action. Took advantage of Boom and Bust cycles by building and buying at low prices and selling high, hired skilled managers, bought up competition, bought supplies and sales, provided steel for railroads and cities. Personal profits 40 million by 1900, expanded steel production ten-fold in ten years, lowered the price of steel, often took personal hits to undersell and destroy competition.
Company took shareholder’s management title in return for a certificate that paid back dividends so that the management was centralized and more powerful. The trust could make decisions but did not own the company so it was legal.
J. Pierpont Morgan
Disliked competition, during the steel war in 1901 he asked Carnegie to name his price ($500,000) then bought 8 other competitors along with Mesabi iron range, 1000 miles of railways, and 200 other manufacturing/transportation companies to form the U.S. Steel Corporation-the first billion dollar company (in the US) at 1.4 billion.
U.S. Steel
See above.
During depressions and other times, companies bought out others ready to sell out and formed giant corporations that owned/produced 60% or more of one industry. Decreased competition, created near monopolies.
Gospel of Wealth
Wealthy people often felt guilty about their large bank accounts so they turned to philanthropy and donated/endowed foundations/universities etc with millions to help the poor where they ‘could not help themselves”
Social Darwinism
Justification for stratification/competition in business. Going along with Darwin’s theory of natural selection, people said that millionaires were picked by natural selection and the poor weren’t fit enough to survive. (William Graham Sumner)
William Graham Sumner’s “The Forgotten Man” & “What the Social Classes Owe Each Other”
Henry George’s Progress & Poverty 1879
Against large landowners as source of inequality b/c they bought low and sold high, said that one heavy tax on non-earned profits (i.e. from the selling of land) and none on everything else would discourage monopolies.
Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward 1888
Describes a utopian America in year 2000 where a government trust controls business, fraternal feelings and abundance make everybody equals with same pay and resources. Inspired host clubs and calls for redistribution of wealth.
Sherman Antitrust Act 1890
Acted on popular call for action against trusts so outlawed “every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce.” It restricted interstate commerce of trust corps. to regulate the economy. Property valued much too highly for the law to really break a trust until after turn of century.
Frederick Taylor made labor more efficient by watching and analyzing how a task could be done faster or better and ‘prescribed routines from which workers could not vary.’ Not personal, mechanical, took freedom out of work.
National Labor Union
Arose right after the Civil War, comprised of 600,000 people in craft unions, brotherhoods, and individual reformers who wanted 8-hour workdays, decent wages, and more control over their factories. Fell apart with the depression of 1873.
Knights of Labor
More successful than NLU, but waned in 1890. Began in secrecy to evade angry owners, became union of every worker-skilled/unskilled, regardless of race/gender-and grew to 700,000. Moral outlook called for renunciation of alcohol, greed, laziness, dishonesty, and child/convict labor. Also stood for 8 hour work day and worker-run factories. Gained a reputation for sometimes-violent strikes even though Powderly disapproved.
American Federation of Labor (AFL)
Organized by practical Gompers-wanted a simple union where wages were high enough to support living, conditions safe, hours reasonable, and improved benefits. Included only higher skilled craftsmen/workers because they were more difficult to replace and bargained with employers to accept terms. Most successful included 1 million by 1900.
Samuel Gompers
Practical person, son of a Jewish immigrant, not a radical but for decent living conditions for workers. Started organizing in cigar industry then combined 25 other union-like groups to form the AFL.
Molly Maguires
Pennsylvania miners copied an Irish band and practiced violence/murder/arson to accomplish their goals of dealing with bad working conditions. 20 were brought to trial and executed for 16 murders-Americans believed that this was right to do, but violence, especially in Irish world, was a sticking tradition.
Great Railway Strike of 1877
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad cut wages 20% and people in w. Virginia seized the local railroad in strike-2/3 of the nation’s railroads joined out of sympathy. Federal troops had to stop the strike taking 12 days and 100 deaths. Kindled thoughts of civil war between laborers and owners.
Haymarket Square Riot 1886
During the “Great Upheaval” of strikes and boycotts, anarchists and others protested deaths by police at another strike, police ordered them out of the square, somebody threw a bomb and the police, then crowd opened fire. 70+ were wounded and 4 civvies died.
Homestead Strike 1892
Strike at the Carnegie steel factory in Homestead, Pennsylvania.
Pullman Strike 1894
After a year of depression, Pullman laid off workers, cut wages, and kept rents on company housing high. He would not entertain hearing grievances and his workers went on strike which spread via ARU (American Railway Union) to 27 states. Grover Cleveland got a court order and had hundreds of deputies go to Chicago to squash the riots (took 12 days). Debbs, head of ARU, jailed because the strike violated an injunction held by Pullman’s company.
Ludlow Massacre 1914*
Mining strike where federal troops came in to squash the riot. Rockefeller owned stock in the company and was called into Congress-made answerable to the public-even though he was not closely related to the situation.
Yellow dog contracts
Set the terms for employment including making workers promise not to join unions upon receiving the job, or they could be fired.
Lists of names of workers known for being agitators.
Using blacklists or hearsay, employers refused to employ agitators.
Court orders that forbid workers to get involved with the employer’s business—rules out strikes, boycotts, and rallies to try to leverage with employer.
Refusal to transact with a body that stands against one’s ideals/goals as a protest and a force to make the body open to negotiation.