The Impact Of Cornelius Vanderbilt's Influence On Society

Superior Essays
Cornelius Vanderbilt was an important contributor to his field because the majority of today’s businessmen follow his example and act in ways that he invented through his actions. In addition, Vanderbilt invested his fortune in railroads (Carey 351). Without railroads, today’s society would not only be vastly different, but it could also possibly be nonexistent. This is due to Vanderbilt’s railroads creating a societal dependency on themselves. The Commodore had always been skilled at seeing promise in fields that had promise as he was a great entrepreneur (Shultz 1). When he was young, Vanderbilt bought a sailboat and worked for a sailboat shipping company, from which he made a thousand dollars per year (“Cornelius Vanderbilt”). When he got …show more content…
In addition, the railroad and transportation industry was the most important industry of the time(“The Men Who Built America”). At the time, Vanderbilt’s investments completely changed society. In fact, every single one of his actions greatly impacted society. At the time, quickly transporting a product across the country was unheard of. It was not a possibility to be a farmer if one lived far from any markets. When Vanderbilt built his railroads, all of this became possible. By doing this, Vanderbilt demonstrated how to capitalize on situations. If a farmer lived far from any markets, he could still make a profit because he could take a train to a market. After selling goods at the market, the farmer could take a train back home. Thus, the new railroads opened up career opportunities for those who did not have them earlier (“The Men Who Built America”). These farmers who lived far from markets and relied on Vanderbilt’s railroads to transport and sell their goods were among the first to be dependent on railroads. After Vanderbilt’s railroads became more common, and more people started relying on them for everyday activities, such as going to work, society became increasingly more dependent on Vanderbilt, his railroads, and his industry as a whole. In fact, to strike a deal with people who owned railroads in New York City, Vanderbilt did not allow them to use the railroads that he owned, which led out of the city (“The Men Who Built America”). When Vanderbilt shut down his railroads, New York City’s dependency on the railroads was truly tested. Because of Vanderbilt’s closing of the railroads, the city suffered greatly(“The Men Who Built America”) . In fact, when he did close the railroads, he not only stopped needed materials from entering the city, but he also stopped exports

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