Captains of Industry and How They Shaped America

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The entrepreneurs of the 19th century were Captains of Industry because they did many things to help shape and change America. They were great business men who used their great wealth and success to succeed.

In the early 1800s when the American Industrial Revolution was starting to improve there was a group men who were leaders of their industries and businesses. These men provided many jobs for the public and employed millions of people. Each of these men had their own industries that helped to provide jobs and industrialize America. Cornelius Vanderbilt played a huge role in the railroad industry. This was one of the new and more efficient ways to transport goods in the late 1800s. Cornelius was an intelligent man who knew when and what was good to invest in. He started buying railroads in 1863 and changed how transportation was used for American people. He helped to make transportation more productive and created New York Central Station. Which was the busiest train station in the United States and still known today to be a very famous train terminal in the 1900s. Railroads and the steel industry were businesses that provided many jobs.

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These men were very clever and took advantage of what they saw might succeed and made it something huge. They wanted to make as much money as they possibly could. They didn’t do this just for themselves, they also used their wealth to benefit the rest of the nation. Carnegie believed that people should be able to make as much money as they can but when they are done they should give it away. He established the New York Library, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He also donated enough money for about 3,000 public libraries. He was worth about $475 million but had given away about $350 million by the time of his death. John D Rockefeller also donated money to charitable causes that added up to be about 500 million dollars.

They started monopolies and were able to take over competition through merging and buying out companies which caused their industries to expand quickly. By building factories, increasing productivity, and expanding markets, the availability of goods increased. Many new inventions were introduced to America by these men such as kerosene which was first used to light homes. Nikola Tesla invented the first alternating current motor using AC electricity, when electricity flows in one direction and comes back in the other direction at a higher voltage. Soon after George Westinghouse who began the first AC power system decided to ask Tesla to join him Tesla agreed. Their competitor Thomas Edison was angry when he found out about this because he was trying to get people to use direct current electricity which he established. Which is electricity that only flows in one direction. To get rid of competition Edison created the electric chair and had it used on a prisoner to prove that AC electricity was dangerous. After a while people stared to realize that DC electricity is a lot safer, and began to use it in homes. This worked and we still uses it in our homes today. Although AC electricity isn’t used for exactly what it was supposed to be but we still use it in things such as batteries. These men are captains of industry, they have helped America and are economy so much and changed how America is today. Without them we wouldn’t have electricity, transportation and many everyday things we think are necessary to live with.

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