History Of Monopolies: The Trailblazers Of America

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Monopolies: The Trailblazers of America The second industrial revolution, spanning from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, was distinguished by rapid industrialization, economic upheaval, and the development of large monopolies. Small groups had total control of these monopolies and varied from many industries, the most well-known being oil, steel, and railroads. Although these monopolies had their faults, they have left a legacy on the American nation that has influenced almost every aspect of the United States today. These benefits include the growth of infrastructure on a national scale, the advancement of technology and innovation, and the cultivation of new business practices. The massive wealth of these monopolies permitted funding for …show more content…

Through vertical integration, Carnegie Steel gained control of the steel industry and controlled 70% of it at its peak (Beattie Para. 11). Through these profits, Carnegie Steel invested heavily in research and development. Before Carnegie revolutionized the steel industry, steel was still a metal not made in bulk. Author Tony Williams demonstrates this by saying, “Before the 1850s, steel could be made only in small batches and was so expensive that it was limited to specialized applications like sword blades and precision tools, despite being much more versatile and stronger than wrought iron” ( para. 14). The Carnegie Steel Company transformed the nation’s perception of steel from a costly, specialized metal to a part of everyday life, and something that could create architectural masterpieces. Not only did the Carnegie Steel Company construct methods of producing steel in bulk, but they also created advanced methods for making steel that allowed the construction of projects such as bridges and …show more content…

The monopolies of the gilded age were some of the first to focus on efficiency and standardization and managing time to create more profits. The sheer size of these companies forced them to use large quantities of material to supply goods to a vast amount of consumers, which meant they needed more workers and infrastructure to meet demand. The rising amount of workers led business owners to innovate new ideas regarding time efficiency and employee morale. These companies started experimenting with Taylorism or dividing specific tasks among workers to complete duties as efficiently as possible. By doing this, companies could raise production without raising costs. Harvard.edu states, “(Andrew Carnegie) revolutionized steel-making through vertical integration, constant innovation, and scale to fuel American industrialization” (para 1). These monopolies also pioneered the idea of vertical integration, or controlling every aspect of the industry from production to distribution. By doing this, monopolies could cut out intermediaries and control the entire supply chain. These innovative business ideas also allowed these companies to create economies of scale, a concept that businesses today strive to accomplish. These companies were creating goods they could sell for low costs, increasing their total production and quantity sold. This era was also

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