How Did Cornelius Vanderbilt Contribute To The American Dream

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Cornelius Vanderbilt was the richest man in 19th century America because he was a brilliant visionary and a cunning and ruthless businessman, which led to his dominance among his fellow entrepreneurs. Vanderbilt was the best. Whatever he did, he conquered, with ruthless aggression. He supported the idea of the American Dream through his childhood, his work ethic, and the empire he created. His ability to see a business and predict its outcome was uncanny. Vanderbilt’s childhood was a poor but he learned how to survive. “Vanderbilt grew up on Staten Island the son of ambitious farmers who were determined to profit from the commercial bounty being frantically pursued in the booming city across the bay” (Kazin 1). His parent’s hard work inspired …show more content…

He used his boat to ferry passengers and goods between Staten Island and Manhattan… Selling his ferry business, Vanderbilt went to work for Thomas Gibbons in 1817, running a steam ship line between New York and New Jersey. Over 12 years, Vanderbilt became an expert in the operation and design of steam ships. He 1829, he resigned to launch his own business… He sold his interest in steamers and turned to Wall Street, the financial heart of the nation in New York. In a short period of time, he quietly bought up a number of railroads to form the New York Central and Hudson River line, one of the largest businesses America had ever seen. …show more content…

He understood that nothing in life was free so he bargained with his mother for $100 to buy a boat. With that boat he worked hard transporting cargo and people back and forth. When steamships came into the picture he saw the genius in the invention and had to get involved. Working with steamships he learned about them. He learned how they worked, but more importantly, how to make them better. So he started his own steamship company. “Vanderbilt often challenged other owners to races, piloting boats of his own design with ferocious cunning, if not always to victory” (1). A gambling man, he was always ready to take a bet because he always believed that his boats were better, but not just his boats, also he believed that he himself was better than every other captain, owner, or anybody that had anything to do with steamships. So when he learned of the new trains that were cutting down cross-country travel by weeks the gambler in him sold his steamship company, bought up a bunch of train lines and made them the fastest and became the king of the railroads almost by brute

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