In the nineteenth century the United States had transformed from a largely rural, agricultural society to an urban, industrial one, this change was driven by the emergence of the corporate business model. Some factors that created and environment that the corporate industry could thrive in was; labor surplus, favorable legal climate, and social Darwinism. These things are what drove the growth of big business in America in the nineteenth century. The constant growth in each of these topics are important to the growth and where we stand today in big businesses, people like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J Pierpont Morgan have been some influences in the transformation.
One of the first factors that I listed that has helped transform the United States was, labor surplus. The definition of labor surplus is, the means of labor performed in excess of the labor necessary to produce, that the people are in the need of more jobs, the “overflow” the means of livelihood of the worker. The ‘surplus’ in this context means the additional labor a worker has to do in his/her job, beyond earning his own keep, this meaning that the people are doing more of what is needed in order to keep the job and from the next/following person in line receiving it. John D. Rockefeller was the co-founder of the standard oil company, this was a creation of more jobs that people were allowed to receive and allowing to have a full staff. The creation of this oil company brought many competitors, and this was allowing for the growth of big business, this allowed the drive for people to crate things similar and this led to the grow of more jobs, meaning that the labor surplus was up; overflow of the amount of people wanting job, “too many”.
Secondary to the effect of the growth in big business world was favorable legal climate, the continued the following about the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1890. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, “it declared that corporate efforts to monopolize industries and thereby “restrain” competition were illegal” (Tindall & Shi, 634). This mean that it was too maintain a free competition in business and made it a crime to monopolize any part of a trade. Within the growth of big businesses this had the effect of companies coming up with their own ideas and not taking other but also restricting the trade with other companies which was no fair for other in their business growth. The trust was the ability to maintain the company’s money and in the way the act was created in order for shares. Another act that was created was the “Sugar Trust Case” this allowed the United States say that they limited the government’s power to control monopiles.
Lastly is the concept of Social Darwinism, this means that all humans have the want and need to clime the basic of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, natural selection, and social class. Within the constraints of climbing into a big business in the need to be at the top and not only being at the top but having something in a business that cannot be recreated by another business. “Social Darwinism implied the need for hands-off, laissez-fair government polices”, this means that they did not want that the government to have a majority of control (Tindall & Shi, 711). Social Darwinism also meant the Survival of the fittest allowing for the people to climb to the top, this allowed the growth of the big business growth. To me the Growth of Social Darwinism is the most important in the growth, because if you don’t have the drive to be at the top or be there best then there is not going to be the competition for a big business world.
In the end we have looked at some major factors that have helped that United States emerge into the growing of a big business, along with some major people that have influenced the way the world is today and how much we have grown. I still believe in the end that all these factors are not the end of the growth of “big businesses”, I believe that no matter what the year is we will continue to grow in the side of big business. There will never be a stop in the world and people being content, there will always be a competition in the business world. Each topic brought forth the real meaning of the growth of the United States of the big business world and where it was heading to end up where we are today. Slowly over time the United States has turned from a largely rural, agricultural society to an urban, industrial one.
- Shi, David E. Tindall, George Brown. America: a narrative history / David Emory Shi, George Brown Tindall. Tenth edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016