Download American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 by H. W. Brands PDF

By H. W. Brands

In a grand-scale narrative background, the bestselling writer of 2 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize now captures the many years whilst capitalism was once at its so much unbridled and some breathtakingly prosperous businessmen totally reworked the USA from an agrarian economic system to an international energy.

The years among the Civil conflict and the top of the 19th century observed the wholesale transformation of the USA from a land of small farmers and small businessmen into an business vast. pushed through unfathomably filthy rich and robust businessmen like J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, armies of employees, either female and male, have been harnessed to a brand new imaginative and prescient of big undefined. A society rooted within the soil grew to become one dependent in towns, and legions of immigrants have been attracted to American beaches. What’s extra, in achieving its revolution, capitalism threatened to eclipse American democracy. “What do I care concerning the law?” bellowed Cornelius Vanderbilt. “Hain’t I acquired the power?” He did, and with it he and the opposite capitalists reshaped each element of yankee existence. In American Colossus, H.W. manufacturers portrays the emergence, in a remarkably little while, of a recognizably smooth the USA.

The capitalist revolution left no longer a unmarried region or point of yank lifestyles untouched. It roared around the South, wrenching that quarter from its feudal earlier and integrating the southern economic system into the nationwide one. It burst over the West, dictating the destruction of local American economies and peoples, using the exploitation of normal assets, and making the frontier of payment a enterprise frontier besides. It crashed around the city panorama of the East and North, turning towns into engines of wealth and poverty, opulence and squalor. It swamped the politics of an prior period, taking pictures one significant celebration and half the opposite, inspiring the construction of a 3rd social gathering and picking the problems over which all 3 waged a few of the bitterest battles in American heritage.

Brands’s spellbinding narrative superbly depicts the oil gushers of western Pennsylvania, the increase, in Chicago, of the 1st skyscraper, the exploration of the Colorado River, the livestock drives of the West, and the early passionate sparks of union lifestyles. through 1900 the the United States he portrays is wealthier than ever, but prosperity is precarious, inequality rampant, and democracy stretched skinny. American Colossus is an unforgettable portrait of the years while the competition among capitalism and democracy was once at its sharpest, and capitalism triumphed.

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Additional resources for American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900

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Laissez faire is the embodiment of negativism, while socialism, in converting all people into government employees, is 100 percent positive. The more a former liberal completes his defection from liberalism and approaches socialism, the more “positive” does he become. It is hardly necessary to stress that this is all nonsense. Whether an idea is enunciated in an affirmative or in a negative proposition depends entirely on the form which the author chooses to give it. The “negative” proposition, I am against censorship, is identical with the “positive” proposition, I am in favor of everybody’s right to publicize his opinions.

Foreign, mostly British, capital built railroads and factories. The natives looked askance not only upon the activities of the alien capitalists but no less upon those of their countrymen who cooperated in the capitalist ventures. Today the situation is this: Thanks to new methods of therapeutics, developed by the capitalist nations and imported to India by the British, the average length of life has been prolonged and the population is rapidly increasing. As the foreign capitalists have either already been virtually expropriated or have to face expropriation in the near future, there can no longer be any question of new investment of foreign capital.

But these backward nations were amply benefited by the investment of capital provided by the capitalists of the advanced nations. Foreign capital built their railroads and factories and developed their natural resources. indd 26 5/12/08 3:05:00 PM capital supply and american prosperity 27 The spectacle that the world offers today is very different. As it was forty years ago, the world is divided into two camps. There is, on the one hand, the capitalist orbit, considerably shrunk when compared with its size in 1914.

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