During the Second Industrial Revolution, advances in technology helped many businesses grow. Some companies grew to be so large that they began to dominate industries. Men such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and Leland Stanford helped make America the world’s greatest country in industrial power and were considered “Captains of Industry.” A “Captain of Industry” is defined as a business leader that benefits the nation in some way.
Andrew Carnegie was a “Captain of Industry” because he started out as an immigrant and worked his way up to the top with his abilities. He helped build the American steel industry which succeeded largely through vertical integration, or the ownership of businesses involved in each step of a manufacturing process. Later in life, he sold his company and gave his fortune away to many public organizations, as well as created many libraries. John D. Rockefeller was also a very successful businessman. He was the guiding force behind the development of the Standard Oil Company, which grew to dominate the oil industry. His company developed horizontal integration, or the owning all businesses in a certain field. He helped guide America into periods of economic prosper and stability. Rockefeller gave over $500 million in aid of medical research, universities and churches. Leland Stanford was the president of the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroad and created thousands of miles of tracks throughout the West. He devoted his life to charity work and founded Stanford University in 1884.
The men mentioned above worked hard to get where they got. They didn’t keep all the money they had earned from their business, but instead gave back to their country. These men were ingenious, industrious leaders who transformed the American economy with their talented skills. They should be praised for their skills as well as for their philanthropy, or charity.