Comparison Of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals And The Making Of Modern America

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Railroads are interesting; their birth, purpose, and large effects on life in America. Richard White and Robert Wiebe wrote books about society transformations during the late 19th century and early 20th century. A common factor, brought up by both authors, included the railroad. Trains, not planes or automobiles, had a dramatic influence on American business, historic corruption, and government finance. Moving through the late 19th century, White and Wiebe share details of economic movements made my corporations and specific people. Whether good or bad, these moves shaped America moving in to the 20th century. First, Robert Wiebe shares his search for order between 1877 and 1920. He jumps into a new form of financial leadership, which he calls finance capitalism. The country was finally at a place of financial freedom with a surplus. According to the author, “the right to allocate these resources fell to a few men whose companies were so established that their chief executives could operate with practically no internal restraints” (Wiebe 25). Wiebe and White both agree the funds were put in the hands of men that did not know what to do with it. Poor investments were chosen over deliberating a plan of action of opportunities that…show more content…
Like Wiebe, White focuses on finance capitalism. He claims this was the “central engine of corporate growth and expansion in late nineteenth-century America. It was not “capital” that build the railroads but credit, and the capital was ultimately at risk and the railroads did not belong to the men who controlled them” (White). The economic failure tied to the railroad is explained in great detail throughout the book. However, one may think that a giant railroad system would be at the hands of many, but it was not. The railroad system was brought together by a few men, which White highlights in his

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