the economy 1890-1920


card 1-

why big businesses strived between 1890-1920?

the role of goverment-

  • high tarrifs protecting US goods from foreign competitors
  • goverment didnt get involved (not much regulation)
  • vertical integration (control all stages and processes in design, manufacture and distribution

migration of workers-

  • immigration
  • The Great Migration (cheap labour and plenty supply)

dynamic society-

  • encouraging financial risks

natural resources

  • iron
  • oil
  • coal


  • railroads (transcontential railroad)

card 2-

supreme court reaction to trusts- 

supreme courts ruled in 1895 that many forms of business combination did not constitute 'trusts' that restrained interstate trade, and therefore could not be prosecuted under federal law. the interstate Commerce Commission had been created however did not go far enough

card 3-

general publics reaction to trusts

many Americans  disliked the power of the trusts; they saw them as un-American because they meant smaller companies or new entrants into the market could not compete. Influential writers such as Henry George, Edward Bellamy and Henry Demaret Lloyd exposed corruption and unfair practices in the trusts.

card 4- 

Goverment reaction to trusts-

goverment responded with 2 measures:

  • interstate commerce act 1885. this suggested that all railroad changes should be reasonable and just, and set up on Interstate railroad commission to supervise the affairs of railroads. This Act may not have been very effective in itself; the commission could not set rates. However, it set an important precedent for goverment involvement in the tunning of the affairs of private industry. 
  • the sherman anti-trust act- still remains the core of anti-trust policey. Theodore Roosevelt sued 45 companies under the Sherman Act. Willam Taft sued 75 under the act. Oil company violated the Sherman Act so the supreme Court split it into 3. A problem perceived with the Act that it was not entirely clear what practices were prohibited leading to businessmen practices they could challenge. the act needed strenghtened so in 1914 congress passed clayton act. 

Card 5- 

Why was America able to  become a dominant economic and industrial power? manufactored exports

  • increase in American manufactored exports: first an increase of 90% between 1895 and 1900, and then another surge of 77% between 1908 and 1913. By 1913 the US was a net exporter (american exports were increasingly concentrated on iron,steel, copper and oil.
  • American exports prices were lower, European competitors were alarmed by this spectacular growth- was called 'American Commercial invasion'.

card 6- 

Why was America able to become a dominant economic and industrial power? efficiency

  • US industries had higher productivity- through innovation and efficient management methods.
  • mass immigration provided a flexible supply of labour- influx of immigrants reached its peak levels
  • rising world demand- European producers inability to keep pace with it

card 7- 

Why was America able to become a dominant economic and industrial power? vast natural resources

  • resource abundance fueled the US exports success. Discovery of high grade ore in Minnesota in 1892. By 1907 US steel has bought 75% of the Messabe ore. Steel production went up 400% by 1913. the development of huge new oilfields…


No comments have yet been made