The Vanderbilts and the American Dream
We hear the phrase "The American Dream" all the time, but what does it actually mean? In this episode of Fabric of History, Mary, Gary, and Eryn explore this question by tracing the origins of one of the most successful families in American history, the Vanderbilts. What do the legacies of some of its most prominent members teach us about integrity and human nature?
Additional BRI Resources
Entrepreneurs are a different breed. They think differently from others. The definition of entrepreneur-one who takes risks to create a new enterprise-implies that they usually change what is happening around them. They envision new products not yet invented. They see companies not yet built, providing products that benefit mankind. Their inventions can earn profits for the entrepreneur while making travel easier, life safer, information more available, food preparation simpler, clothing better and less expensive-the list goes on and on.
Were the Titans of the Gilded Age “Robber Barons” or “Entrepreneurial Industrialists”?
Two scholars debate this question.
Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan: Industrialization and Competition
By the end of this section, you will explain the causes and effects of the innovations in communication and technology in the United States over time.
The Civil War and the Industrial Revolution
When eleven slave states seceded in 1860-61, they left the federal government in the hands of the new Republican Party. The Republicans were dedicated above all to ending slavery and preserving the Union, but many of them also advocated a revival of the Federalist and Whig system of national mercantilism, which sought to have the federal government shape economic development.