How Far Was the Growth of the American Economy in the Years 1890-1914 Due to the Rise of Big Businesses? (24 Marks)

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In the years 1890-1914 in America, big businesses had a great impact on the growth of the economy. By the 1890 America was a booming economy due to the Steam Revolution of the 1830’s to the 1850’s, and the railroads supporting the growing US economy. Other factors are a huge number of unskilled and semi- skilled labour, talented entrepreneurs and the government willing to aid at all levels to stimulate economic growth. There are many factors suggesting that it was due to the rise of big businesses. One of them being that big businesses dominated the American economy, due to the chance of vertical integration. Andrew Carnegie for example dominated the US steel industry and owned everything from the steel mines to the factories producing them. This is called vertical integration. By this the iron and steel production in the US increased from 0 to 35,000 in measures of 1000 tons between 1875 to 1915. Due to businesses like these integrating vertically big businesses were made easier to grow. By 1913, 14.7% was what the US produced units relative to the world in 1880 became 32%. Another point is the fact that through the work of Carnegie, steel has become a major product of the US, this increased the steel production thus providing lots of employment. This results in a massive growth in the economy . Due to big businesses like one of Carnegie’s, small companies which were less profitable were ruined, this resulted in the economy benefiting from monopolies. This explains how the prices of good decreased and pushed the domestic market to consume more. However there are also many factors suggesting that it was not due to the rise of big businesses. One of them being the development in agriculture across the Great Plains. This was made by the inventions such as barbed wire which protected the crops and animals leading to an increase in production in the US ‘break
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