Life And Principal Innovations Of John Jacob Astor

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The Life and Principal Innovations of John Jacob Astor Post-revolutionary America is defined by an era of rapid social, economic, and political change. In this era, whether emerging from the changes themselves or being the driving force behind such changes, came the capitalist entrepreneur. Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as a form or method of economic change that not only ever is but never can be stationary1. American independence after 1776 brought about new economic factors that forged innovative business such as, goods, production methods, markets, capital accumulation, and corporate structures. At the advent of this mobilizing capitalist economy came John Jacob (J.J.) Astor who possessed the entrepreneurial talent to turn these ideal economic conditions into economic profits. Contrary to popular historical beliefs supported by historians like Norman Gras, Kenneth Porter, and Alfred Chandler, J.J. Astor had visible control over antebellum markets and business operations. Astor established practises that remain a key part of business institutions in present day America. He co-ordinated hundreds of employees, navigated government policy, kept meticulous accounting records, and in doing so, built one of the largest and most successful enterprises in history. His accomplishments describe how he began to change methods of commercial operation, inspire new institutions, and generate substantial change. John Jacob Astor pioneered a contemporary corporate structure that encompassed horizontal and vertical integration complemented by an equally innovative form of strategic accounting designed to predict and control global supply and demand that set the tone for the post-revolutionary incorporation of America. John Jacob Astor, the furrier, the merchant, and the financier, epitomized entrepreneurship in the way that, determined to succeed and overcome risk,
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