The Men Who Built America: Remembering The Gilded Age Part 1

Tyler Durden's picture

It is perhaps time to look back at what once was. In Part 1 of the 4 part History Channel series, a new war begins as out of the turmoil of the Civil War, America enters an age of enlightenment that will change the landscape of the country forever. The growth is driven by five insightful men who will change the world forever. John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan rose from obscurity and in the process built modern America. Their names hang on street signs, are etched into buildings and are a part of the fabric of history. These men created the American Dream and were the engine of capitalism as they transformed everything they touched in building the oil, rail, steel, shipping, automobile and finance industries. Their paths crossed repeatedly as they elected presidents, set economic policies and influenced major events of the 50 most formative years this country has ever known. From the Civil War to the Great Depression and World War I, for better or worse, they led the way.


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dick cheneys ghost's picture

It appears that the History Channel is run by Disney................which is ...............all jewish propaganda....................


I wont look for that "DEBT MONEY" docu anytime soon

GMadScientist's picture

$3T in sweet nothing promises...that Maiden Lane has the clap.

Technical Bard's picture

These men did great things.  The most notable is that much like modern technology, their actions were inherently deflationary.  They drove down the cost of the products they sold by improving efficiency and production methods.  The people of America paid less for oil, steel and cars after Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford than they did before these men changed the game.  Others copied their advances, but without the vision they put forth, the USA would have advanced more slowly than it did.  It was only as they became very rich that people, particularly politicians, started to look askance at their wealth.  Rockefeller, very notably, got more rich AFTER Standard Oil was broken up by the Sherman Anti-Trust action than he did before, however.

Ropingdown's picture

Americans didn't pay less for steel due to US Steel, but in spite of it.  Carnegie was an interesting a driven man, but his entry into the steel business wasn't about genius. Rather it was about being Tom Scott's assistent at the Pennsylvania Railroad and starting out with huge contracts, then working from there.  We still haven't come to terms with the incorporation and unionization of the US as it affects political representatioon.  It seems, though, that when that problem gets fixed, we'll just end up with everyone demanding a white-collar gov job and more benefits pyramid schemes.  People are no damned good! Laugh. The Gilded Age incorporation of the nation did provide the fastest growth decades in US history.  "How the Other Half Lived" is a good read.

newengland's picture

I must disagree with the headline and brief words thereafter.

Those men profited from a greater people who founded the USA, the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They didn't make that ;-)

Only Henry Ford had the honesty to admit the ugly face beneath the mask when he said that if the ordinary person understood the money system which had taken hold of the Republic, there would be a revolution by morning.

The others - John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie

and J.P. Morgan were carpetbaggers: sluts for money with no care for country or conscience.

OK, maybe, Carnegie was a little better than that. The rest were robber barons.

Edward Fiatski's picture

I concur, although, John D. did leave an interesting legacy and I adore the the statue of Atlas in Rockefeller Center in NY and what it represents in relation to cocksucking irrational sheeple.

newengland's picture

Agreed, Edward.

Ugly men often finance great works of art and beauty. To offset their ugly ways?

Edward Fiatski's picture

Well, they did build New York and the rest of the world, even if thru a conspiracy of murder, backstabbing, fraud and two World Wars. Someone has to do it - otherwise people would still be casually farming potatoes, living the "good life". LOL

You know, spice things up, eh? Perhaps you'll understand some day.

otto skorzeny's picture

if you're holding up NYC as some model of virtue and culture then the rats and roaches have already been gnawing on your brain.

Edward Fiatski's picture

Not New York per se, but the whole concept of the City. Would London as an example suffice? :)

otto skorzeny's picture

I find beauty in the country-being stacked like cordwood in the concrete jungle is not the place for me

Edward Fiatski's picture

I do understand your point of view, but the advances in the City have made life in the country side a bliss, if you can afford to have all these modern tools: from the chainsaw to a solarpanel-heated boiler.

newengland's picture

London proves your point. It is a polluted, litter strewn, overcrowded, debt ridden, hateful place where people fear to walk the streets after dusk unless they are naive (prime targe for muggers), drunk, drugged or have private security detail.

Edward Fiatski's picture

Well, the peasant population can be dealt with on a moment's notice, I'm talking about the infrastructure. :)

newengland's picture

Wrong again, Herr Goebbels. This is the 21st century, not your failed last century ways.

Learn some humility. It is good for you and others. Enlightened self interest is best.

Edward Fiatski's picture

Ah, yes, humility - there certainly isn't any in calling the whole concept of a City a failure.

newengland's picture

Then we must agree to disagree. Life is finite, and so are resources. Only rats thrive in cities. Anything of lasting beauty has come from country ways. Cities only exist because better ways thrive, and gift surplus to weak central control cities.

Edward Fiatski's picture

That's a Soviet model you're describing - where the peasants send their produce at gunpoint to Moscow to feed the elite.

There has to be balance, first & foremost in the Cities, and in this century there will be balance with the help of technological advancement, or there will be death of Civilisation.

newengland's picture

Your assertion is no substitute for factual argument.

Everything good comes from people in peaceful places who are able and willing to defend themselves: the Republic, the majority, the country.

Hateful central controllers steal from the country. The cities and technology are bankrupt now. This is the 21st century, not your theory.  This is the lesson of history, Heir Goebbels.

Edward Fiatski's picture

You seem to have a vision regarding to what happens next to our Civilisation, care to share? "Technology is bankrupt now?" Are we all going to be milking cows in the 21st century?


GMadScientist's picture

If NewEngland has his way, yes, we'd all be forced into agrarian subsistence and personal self-defense (a kinder, gentler FEMA camp).

bunnyswanson's picture

Corrupt nations keep you up at night Eddie? Russia's aberrant meterorite:

disabledvet's picture

Morgan actually cleaned up the mess that Vanderbilt left behind. "the railroads never worked before Morgan." i do agree "we need to set aside the Constitution" when talking about these folks. Much the same could be said of the "Class the Stars fell upon" (from West Point) due to World War II i might add. American history post Civil War is a complex combining a meteoric rise from the ashes (as much money as was made by these guys it was nothing compared to what happened to the USA as a result of World War I--the Great War as Europe calls it) as much as we have...whatever it is we have now. Bailout Tycoons? I just love saying it actually cuz needless to say "the guys pictured here did not care one wit as to the legality" let alone "State" response. Yet today...that is not true...yes, yes? "there is fear of authority" i think. and history is indeed a fickle Judge. Carnegie fer sure is a fascinating "up from the boot straps" character. Steve Jobs is very much the Carnegie of our Age...very different view on Philanthropy interestingly Carnegie KNEW he and Mr. Bessemer's process would be used for war. I find it interesting that most of our Internet Pioneers fail to see how their invention is used the same...and thus don't appear to try and differentiate themselves from "it." Horrible thing "all this knowing." You would think it make a man scream for peace...yet I hear nothing "save the sound of approaching Hellfire." Clearly Morgan "had a plan" in mind when he solved "the Railroad disaster that was America." And that plan "was to get the Government business by creating an economy that created a Government debt market." One need only look at today to exclaim "and what a bond market it is!" You can't have ANY of this borrowing PERIOD without Morgan of 100 plus years ago. "quiet men" who knew the perils of actually "seeing the future" and how terrifying it truly was. many associate our current "issues" with the Great Society and the 60's but I think you really need to go back to the 20's and the Great Gatsby and "the Last Tycoon" to really get an understanding of how "all that was truly the Beginning." that era laid the foundation for MASS communication and MASS markets and MASS consumption..."all of which was unleashed as a result of World War II." fast food, Wal Mart, Best Buy, directed advertising, "Windows" computing...all of this begins...and in a sense "ends" with America's "victory" in World War II. This is when this great Economic Experiment was begun...and is still going it would appear. (a "debt" market for private securities??!!!) "this time is complicated" because the guy's in this piece never had to "maintain an Alliance system." the folks doing that "aren't paid all that much"...but more than enough to bankrupt a nation..and their business operations. no one can say what tomorrow will bring...but winning an election is one thing...bringing the full force and fury of the State on some entity a whole 'nother. "that's why you have to include the Roosevelts in that list." You just can't have these guys without that family. Trust me "those guys would all be the first to admit it." believe me "they never had to ask where the phuck are my bridges" back then. Carnegie told 'em straight up..."how many you want?" interesting post i must say....and of all things American know this..."history is living with them." all this media exists in this country for a reason. this place wants to be SEEN AND HEARD.

GMadScientist's picture

Indeed, the genesis of capitalism for capitalism's sake (and little else...unless you find value in sunken metal on seafloors and missing limbs).

It was a debt scam from the "continental" on, DV.

bunnyswanson's picture
Nonsense.  He cornered the market through cronyism and advantages of being born the son of a rick crook.  These men did not climb the ladder through achievements, then climbed the ladder but knocking every other person off of it. Look around you today.  Has there ever been so much hardship, bloodshed, chaoas and uncertainty?  Not to our knowledge but then we would never know because these fat cats also bought the Town Criers so no one knows what the is going on, we have to spend every free hour on the internet like detectives to find the truth. You should be paid well.  You make a very good Clapper. 1872

Rockefeller is tainted by the scandal surrounding the South Improvement Company scheme, a secret alliance between major refiners and the railroads. However, he uses the scheme to persuade other Cleveland refiners to sell out to Standard Oil. Following the so-called "Cleveland Massacre," Rockefeller owns 22 of the 26 refineries in town.

Laura gives birth to Edith.

Vince Clortho's picture

Ahhh yesss!  The notion that if these men had not performed their deeds,  America would yet be in the stone age.

Railroads, Skyscrapers, automobiles and gasoline ... surely no ordinary mortals could have conceived these ideas.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Capital does not care a bout arbitrary political boundaries, or the religion of Statism

newengland's picture

'Dont Be Fooled Again' (The Who). The lyrics say it all. 

Capitalism is the least harmful option, in my opinion. The biggest slaughter of people has come from socialism, communism, fascism, islamism. That's the fact, jack.

williambanzai7's picture

The men who bilked America...


LetThemEatRand's picture

On this one point we can (hopefully) all agree -- they didn't build this.

Banksters's picture

The term derives from the medieval German lords who charged tolls on ships traversing the Rhine without adding anything of value. (see robber baron).

williambanzai7's picture

In the case of the American robber barons, we have an example of men who built something and then positioned themselves unfairly to milk the populace and entrench their competitive position by means of predatory monopolistic behavior and cronyism.

The new robber barons have accomplished the same thing. But all they have built is a global TBTF Ponzi Klepto-pyramid.

Neither of the schlemiels pictured above can even claim credit for the ATM machine which Paul Volcker singled out as the only productive financial innovation he has seen in the last three decades.

newengland's picture

The love  of money is the root of all evil. The use of money is a necessary thing. Only the Constitution of the USA comprehends the difference between those two things, imo.

Only modern politicians and gangsta bankstas have betrayed the Republic: a safe place for anyone who defends it.

JR's picture


The word bank was borrowed in Middle English from Middle French banque, from Old Italian banca, from Old High German banc, bank "bench, counter". Benches were used as desks or exchange counters during the Renaissance by Florentine bankers, who used to make their transactions atop desks covered by green tablecloths.[12]

One of the oldest items found showing money-changing activity is a silver Greek drachm coin from ancient Hellenic colony Trapezus on the Black Sea, modern Trabzon, c. 350–325 BC, presented in the British Museum in London. The coin shows a banker's table (trapeza) laden with coins, a pun on the name of the city. In fact, even today in Modern Greek the word Trapeza (???????) means both a table and a bank. -- Wiki

Edward Fiatski's picture

There's certainly something, which had been built during that time period, as a consequence of "interesting events", and it is the Fed.

Novus Ordo Seclorum, bitchez.

NoDebt's picture

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

This is an article on ZH?


A Lunatic's picture

The Native Americans saw this shit a bit differently...............

otto skorzeny's picture

fuck them-they got casinos and alchoholism as a consolation prize

LetThemEatRand's picture

And they get to use the word "native" in a positive sense.

GMadScientist's picture

Not the dead ones or the kids they never had.

DavidPierre's picture

A strong voice out of Prisoner of War Camp #44.


newengland's picture

'Native Americans' were immigrants from Asia, and killed each other mercilessly, so there's no reason to think they were better than white settlers who brought great literature, math, science and my family to this land. The 'native Americans' have fallen into the same pit as aboriginal people in Australia, and that is their choice.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Read "The Frontiersmen" by Allen W. Eckert to read the real story about the American Indians in the 18th and early 19th centuries. They were an almost psychotically brutal race. It is historical fiction, but heavily cited and solidly based in reality.

Of course this isnt the story you'll find told in our educational system. It is despicable what the Cultural Marxists have done to history.

GMadScientist's picture

You talk big for someone who can't even get past conceptions like "the American Indians" as a homogenous block of people (oversimplify much?).

Try 'Guns, Germs, and Steel'.

GMadScientist's picture

Yes, I'm sure all that dressing up in red coats and forming lines and shooting muskets at each other was all very "civilized".

Your family came here because white people couldn't get along with other white people in England, dumbass.

(as if we didn't know you're actually a 2nd generation mick running from an IRA investigation and hiding in Southie anyway)

otto skorzeny's picture

nice of history channel to squeeze this in between episodes of jews on american pickers and pawn stars fucking goys out of $. why is this even on ZH?

Banksters's picture

Tesla was a great American.


And he died penniless because psychopathic fucks mentioned above stole his inventions and left him penniless.