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Major Problems in American Business History: Documents and Essays 1st Edition

Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Philip B. Scranton

  • Published
  • 544 Pages


Designed to encourage critical thinking, the Major Problems in American History series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. The central theme of this volume asserts that the history of business is inexorably linked to politics and culture. The authors explore specific issues, including foreign policy, race and ethnicity, gender, religion, work, leisure, and technological innovation, as well as high and low culture.

Regina Lee Blaszczyk, University of Pennsylvania

Philip B. Scranton, Rutgers University

  • Comprehensive coverage includes the entire period from colonial merchants to the globalization of American business.
  • A full chapter focuses on the "business" of slavery in the Old South, while the final chapter addresses the globalization of American business.
1. Business and Us
Philip B. Scranton, Why Study Business History?
Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., What Is a Firm?
Mary A. Yeager, Considering Businesswomen
David Vogel, Do Business and Government Get Along?
Christine Meisner Rosen and C. Christopher Sellers, Business and the Environment
2. Capitalism in Early America
1. Benjamin Franklin Coaches an Ambitious Tradesman, 1748
2. John Woolman''s Christian Conscience Impels Him to Leave Retailing, 1756
3. Farmers Ask the Rhode Island Assembly to Regulate Commercial Fishing, 1766
4. Iron Masters Petition Rhode Island Lawmakers for Water Rights, 1769
5. Promoter Alexander Clúny Extols Florida''s Virtues, 1770
6. Merchant-Planter Henry Laurens Reflects on Florida''s Challenges, 1766
Edwin J. Perkins, The Entrepreneurial Spirit in Colonial America
Gary Kulik, Farmers and the Anticommercial Impulse in New England
David Hancock, Planting East Florida: The Harsh Reality of Mosquito''s Bite Plantation
3. Merchants and Commercial Networks in the Atlantic World, 1680-1790
1. Virginia Merchant-Planter William Fitzhugh Describes His Tobacco Plantation, 1686
2. Boston Merchant Thomas Hancock Launches a Covert Voyage to Amsterdam, 1742
3. New York Merchant Gerard G. Beekman Insures Slave Cargo from Africa, 1749
4. A Hudson''s Bay Factor Orders Merchandise for His Indian Customers, 1739
5. Boston Shopkeeper Lewis Deblois Advertises the Latest London Goods, 1757
6. Revolutionary Era Merchants Explain the Causes of Inflation, 1779
7. Tench Coxe Proposes a Chamber of Commerce, 1784
8. Antifederalist George Bryan Attacks the Merchant Junto, 1788
9. A Merchant-Speculator Encourages Europeans to Invest in Western Land, 1788
Kenneth Morgan, British Merchants, the Slave Trade, and the Transatlantic Economy
Ann M. Carlos and Frank D. Lewis, Fur Trading on the Frontier: The Hudson''s Bay Company and Indian Consumers
Thomas M. Doerflinger, Philadelphia Merchants and the Rise of Federalist Power in the New Nation
4. Public and Private Interests in the Transition to Industrialization, 1790-1860
1. The Corporation as an Artificial Being, 1809
2. Corporations and Contracts, 1819
3. Corporations and Bankruptcy, 1840
4. The Corporation Becomes an Artificial Citizen, 1844
5. Nathan Appleton Explains How Banks Benefit Everyone, 1831
6. William W. Gouge Decries Banks as Corporations, 1833
7. Baltimore Patriot Supports Government Regulation of Telegraphy, 1845
8. New York Journal of Commerce Presses for Privatization of Telegraphy, 1846
Naomi R. Lamoreaux, The Shape of the Firm: Partnerships and Corporations
Cathy Matson, Financial Innovation in the New Nation
Richard R. John, Building the First Information Highway: The Deregulation of Telegraphy
5. Doing Business in the Slave South, 1800-1860
1. A Georgia Planter Instructs His Overseer, 1832
2. A Carolina Industrialist Explains Why Factories Are Good for the South, 1845
3. Frederick Douglass Remembers the Slave Trade, 1852
4. Louisiana''s Slave Laws Simplified, 1853
5. A Virginia Iron Master Hires a Slave Workforce, 1856
6. Senator James Henry Hammond Declares "Cotton Is King," 1858
Walter Johnson, The Slave Traders of New Orleans
Charles B. Dew, Running Buffalo Forge: Master, Slaves, and the Overwork System
Drew Gilpin Faust, James Henry Hammond and the Plantation as a Business Enterprise
6. Inventing American Industry, 1810-1890
1. Industrialist Kirk Boott Chronicles the Great Achievements at Lowell, 1827
2. A Factory Girl Leads a Tour of the Lowell Mills, 1845
3. George S. White, The Moral Influence of Industry, 1836
4. New York Times Discusses the Morrill Tariff and American Industry, 1861
5. Atlantic Monthly Visits Pittsburgh, the Workshop of the West, 1868
6. Freeman Hunt, The Ups and Downs of Business, 1856
7. Andrew Carnegie, How Young Men Can Succeed, 1885
8. Picturing Progress: An Estey Organ Company Advertising Poster, ca. 1890
John N. Ingham, Clash of the Titans: Andrew Carnegie and Pittsburgh''s Old Iron Masters
Pamela Walker Laird, Progress and the Double Meaning of Industry
Sven Beckert, New York Business Elites and the Civil War
7. Technology in the Age of Big Business, 1870-1920
1. Technology Enshrined at the World''s Fair, 1876
2. Duplicating Before Xerox: The Rapid Roller Copier, 1897
3. An Office Supply Company Advertises the Globe Routing System, 1897
4. A Vice President at the New York Central Railroad Describes Railroad Management as a Manly Profession, 1903
5. Male and Female Telegraph Operators Go on Strike, 1907
6. AT&T President Theodore N. Vail Celebrates the Bell System, 1909
JoAnne Yates, How the Business World Adopted the Typewriter
Steven W. Usselman, Mastering Technology, Channeling Change: The Testing Laboratory at the Pennsylvania Railroad
Kenneth J. Lipartito, Switchboard Operators or Girl-free Automation? Gender Stereotypes and Managerial Choice in the Bell Telephone System
8. The Age of the Octopus: Business and the Reform Impulse, 1876-1920
1. Unionized Workers in the Knights of Labor Demand a Fair Share of American Wealth, 1878
2. Journalist Henry Demarest Lloyd Exposes the Standard Oil Monopoly, 1881
3. Sweatshop Conditions Horrify a Factory Inspector, 1893
4. Industrialist George M. Pullman Explains the Strike at Pullman Palace Car Works, 1894
5. Sugar King Henry O. Havermeyer Declares the Customs Tariff as the Mother of All Trusts, 1899
6. President Theodore Roosevelt Advocates Regulation, 1901
7. "People''s Attorney" Louis D. Brandeis Lashes Out Against the Money Trust, 1913
8. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Applies Human Engineering to the Labor-Capital Problem, 1920
Colleen A. Dunlavy, Why Did Some American Businesses Get So Big?
Stanford M. Jacoby, Welfare Capitalism at Kodak
9. The Many Faces of Entrepreneurship, 1840-1930
1. Jewish Immigrant Abraham Kohn Laments His Wanderings as a Peddler, 1842-1843
2. A Credit Agency Monitors Businesses Nationwide, 1850s-1880s
3. A Cleveland Newspaper Heralds the People''s Drug Store as an Achievement for the Negro Race, 1906
4. Mrs. M. L. Rayne Highlights Proper Business Ventures for Victorian Women, 1893
5. Christine Frederick Advises Retailers on Selling to Women, 1920
Rowena Olegario, Jewish Merchants, Creditworthiness, and Business Culture
Angel Kwolek-Folland, Women''s Businesses, New and Old
10. Satisfaction Guaranteed? American Business and the Rise of Consumer Society, 1900-1940
1. John Wanamaker, The Four Cardinal Principles of the Department Store, 1911
2. Victor Talking Machine Company Advertises the Victrola, 1913
3. Du Pont''s Advertising Director Describes the Impact of World War I, 1918
4. Paul T. Cherington, Putting American Consumers Under the Microscope, 1924
5. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., How GM Gets the Facts on Car Buyers and Competes with Ford, 1927
6. Herbert Hoover Explains How World Trade and Protective Tariffs Ensure American Prosperity, 1928
7. J. C. Penney, How Chain Stores Benefit Farmers, 1930
8. National Wholesale Grocers'' Association, Why Chain Stores Threaten the Nation''s Welfare, 1930
André Millard, The International Industry of Recorded Sound
Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Marketing Pyrex Ovenware
Jonathan J. Bean, Mass Marketing Meets Main Street: Department Stores, Mail Order, and the Chain Store Menace
11. Times of Crisis: From the Stock Market Crash Through World War II, 1929-1945
1. A Wall Street Broker Remembers 1929
2. NRA''s Blue Eagle Displayed in a Restaurant Window, 1934
3. American Liberty League Vigorously Opposes the New Deal, 1936
4. CIO Leader John L. Lewis Issues a Forceful Warning to Industry, 1936
5. GM Managers Work Behind Closed Doors on a Collective Bargaining Policy, 1936
6. Magazine of Wall Street Assesses Corporate Performance for Investors, 1929-1938
7. St. Louis Banker Heads the Defense Plant Corporation, 1940-1944
8. Life Celebrates Henry J. Kaiser and the U.S. Wartime Shipbuilding Program, 1942
9. Mill and Factory Explains How the Aircraft Industry Recruits Women, 1942
Michael A. Bernstein, Why the Great Depression Was Great
Howell John Harris, GM, Chrysler, and Unionization
Joel Davidson, World War II and the Birth of the Military-Industrial Complex
12. Postwar Challenges and Opportunities: The Culture of Affluence and the Cold War, 1945-1980
1. National Association of Manufacturers Outlines a Plan for Postwar Prosperity, 1944
2. Real Estate Developers Lure Business to the Suburbs, 1948
3. A Concerned Consumer Asks a Big Businessman about the Price of a Nylon Shirt, 1950
4. U.S. News and World Report Explains What the Baby Boom Means to the Economy, 1957
5. Fortune Credits Federal Policies for the Explosion of Motels, 1959
6. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey Compares R&D Expenditures at Home and Abroad, 1962
7. Vietnam War Raises Business Hackles, 1971
Lizabeth Cohen, From Town Center to Shopping Center: The Reconfiguration of Marketplaces in Postwar America
Bruce J. Schulman, Fortress Dixie: Defense Spending and the Rise of the Sunbelt
13. Business and the Public Interest: Corporate Responsibility for Environment, Health, and Safety, 1945-2005
1. A Prominent Zoologist Speaks about the Threat of the Modern Economy, 1949
2. Weyerhauser Explains the Forest Industry''s Practices, 1949
3. Ralph Nader Blames Detroit Carmakers for Automotive Accidents, 1965
4. Alcoa CEO Explains the Public Responsibility of Private Enterprise, 1967
5. Economist Milton Friedman Urges Business to Focus on Profits, 1970
6. Sun Oil Executives Outlines the Nation''s Energy Dilemmas, 1973
7. A Lawmaker Explains the Necessity for Superfund, 1981
8. CIGNA Doctor Critiques Tobacco Advertising, 1987
9. Hawaiians Debate Airport Expansion on Maui, 1996
David B. Sicilia, The Corporation Under Siege
Mansel G. Blackford, The Controversy over the Kahului Airport
14. The Great Transition from Manufacturing to Services, 1945-2005
1. Economist Victor R. Fuchs Highlights the Growth of Services, 1965
2. Investment Bankers Association Predicts a Computer Boom, 1963
3. Bill Veeck Assesses Baseball''s Marketing, 1963
4. Ray Kroc Explains How He Built the McDonald''s Empire, 1968
5. Journalists Probe Transportation Workers'' Lives in the Wake of Deregulation, 1992
6. Sam Walton, Ten Rules That Worked for Me, 1992
7. A Congressman Explores Wal-Mart''s Labor Practices in the United States and Asia, 2004
Thomas S. Dicke, We Deliver: Domino''s Pizza and the Franchising Method
Richard H. K. Vietor, American Airlines Competes after Deregulation
Simon Head, Inside Wal-Mart
15. American Business in the World, 1945-2005
1, Fortune Urges Business to Export Capitalism and Democracy, 1947
2. High Labor Costs and Foreign Competition Confound Steelmakers, 1968
3. National Industrial Conference Board Assesses the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), 1969
4. Pharmaceutical Giant Bristol-Myers Encounters Cultural Differences in Japan and the USSR in the 1970s
5, Time Documents the Agricultural Surplus, 1986
6. Journalist Thomas L. Friedman Describes McDonald''s Global Expansion, 1996
7. Washington Think Tank Calculates NAFTA''s Impact on Jobs, 2001 (table and maps)
8. USDA Reports NAFTA''s Benefits to Agricultural Exports, 2001
Geoffrey Jones, Multinationals and Globalization
Martin N. Baily and Diana Farrell, Exploding the Myths about Offshoring