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Bonds of Enterprise: John Murray Forbes and Western Development in America's Railway Age

Overview

Bonds of Enterprise uses the life of railroad entrepreneur John Murray Forbes to explore the shift from antebellum merchant capitalism to late nineteenth-century corporate capitalism, the rise of big business, technological innovations, farmer agitation for railroad rate control, and the process of government regulation. Forbes started off his business life as a China trader in the 1830s, returned to the States in time to surmount the Panic of 1837, and then -- deciding that railroad construction should be based ...
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Overview

Bonds of Enterprise uses the life of railroad entrepreneur John Murray Forbes to explore the shift from antebellum merchant capitalism to late nineteenth-century corporate capitalism, the rise of big business, technological innovations, farmer agitation for railroad rate control, and the process of government regulation. Forbes started off his business life as a China trader in the 1830s, returned to the States in time to surmount the Panic of 1837, and then -- deciding that railroad construction should be based on existing settlement and traffic systems rather than speculative ambitions -- became a master builder, beginning with the Michigan Central Railroad and ending with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy system and the growth of Chicago as a railroad hub. Focusing on Forbes's life allows Larson to elaborate on the contest of wills between eastern capitalists and midwestern boosters and the complex patterns of regional growth, particularly in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and Nebraska.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Expanded Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction to the 1984 Edition
1 The Liberal Merchant 1
2 An Assault on Space and Time 25
3 To the Frontiers of Settlement 53
4 Triumphant Union 83
5 Localism Under Siege 111
6 Adjusting to the Changes 145
7 The Ordeal of Regulation 171
Epilogue 197
Notes 209
A Note on Sources 237
Bibliography 241
Index 251
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