Big Business After the Civil War
by Lexi Daniel
- Technology- New technology gave easier access to natural resources and increased production. The increase of new technology helped businesses boom after the Civil War.
- Transportation- The increase of transportation made it easier for merchants to reach markets. Also, the population increase from new methods of transportation gave companies more laborers to work in businesses.
- Petroleum- The discovery of petroleum in Western Pennsylvania lead to a rapid increase of business. It was found that burning petroleum could produce heat and light and that it could be used to lubricate machinery, making it a valuable resource for industry.
The Restriction of Big Business
In the 1800's, the states passed laws against combining businesses, but corporations still avoided these laws by doing business with states without them. In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, which was created "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraint and monopoly". However, this act didn't clearly define "trusts" or "monopoly", and at first, did little good to prevent the combining of businesses.