Big Business Post Civil War
The Steel Business
Why and How did the Steel Business Grow??
Why did the business grow?
- The Steel business grew because it was the ideal material for railroad tracks, bridges, and many other produces
How did the business grow?
- It grew because Henry Bessemer made a new method, mills could produce steel at affordable prices and in large quantities.
The Leading figure in the early years of the American Steel industry was Andrew Carnegie. Andrew started as a telegraph operator, working his way up to being the manager of the Pennsylvanian Railroad. He realized that steel would have a huge market. After learning about the new Bessemer process that made producing steel affordable and in large quantities for the mills. Andrew built a steel plant near Pittsburgh that used this process, the plant was named J. Edgar Thompson Steel Works after the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad (his biggest customer).
State governments responded to the growing opposition to trusts and monopolies. Many states passed laws restricting business combinations, but corporations avoided these laws by doing business in states with these laws. Public pressure for a federal law led to Congress passing the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890. This act however did not clearly define trusts or monopolies, so in its early years the Sherman Antitrust Act didn't effect the power of bug business.