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The Rise of Big Business in

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efore the rise of modern corporations, business owners predominantly personally managed most private economic operations. These small-scale operations had little influence outside their regional realm. Eventually, American capitalism evolved from a proprietary-competitive stage to a corporate-administered stage as a result of numerous factors. Economies of scale became more applicable with innovations in transportation, communication, production, management, distribution, and marketing. As a result, America transformed into a global economic power. From 1870 to 1913, the United States’ distribution of the world’s industrial production rose from 23 percent to 36 percent (Chandler, 4). Comparing this substantial growth to other industrious countries of the time exemplifies America’s dominance. In the same time span Great Britain fell from 32 percent to 14 percent, Germany rose from 13 percent to 16 percent, France dropped from 10 percent to 6 percent, Russia rose from 4 percent to 6 percent, Japan rose from 0 percent to 1 percent, and the rest of the world rose from 17 percent to 21 percent (Chandler, 4). Capital intensive, mass production industries that rose during the 2nd half of the 19th century distinguished American business from economic institutions in other cultures and set the foundations of what is now known as the American corporation. Standard Oil

An industry that was a pioneer in changing the early business landscape was the petroleum sector. In 1859, the first successful commercial drilling of oil occurred at what is known as Drake’s Well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. The drilling of this well is known as the beginning of the modern oil industry. The aftermath of the Drake’s Well drilling exhibited a high level of entry in the oil industry and increased production. Crude Oil production rose from 2000 barrels in 1859 to 4,800,000 in 1869 and 5,250,000...

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