A Classification of American Wealth
History and genealogy of the wealthy families of America - Sponsors

 Part 1 : Colonial and Mercantile America  Part 2 : America in the Gilded Age
 Part 3 : America in the Twentieth Century  Encyclopedia of American Wealth

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  Part II : The Gilded Age  >   Introduction and Index :   1 2 - 3 - 45 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9  Next

The Gilded Age - Industrial revolution in America 

Mining Bonanza Kings
Railroad Barons

Merchant Princes
The Bankers
Organizers of the Trusts
Utility Tycoons

he saga of American wealth creation, both for the nation and for its enterprising capitalists, reached its apotheosis during the Gilded Age, a period roughly delimited by the end of Civil War and the beginning of World War I.

In America, this period was characterized by seemingly boundless economic expansion and the emergence of a new nation, which had completed the conquest of its vast Western territories and taken the lead among other nations, in industry and trade.

America had always been a continent of opportunity, a promising land for the adventurous capitalist as well as for the poor immigrant. Yet, during the Gilded Age, the rapid transformation from an agricultural and mercantile economy to industrialism, presented unprecedented opportunities to daring speculators and inventive entrepreneurs.

As the United States economy transformed itself and grew under the leadership of new tycoons, America's established mercantile society once again transformed itself under the impact of the nouveau riche, opportunistic industry leaders or speculative railroad promoters.

What were then the forces, which brought such lasting change and created so many American fortunes, of proportions never seen before and hardly matched in later times ? How did these fortunes measure up to the longer established family wealth, built by the equally daring shipping merchants or the silently accumulated city real estate holdings ? And, most stringently, who where these capitalists, we know by their names of Vanderbilt, Gould, Rockefeller or Morgan and how did they build up their huge fortunes ?

his second book of "A Classification of American Wealth" covers the exciting period of the Gilded Age and sketches the origins of the large 19th century fortunes which were built by the people variously qualified as the tycoons, the moguls, the magnates or the robber barons.

The Gilded Age  >   Introduction and Index :   1 2 - 3 - 45 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9  Next

The Mining Bonanza Kings

The Railroad Barons

The Trusts



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