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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Wealth in America throughout History

Who are the richest people in America and how much are they worth ? 
The question is common and well  answered by such first rate business publications as the Forbes 400 and the  Fortune Billionaires editions.
But what about the past ? The American elite is constituted by a closely knit tissue of interrelated dynasties founded by  the business leaders of  three generations ago or earlier.
"A Classification of American Wealth" is an attempt to relate economic history to the genealogies of our leading families and to uncover what may be considered America's moneyed aristocracy.


Colonial and Mercantile America (1650-1860)


The first 200 years of American economic history were characterized by the dominance of large landowners and  daring merchants,  who developed the cities and pioneerered in finance and industry ...  

Chapter 1 :  Patroons and Manor Lords
Chapter 2 :  A Southern planter aristocracy
Chapter 3 :  Shipping merchants
Chapter 4 : 
The Landlords of New York City
Chapter 5 :  Bankers of the Early Republic
Chapter 6 : 
Early Industrialists

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Encyclopedia of American Wealth


Encyclopaedia of American Wealth contains lists and profiles of wealthy American individuals and families of the past (1675-1950) :      

NEW Now Online NEW (Feb.2016)
List of wealthy Individuals (1975)

America in the Gilded Age (1865-1929)


During the Gilded Age,  the United States of America transformed themselves from an agricultural and mercantile state to a modern industrial nation. Huge private fortunes were created in the process ...

Chapter  7 : 
Mining Bonanza Kings

Chapter  8 :  Railroad Barons
Chapter  9 :  Merchant Princes  
Chapter 10 : 
Bankers of the Gilded Age
Chapter 11 : Trusts
Chapter 12 :  Utility Tycoons 

Chapter 13 : Automobile & Aviation [Part III ]
Chapter 15 : Wildcatter Oil Barons [ Part III ]
Chapter 18 "Hail to the CEOs" (Part III)

   Wealth in America throughout History   

The United States of America have long been recognized as the country where dreams of wealth and money would come true, based upon boundless opportunities and liberal economic policies, where solely by steady endeavor and persistence, millionaire and billionaire selfmademen could emerge. The recent rise of Internet billionaires, many of them bright but modest immigrants, reaffirms this image of the wealthiest and the mightiest nation on Earth.

When the first settlers arrived on the shores of New England some 400 years ago, their driving force was to start a new life, away from the (mostly religious) persecution in England and Continental Europe. America, was soon recognized as the land of economic opportunities and more immigrants streamed in, this time seeking fortune.

Throughout history, the United States of America produced large fortunes and capitalists which soon became as famous and probably more powerful than many of the Nationís statesmen. Many American millionaires themselves sought public offices and thus the line between wealth and political influence became blurred at certain times.

Many works have been written about American millionaires and billionaires, selfmade men, industrial tycoons, railroad barons, merchant princes,...  Names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Ford or Mellon, or more recently Sam Walton, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are familiar to most Americans, as well as to the rest of the World. More than in any other country,  sucessful businessmen and capitalists found their place in history and reference works in America and the media are also reserving ample space for stories and gossips about the rich and famous.

Yet, despite all this coverage, we feel there is still a need for a more complete reference work, tracing American fortunes and the wealthy families throughout the history of the Nation. This work is an attempt to compound such a reference and set up a Classification of American Wealth, starting with the Manor Lords of the colonial times and ending with todays high tech wizards of the Internet.

The following index outlines the content of this work, whereas certain chapters still need to be written. Additional chapters may be included and titles or content will be completed as our insight into the subject improves. Aside from the main text elements, this web site also features links to related web sites, bibliographies, lists and charts, and more generally all items which can enlighten us on the path of discovering the history of American Wealth...

A Classification of American Wealth  >   Introduction and Index :  1 -  2  - 3   Next Ľ

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