Business Strategies

Essay by RoarkeForeva March 2004

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The 1800's was a time of industrial growth and urbanization in the United States. New business strategies developed, and responses to those strategies varied. Two of those strategies and philosophies were Social Darwinism and monopolies. These strategies changed the way business was dealt and it impacted business and industry in big ways.

Social Darwinism was related to the theory of biological evolution that some individuals flourish and pass their traits along to the next generation, while other do not. This was the process of natural selection, which weeded out weaker individuals and enabled the strongest to survive. The principle of Social Darwinism is that free competition in the economy, like natural selection, would ensure survival of the fittest. An example of this is Andrew Carnegie's take over of the steel industry. He bought out all his suppliers, the coal and iron mines, ore freighters, and railroad lines. He also bought out competing steel producers and when he was done his company produced 80% of the nation's steel.

This goes with Social Darwinism because bought out the weaker companies and he survived because he was the fittest. This strategy said that success and failure in business were actually governed by natural law and that no one, particularly the government had the right to intervene.

A monopoly is complete control over an industry's production, quality, wages paid, and prices charged. A way to create a monopoly was to set up a holding company whose only function was to do nothing but buy out the stock of other companies. One example of this is the buying out of the largest manufacturer, Carnegie Steel by J.P. Morgan for $500 million; it became the world's largest business organization. Many industrialists took the approach "if you cant beat them, join them." That approach was mergers...