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Word Count: 983
It was the Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius who said A mans worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions The truth of this statement is expands far past the ruins of an Ancient Rome and into the coffers of those great businessmen of America who changed the face of commerce in this country during the latter years of the nineteenth century and on into the twentieth century Men such as Cornelius Vanderbilt Andrew Carnegie and the colossal John D Rockefeller represent the age where a young nation stretched its legs into the long fitting pants of capitalism Many saw these giant men of commerce as robber barons manipulators of huge monopolies that preyed on the public Still many view them as pioneers of American business or Captains of Industry At the time the practices that these men used to exercise their industrial muscles were many times over bearing and illegal by the standards and laws of the present but the empires that were built by these trailblazers shaped the landscape of commerce forever These men were obviously captains of industry building immortal fortunes and names To completely understand the impact of their works individual attention must be paid to those ambitious men who performed works of commercial wonder First honest examination requires a look into the wealth and labor of Cornelius and William Vanderbilt who accumulated much through shipping and the all important and lucrative railroad Next there should be an analysis of the contributions of Andrew Carnegie to his time and to modern day business Finally the oil giant John D Rockefeller the man who amassed what is arguably the greatest fortune in the history of this country will be examined Now to examine the first giant the Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt The Vanderbilt empire began by the hand of Cornelius Vanderbilt who made his first millions not by railroad but by steamboat By providing competitive rates to those who
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