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Robber Barons

             What is a robber baron? Webster's New Dictionary defines it as an American capitalist of the late 19th century who became wealthy through exploitation (As of natural resources, governmental influence, or low wage scales) or a person who satisfies himself by depriving another. In America we had a lot of these kind of people. For this report I am going to tell you about the ones that I found most interesting to me. I would first like to tell you about Cornelius Vanderbilt.
             Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in Port Richmond on Staten Island, N. Y. in 1794. Cornelius at the age of 16 had already stepped into the busniess world and he didn't even know it. At 16 he entered into the steamboat business when he established a freight and passenger service between Stanton Island and Manhattan. Little did Cornelius know this would be one of the key ways he would make his millions upon millions. Cornelius entered the steamer business in 1818, and bought his first steamship in 1829. Cornelius was not a laid back guy nothing was ever good enough for him. If you had and Cornelius Vanderbilt wanted it there wasn't much you could do to keep him from getting it. This is the kind of attitude that put him on top of the world. After establishing his steamboat Vanderbilt became a very vigorous competitor, lowering his rates while also making his ships top of the line. Vanderbilt the entrepuner himself soon controlled must of the Hudson River. After awhile his fellow competitors in the steamboat business paid him to take some of his traffic elsewhere so that he wouldn't get all the work. By 1846 Vanderbilt was a very wealthy man and with wealth he learned cam power. He became widely know as the Commodore Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt sold his steamboats in 1862 and began buying railroad stocks. In a mere 5 years Vanderbilt used his power to uphold most of the New York Central Railroad system. Vanderbilt like in his steamboats strived to be the best in the railroads now.

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