Morgan Assembles the World’s Largest Corporation (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: Financier J. P. Morgan, seeking stability for his steel, railroad, and financial interests, purchased Carnegie Steel, creating U.S. Steel, the first billion-dollar corporation.
Summary of Event
Formal incorporation of the United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) on February 26, 1901, was an epochal event in American industrial and financial history, merging Andrew Carnegie’s steel empire—the country’s largest—into a giant holding company assembled by the manipulative genius of J. P. Morgan, the nation’s most powerful financier. Preliminary talks between Morgan and Carnegie interests became a prelude to serious negotiations on December 12, 1900, at Manhattan’s University Club. With Morgan seated next to him, Charles M. Schwab, an intimate of Carnegie and president of Carnegie Steel, delivered a speech contrived for Morgan’s ears. Schwab spoke of the prospects of an orderly, stabilizing, more efficient organization of the nation’s steel-making capabilities, a reorganization that would end cutthroat competition and cure the industry’s cyclical depressions.
Morgan was interested and convened a meeting at his home on Madison Avenue early in January, 1901. Attending were Schwab, who at his own risk had not yet reported events to Carnegie, along with Morgan partner Robert Bacon and financial speculator John W. “Bet a Million” Gates. Their discussions lasted through the...
(The entire section is 2263 words.)
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