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Letters Reveal Ben Franklin's International Social Network

Yet the membership of these eight clubs airm that a strong correla- tion had existed between these two factors. James Street in London.

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Families were not simply biological ties, but acted as microcosmic social institutions from which connections could be established. Social Capital Social capital involved the added economic beneit of having a network of relationships with others. One example of the prominence of social capital involved business afairs between J. Morgan and Charles Schwab, both of whom were members of the University Club in During a round of golf at the St.

Morgan used social capital to negotiate a merger between his company and Cyrus McCormick Jr.

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By the start of World War I, it was the fourth largest irm in the country. Morgan was born into money. Morgan came from a long line of merchants and bankers, who used social clubs as a mechanism for success. Sociologist C. Steel did precisely that. It soon represented the new American identity, and forming this identity were the industrialists.

Morgan and his partners reorganized railroads in order to streamline operations, increase eiciency, and cut costs. Harriman , and Mohawk and Malone Railway W. Seward Webb.

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At meetings, members engaged in mutually beneicial busi- ness deals with one another. Morgan, Hamilton Twombly, Chauncey M. Depew, and William K. In , on the irst of a series of yachts he owned, the Corsair, J. Morgan negotiated agreements between William K. Vanderbilt, of the New York Central, and Jay Gould, of the Pennsylvania Rail- road, owners of two of the largest railroads at the time.

Association with even one club was a key to success, and anymore than than one allowed a banker to expand his sphere of inluence drastically. Stillman, represented in all eight clubs mentioned, used his con- nections to aid in his successful career. Stillman wanted the ailiates of his company to have con- nections with others, and thus he was able to maintain the inancial power of the railroad and banking industry in the hands of a select few.

In a period of little to no bank regulation, these men exploited the markets by conspir- ing. In response, there was a sharp government attack on the big busi- nesses that formed, resulting in the formation of stringent antitrust laws. A crackdown against these companies, along with numerous lawsuits against them, culminated into the groundbreaking case of Northern Securities v. Newly elected President heodore Roosevelt stopped the formation of the Northern Securities Company, which threatened to monop- olize the transportation industry in the Northwest.

At social club meetings meetings and dinners, ideas were exchanged about how to create bigger and better companies. Communication among parties grew through new innovations, such as the telephone, typewriters, and other methods of accelerated news sharing. Phones in the U. Davison, a banker who had signiicant stake in the company as well as in another banking company, Bankers Trust. In the months before his death, J.

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