American Enterprise: A History of Business in America by Andy Serwer, David Allison, Peter Liebhold, Nancy Davis,

By Andy Serwer, David Allison, Peter Liebhold, Nancy Davis, Kathleen G. Franz

What does it suggest to be an American? What are American principles and values? American Enterprise, the spouse booklet to a big exhibition on the Smithsonian’s nationwide Museum of yank historical past, goals to reply to those questions about the yankee adventure via an exploration of its financial and advertisement historical past. It argues that by means of the intersection of capitalism and democracy, we will be able to see the place we as a country have come from and the place we'd be stepping into the future.

Richly illustrated with pictures of gadgets from the museum’s collections, American firm includes a 1794 buck coin, Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 cell, a brass funds sign in from Marshall Fields, Sam Walton’s cap, and plenty of different items and companies that experience formed American tradition. old and modern ads also are featured, emphasizing the evolution of the connection among manufacturers and shoppers through the years. Interspersed within the ancient narrative are essays from today’s leaders—including Sheila Bair, Adam Davidson, invoice Ford, Sally Greenberg, Fisk Johnson, Hank Paulson, Richard Trumka, and Pat Woertz—that pose provocative questions about the nation of latest American company and society. American Enterprise is a multi-faceted survey of the nation’s company historical past and corresponding social results that's primary to an realizing of the lives of the yank humans, the background of the USA, and the nation’s position in international affairs.

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The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 gave access to the Western interior, aiding the flow of imported, artisan, and factory-made goods headed west from the Port of New York and to produce moving east. THE UNITED STATES was born in the Merchant Era (1770–1850s). 9 million people not including Indians: four-fifths of them were of European background; the other fifth, African. The country included 864 thousand square miles of land stretching along the East Coast of North America: from the Atlantic Ocean in the East, to the Appalachian Mountains in the West; from Massachusetts in the North, to Georgia in the South.

Consider the story of a slave named William. In 1858 William, worth $900, lived in Charles City, Virginia, as the property of Monroe Franklin Vaiden. Vaiden was thirty-seven years old and a merchant whose principal assets lay in his store, in William, and possibly in William’s wife Rosanna, valued at $600. To protect himself from financial loss if his slaves died, Vaiden insured them with the American Life Insurance and Trust Company. Dr. Charles R. Bricken of Richmond, one of the insurance company’s three Virginia agents, visited Vaiden in April 1858 to sell him a policy.

Trapping Beaver, by Alfred Jacob Miller, 1858–1860, watercolor on paper. In 1837, the artist Alfred Jacob Miller accompanied fur trappers on their hunt for beaver in the far West. Miller’s field notes and sketches described locating the beavers and setting the five-pound traps. Miller’s sketches resulted in finished watercolors. Beaver pelt, 19th century. Thick beaver fur was the most desirable. Three grades of pelts defined the trade: castor gras, pelts worn by trappers whose perspiration and body oils softened the coarse outer hair; castor sec, stiff unworn scraped pelts, and bandeau, poorly scraped pelts.

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