45-855 RAILROADS, THE FIRST BIG BUSINESS

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2nd Mini, AY1999-00
Graduate School of Industrial Administration
Carnegie-Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213
Instructor: Keith T. Poole
Office: 231F GSIA (new bldg)
E-Mail: kp2a@andrew.cmu.edu
Classroom: Room 145
Time: 6:30PM - 9:30PM Thursdays

The following text will be used in this course:
Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business
The readings listed in the assignments are in the course packet.
Requirements
One term paper is required. The topic must be approved by the instructor and it must be related to business issues raised by the course readings and lectures.
Course Outline

  1. Introduction: Why Are Railroads Important?

  2. Railroads and Economic Growth, 1865 - 1900.
    Assignment:
    1. American Railroads, by John Stover, Chs 2 & 3

  3. How Business Was Conducted Before the Railroads
  4. Assignment:
    1. The Visible Hand, Chs 1 & 2

  5. Railroads as Big Business -- Part 1
    Railroads as Big Business -- Part 2
    Railroads as Big Business -- Part 3
  6. Assignment:
    1. Chapters 3 - 6, The Visible Hand

  7. The Evolution of Railroad Technology

  8. The Nature of Railroad Competition
  9. Assignment:
    1. John D. Rockefeller, Vol. 1, by Allan Nevins, Ch. 12, pp. 247-275.

  10. Railroads and the Development of Agriculture
  11. Assignment:
    1. A Congressional History of Railways, by Lewis H. Haney, Ch. 19, pp.240-259.
    2. "A Reappraisal of the Causes of Farm Protest in the United States," by Anne Mayhew, Journal of Economic History 32: (June 1972) pp. 464-475.
    3. "Mortgage Interest Rates in the Populist Era," by Barry Eichengreen, American Economic Review 74 (Dec. 1984): pp. 995-1015.

  12. Railroads and the Transformation of the Iron and Steel Industry
  13. Assignment:
    1. The Visible Hand, Chs. 7 & 8

  14. Railroads and the Financial Markets
  15. Assignment:
    1. A Chapter of Erie, by Charles Francis Adams, Jr.

  16. Railroads and the Dead Hand of Government

  17. Railroads Triumphant: 1980-1999