transcontinental railway

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pages: 424 words: 140,262

Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World by Christian Wolmar

banking crisis, Beeching cuts, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, invention of the wheel, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, railway mania, refrigerator car, side project, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, urban sprawl

CROSSING AMERICA… As already mentioned, the idea of a transcontinental railway for the USA was mooted very soon after the pioneers of the iron road had laid the first lines. And so it was on other continents. Crossing continents seemed a natural aspiration for railways, with plans to traverse Central America, the United States, South America, Russia, Africa and even Australia all emerging in the second half of the nineteenth century. And all would be achieved, apart from the Cape to Cairo, a project whose colonial intent was simply too ambitious in the face of natural and political barriers. These massive projects, the most ambitious in the history of humankind, faced seemingly insuperable difficulties and invariably ended up costing far more than the original estimates. Transcontinental railways were the ultimate grand projets, which inevitably made them the creature of government as they were not remotely feasible without state involvement.

Routes were established through the barriers of the Alps and other mountain ranges, which in turn stimulated the development of industry and tourism. The debate over whether the railways should be privately or publicly owned spread around Europe and the role of the state is examined. The function of railways in several European wars is also considered. Chapters 6 and 7 tell the amazing stories of how and why the transcontinental railways were built. Chapter 6 covers the disastrous Panama Railway whose construction cost the lives of thousands of men and took far longer than expected, but provided a vital link between the east and west coasts of America and the creation of the first American transcontinental, probably the most significant of all the early railways. Chapter 7 deals with crossing other continents, notably Russia where the Trans-Siberian was arguably the most ambitious infrastructure project ever built, and the failed, but heroic, Cape to Cairo.

Often inspired by little more than imperial swagger, they were grandiose undertakings which sought to connect distant corners of the globe with the main population centres in the quest for wealth, power and national unity. They attracted adventurers and visionaries, and, while their purpose varied from country to country, it was more often rooted in the ambitions of politicians and railway promoters than in practical transport economics, though, ultimately, several proved profitable. The story does, of course, start with America which built the first transcontinental railway but, surprisingly, that was not in the United States but in Central America through Panama. In a way the development of that railway had the same driving force as the one that would be completed in Utah fourteen years later – the opening up of the West – since it was the incorporation of Oregon and California into the United States that stimulated the promotion of the Panama Railway. In the 1840s there were three ways to travel between the east and west coasts of the United States, none of them easy: the direct way overland by wagon, running the risk of attacks by Indians; a ship via the dangerous waters of Cape Horn; or trips up and down the coasts linked by a fifty-mile hike through the jungle of the isthmus of Panama.


Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration by Kent E. Calder

3D printing, air freight, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, colonial rule, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, energy transition, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interest rate swap, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of movable type, inventory management, John Markoff, liberal world order, Malacca Straits, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, supply-chain management, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, trade route, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population, zero-sum game

Leland Stanford, who became governor of California in 1861, played a key role, both in government and later as president of the Central Pacific Railway, which built the tortuous railway segment across Introduction xv the Sierra Nevada, employing 15,000 Chinese workers.11 Thomas Durant, general manager of the Union Pacific, who became fabulously rich by early acquiring nearly half of his firm’s outstanding shares, also played a key role.12 The Golden Spike thus critically furthered America’s transformation from a regional nation hugging the Atlantic seaboard into a bicoastal power with a functioning window on the Pacific as well. The second key geographical transformation in America’s ascent to global power—also accomplished through new infrastructural connections—was the building of the Panama Canal. As in the case of the transcontinental railroad, the actual construction was preceded by a lengthy period of conceptualization, change in national political-economic incentives, and consensus building. The result was a clear conversion of America’s international standing from regional into full-fledged global power. Conceptualization began even before completion of the transcontinental railway itself, although not by Americans. In 1869 Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, an entrepreneurial French aristocrat, completed construction of the Suez Canal, with an eye to revolutionizing world shipping through constructed waterways.

In 1860 Theodore Judah’s eminently realistic proposal for a route through Iowa, Nebraska, and across the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento ended the routing debate.6 President Buchanan was persuaded, and Republicans included Judah’s proposed route in their national platform for the 1860 presidential campaign.7 The election of Abraham Lincoln sealed the matter, with Lincoln enthusiastically signing the Pacific Railroad Act, providing financing and land grants for the railroad, in 1862.8 Together with mundane economic considerations, especially prominent among the builders themselves, geopolitics also figured in the building of the transcontinental railway. As William Gilpin, arguably America’s first geopolitician, wrote presciently in 1860, America’s “intermediate geographical position between Asia and Europe and their populations, invests her with the powers and duties of arbiter between them.”9 In narrower political-military terms, the Lincoln White House was concerned, amidst the Civil War, with a mix of threats from rivals. Confederate incursions had reached as far as New Mexico, while England was financing railroads across Canada. Meanwhile France was also building a transcontinental railway across Mexico, creating the danger that both Britain and France could potentially have closer contact with California than the Union’s east coast, distracted by bitter conflict, actually did.10 Although geopolitical concerns, rendered urgent by the exigencies of civil war, may have figured prominently in creating the continentalist policy framework, it was private enterprise that brought the transcontinental railway to actual fruition.

Today, Eurasia is being reconfigured once again. Its western and eastern poles are moving into an ever-deeper embrace, with global political-economic implications. Those fateful developments, unfolding before our eyes, configure the story presented in the pages to follow. A century ago and more ago, a Super Continent began to rise on American shores, its connectivity assured by ­infrastructure—a transcontinental railway, consolidated by the Golden Spike at Promontory Point (1869), and a canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific, completed across Panama (1914). Only a few years ago, a second Super Continent began to rise across Eurasia as well. What to make of this new Super Continent as it begins to rise has been one of the central intellectual concerns of my career. It animated my first postdoctoral academic endeavor—a course on comparative Asian political economy, cotaught at Harvard in the fall of 1979 with Roy Hofheinz, only months after the advent of China’s Four Modernizations.


pages: 501 words: 145,097

The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible by Simon Winchester

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, distributed generation, Donner party, estate planning, Etonian, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, James Watt: steam engine, Joi Ito, Khyber Pass, Menlo Park, plutocrats, Plutocrats, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

Abrams, 1981. Ambrose, Stephen E. Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863–1869. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio. New York: Huebsch, 1919; Signet Classics, 1993. Anfinson, John O. The River We Have Wrought: A History of the Upper Mississippi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. Arsenault, Raymond. Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Atwood, Kay. Chaining Oregon: Surveying the Public Lands of the Pacific Northwest, 1851–1855. Blacksburg, VA: McDonald & Woodward, 2008. Bain, David Haward. Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad. New York: Viking, 1999. Bakeless, John. The Eyes of Discovery: America as Seen by the First Explorers.

Fantasists aplenty were feeding an insatiable public’s lust for lurid tales about the nation’s vast unknown. William Gilpin was one such: a papermaker’s son from Delaware who resigned a commission in the army to join settlers on the Oregon Trail, he became notorious for his Messianic, eye-gleaming boosterism, quite detached from reality. The need to sketch out the possible routes for a transcontinental railway led the Civil War hero Gouverneur Warren to draw one of the finest and most accurate early maps of the American West. Two billion people could be accommodated with ease in the western territories, he would claim in his many public speeches. Scores of millions of cattle could be farmed in the prairies. “The destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent,” he declared—and anyone and anything who stood in the way, be they Sioux or be they buffalo, could be swept aside.

It was a liking that would play a part in his later years in a profound and fascinating way. King returned to the East in 1866 after enduring three seasons of rigorous apprenticeship in California. Now that he was fully schooled in the art of fieldwork, despite his youth, he came up with an ambitious plan for surveying a cross section of the country along the route then being created for the transcontinental railway. In 1867, the year when the government in Washington so suddenly began to make a serious inventory of the country and created its Four Great Surveys to do so, lawmakers agreed with Clarence King that such a survey would be an excellent thing to undertake. Five days after President Andrew Johnson signed the legislation, King was named geologist-in-charge of what would be the most ambitious of all the surveys, the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel.


pages: 612 words: 200,406

The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885 by Pierre Berton

banking crisis, business climate, California gold rush, centre right, Columbine, financial independence, God and Mammon, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, transcontinental railway, unbiased observer, young professional

He learned the railway business well. Thanks to his GPR experience he came out of World War I a major-general and went on to become the largest contractor in the West, helping to build another ill-fated transcontinental railroad, the Grand Trunk Pacific, and founding, for the Liberal Party of British Columbia, a lively newspaper, the Vancouver Sun. After the turn of the century these men spearheaded the great wave of Canadian “utility imperialism” (as one historian has called it) – building power plants, railways, and streetcar lines all over Latin America and two more transcontinental railways in Canada. William Mackenzie helped to launch in São Paulo the gigantic Brazilian Traction corporation, a firm that was to grow almost as big as the CPR itself. Herbert Holt built a railway in Peru, financed a pipeline across Colombia, and controlled banks in the West Indies.

If the railway had followed the valley of the North Saskatchewan, it is probable that much more land would have been taken up because of the attractive combination of good soil and easy access by rail. The pattern of settlement would have been changed, larger cities would have sprung up in the north, and the far western plains might have filled up at an earlier date. Sooner or later, of course, branch lines or new transcontinental railways would also have brought settlers to the southern plains, but by then the pattern of the North West would have been set and that pattern would almost certainly have been a different one. The CPR rejected tens of thousands of acres in the dry country west of Moose Jaw; and, in spite of the heavy immigration to the plains in the early 1880’s, very few settlers were prepared to occupy land in that portion of Palliser’s Triangle.

Its main purpose seemed to be to link the American midwest with the U.S. Atlantic coast, using the St. Lawrence lowlands of Canada as a convenient route between Chicago and Portland. Its directors clearly did not grasp the significance of the Canadian North West. Tyler had never thought of the CPR as a competitor. Indeed, until the contract was signed in 1880, he considered the entire transcontinental railway scheme an elaborate political pipe dream, designed to get votes. Even if it was built it would never threaten the Grand Trunk. It would start at Lake Nipissing in the wilds of Ontario and terminate at Port Moody in the wilds of British Columbia. It did not, apparently, occur to Sir Henry that a railway of that length, built at enormous cost, would have to continue on into the settled East.


pages: 323 words: 94,406

To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World's Greatest Railroad by Christian Wolmar

anti-communist, Cape to Cairo, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, railway mania, refrigerator car, stakhanovite, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban planning

He was born in Moscow in the year the first major section of the Trans-Siberian was completed, fought against the Austrians in the Carpathian Mountains in the First World War and considered joining the White forces in 1918, a story I relate in the book; but, fortunately (not least for me), he fled to France instead, and later the United States and Britain. I also dedicate this book to little Alfie, born 114 years later, who already seems to love trains. ONE A SLOW EMBRACE There were many reasons for Russia not to have built the Trans-Siberian Railway – and very few to build it. While by 1869 America boasted a transcontinental railway and Canada, more relevantly, followed suit sixteen years later, Russia was different. Unlike most of Europe, which had embraced liberalism to accommodate the needs of industrial growth, Russia remained an absolute monarchy ruled by a conservative tsar through a political system that made no concessions to democracy. Travel was circumscribed by the state to such an extent that rail passengers needed internal passports to travel around the country.

Compared with the United States and Canada, Russia was a primitive country, based on inefficient agriculture and boasting little industry. The territory of Siberia – the vast area east of the Urals through which the railway would pass – was sparsely populated and its climate was far harsher than the western regions of Canada and the United States, which had begun to be settled thanks to their transcontinental railways. It seemed to offer little to attract potential immigrants who would be needed to justify the massive cost of constructing the line. Given the likely poor demand for travel the need for the line could, therefore, be questioned. Then there was the sheer scale of the enterprise. The railway would have to stretch across the whole of Siberia to the port of Vladivostok, a distance of some 5,7501 miles – 9,255 kilometres – from Moscow, since it made no sense to stop halfway, given its military rationale was to serve the ports on the Sea of Japan and reinforce the ties between the centre and the most disparate parts of the Russian Empire.

The railway may not have traversed territory that was mountainous like the Alps or the Indian Ghats, nor as barren as the Sudanese desert, through which the British built a railway at almost the same time, but its sheer length and the extreme temperatures endured by the work gangs made its construction an unparalleled feat. To give a measure of the scale, at 5,750 miles it was longer by 2,000 miles than the Canadian transcontinental railway between St John’s, Newfoundland, on the Atlantic and Vancouver in British Columbia on the Pacific, and that had been built in stages. The First Transcontinental in the United States, completed in 1869, was much shorter and required a mere 1,750 miles of new railway when work started in 1863, less than a third of the Trans-Siberian’s length, because the section in the east had already been built.


pages: 603 words: 186,210

Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time by Stephen Fried

Albert Einstein, British Empire, business intelligence, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, estate planning, glass ceiling, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, indoor plumbing, Livingstone, I presume, Nelson Mandela, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, refrigerator car, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

As the railroads consolidated and grew in the go-go postwar economy, their stocks were increasingly controlled by a small group of powerful eastern financiers who all sat on one another’s boards, slapped one another’s backs, and smoked the best cigars. But the railroad industry’s unprecedented power carried equally unprecedented risks. In the early fall of 1872, Fred started noticing that in every city he visited, the local papers carried bigger and bigger stories about a financial scandal involving the builders of the transcontinental railroad. Union Pacific executives were accused of looting profits from the transcontinental railroad through a questionable company they created and gave a foreign-sounding name: Crédit Mobilier. Not only did this company receive no-bid contracts to build much of the railroad, but several members of Congress who voted on train funding were allowed to buy Crédit Mobilier stock at bargain rates. No criminal charges were ever filed, and only two of the congressmen were even censured, but the Crédit Mobilier scandal spooked European investors—who were the ones who owned most of America’s railroad stock.

So the opportunity to be a “George” was highly coveted, and the Pullman service on the trains was uniformly excellent. As his business grew, Pullman went into partnership with the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, which assured him greater access to capital and the two biggest contracts in the world of trains: He was hired to build all the sleepers not only for the Pennsylvania Railroad, one of the dominant lines in the East, but also for the Union Pacific’s new transcontinental railway. By the 1870s, the Pullman name had become synonymous with traveling in comfort. YET THERE WAS ONE area of the passenger service business that eluded Pullman, and that was food. Pullman built fine dining cars—the first one was called The Delmonico, with menus created by chefs from that renowned restaurant—but they weren’t nearly as successful as his sleepers. It wasn’t his fault. At that time there were still no vestibules allowing passengers to walk between cars, so one couldn’t go to the dining car while the train was moving or leave it after eating until the train stopped at a station.

They were off the next morning—Montezuma porters complaining about their meager tips—and headed south to Deming, where the Santa Fe met the Southern Pacific, whose tracks hugged the Mexican border across Arizona into southern California. From there, the Pullmans carrying the Raymond excursionists continued north to visit Yosemite and later stay at the only western resort in the same league as the Montezuma: the Del Monte, which the Southern Pacific had built in Monterey. Finally they connected with the transcontinental railway heading east through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska, crossing the Missouri River, and returning to civilization. As they headed home, other groups of Raymond excursionists were already departing from Boston and Philadelphia to become American grand tourists. The Montezuma attracted all kinds—the well, the “worried well,” and the truly ill—from America, Europe, South America, even Asia.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the sewing machine, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

Just as the country-to-town migration in Britain reduced the standard of living of the average worker during 1800–1830, so the urbanization of America after 1870 also reduced the average standard of living of working-class Americans.6 THE GOLDEN SPIKE AS A SYMBOL OF AMERICA IN 1870 A quintessential symbol of the American advance and future promise is captured by the 1869 hammering of the golden spike that united the transcontinental railway. This story combines the British invention of the railroad, rapidly adapted to the much larger land mass of the United States, with the American invention of the telegraph.7 The event happened at noon on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah. That moment was a pivotal episode in world history as Leland Stanford pounded a golden spike with a silver hammer and in an instant ended the isolation of California and the Great West from the eastern half of the United States.

The importance of the horse became apparent when in the fall of 1872 horses in cities throughout the northeast caught a virulent strain of horse flu and could not be used for work: City life came to a standstill … Streetcar companies suspended service, undelivered freight accumulated at wharves and railroad depots, consumers lacked milk, ice, and groceries, saloons lacked beer, work halted at construction sites, brickyards, and factories, and city governments curtailed fire protection and garbage collection.53 A full century after James Watt’s steam engine, why were cities so dependent on horses rather than steam-powered devices? Disadvantages of steam engines within the narrow confines of cities included the ever-present danger of fires started by sparks, their acrid black smoke, their deafening noise, and their heavy weight, which cracked street pavements. LEISURE, FROM NEWSPAPERS TO SALOONS By 1870, the American invention of the telegraph had announced the joining together of the transcontinental railway, had in 1861 made the Pony Express obsolete, and had allowed local print newspapers to report the events of national and world affairs on the day that they happened, including daily chronicles of carnage in the Civil War. The great surge of popular journalism in the late nineteenth century had not yet arrived, and in 1870 relatively few people read newspapers. In 1870, there were 574 newspapers having a combined circulation of 2.6 million, numbers that would grow by factors of four and ten, respectively, between 1870 and 1909.

From the 1820s, steam power ended this tyranny of slowness, as the rapid development of railroads and steamship travel made the world smaller and, by reducing transport costs, created an upsurge in long-stagnant economic growth as well as new forms of commerce and communication. By our starting date of 1870, the United States had built a 60,000-mile network of rail transport and was connected by steamships to every continent. The completion of the transcontinental railway with the “golden spike” ceremony at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, was heralded in chapter 2 as creating a dividing line in the history of American living standards. The treatment of transportation in this chapter further develops the main themes of the book. The Great Inventions of the late nineteenth century created an utter transformation in both the rural and urban standard of living that could happen only once, though the transition after each of the Great Inventions was not instantaneous but rather spread out over many years.


pages: 482 words: 147,281

A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, butterfly effect, California gold rush, Golden Gate Park, index card, indoor plumbing, lateral thinking, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, place-making, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, supervolcano, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

This immense and open territory, with its fair weather and its huge skies and fields in which, it seemed, anything that might grow in the South would in fact grow twice as well, was so much more agreeable than the wrecked landscape of Dixie. There was a huge demand for labour in the West at this time too – and so began a flood of new people from Alabama and Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, and soon kept up amply with demand: the state’s population rose from 380,000 in 1860 to 560,000 in 1870. The transcontinental railway was completed in 1869. The cheap and willing labour needed to build it was provided in large measure from China, which led to the creation of a scattering of big-city Chinatowns (the OED’s first citation for this term is 1857, quoting a newspaper in the California where the phenomenon was born). Trans-Pacific immigration – with the concomitant pressure to ban it, which was on occasion a sorry feature of California’s history during the nineteenth century – thus became a prominent feature of the state’s story, and led in large measure to the extraordinary demographic diversity that had already begun to characterize its great cities at the turn of the century.

It took little more than a decade for the situation to become so changed. In 1848, the year of Sutter’s Mill, agriculture still reigned supreme, industry was primitive, mining in the doldrums. But by 1859 – the same year that a new gold strike was made in Colorado, the year that the great silver deposit known as the Comstock Lode was found in Nevada, the year that the first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania, and just when work on the four great transcontinental railway routes was starting – government figures showed that at last the value of products made in American factories had overtaken the value of produce from the farms and fields. And with America’s transmutation into a fast-growing industrial power, there came a sudden and anxious need for minerals. Such natural resources as the country possessed were all being swallowed up by the furnaces and the foundries, and in 1866 a frankly worried government in Washington decreed that the proper development of the nation’s geological and mineral wealth had to be of ‘the highest concern of the American people’.

These were the trails – from Memphis to California across Texas, from St Louis to California across Utah, from Hannibal along the valley of the Platte River towards Oregon, and from Chicago up across the peaks of Montana and via the empty rain-shadowed waste lands to the tiny army encampment at Fort Walla Walla – from which the roadbeds for all of America’s future surface links would be formed. The routes of the telegraph cables, the tracks of the Pony Express, the Wells Fargo stagecoach lines, the transcontinental railroads, the two-lane and then four-lane highways – Route 66 most legendary among them – and then the roads of the Interstate System of today – all of them first followed the routes that those Gold Rush migrants had taken, once John Marshall’s find had cried its havoc, and the newcomers had slipped their traces and begun. They came in absurd numbers, and in many cases with either an abysmal lack of preparation, or entirely the wrong kind of preparation.


Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America by Henry Petroski

Bay Area Rapid Transit, creative destruction, Donald Trump, intermodal, Loma Prieta earthquake, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the built environment, transcontinental railway

In early 1900, Cooper had the additional information he had requested; after studying the situation for three months, he concluded that the original pier locations, sixteen hundred feet apart, would take a year longer and be accompanied by more “real and imaginary contingencies” than shallower piers farther apart, and he recommended increasing the main bridge span to eighteen hundred feet—thus proposing a cantilever bridge with a span longer than any in the world. In the meantime, negotiations were going back and forth between the Quebec and Phoenix companies, with the latter concerned about the financial status of the former. Detailed design work did not progress very quickly under such circumstances, for Phoenix was not assured of being paid for its services. It was not until 1903, when plans for a National Transcontinental Railway project were revealed, that a bridge at Quebec became such a necessity that government backing was assured. By then the government had also become more interested because of planning for the Quebec Tercentenary in 1908, and it was intimated that the bridge should be ready for the celebration. Thus the pace of design work was suddenly accelerated in 1903—with consequences that were only to be realized years later.

But engineers like Eads did not think the job was yet completed, for there remained many obstacles to cheap transportation, especially between the East and West Coasts. Increasing international commerce in the latter part of the nineteenth century created worldwide interest in a canal across Central America, to reduce the time and risk that ships took in transporting people and cargo between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. By 1855, a fifty-mile railroad across the Isthmus of Panama—the first transcontinental railroad—presented an alternative to the thousands of sea miles (and added perils) it took to get around the southernmost part of South America. Of course, unloading ship cargo onto railroad trains and reloading it onto ships at the other terminus was as costly as ferrying rail freight across rivers without bridges. By the late 1870s, a private French company had been formed to explore options, and the prospect of an Isthmian canal, promoted by “Le Grand Français,” Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, who had been responsible for the Suez Canal, offered some promise amid great engineering controversy.

Rudolphe Modrzejewski was born in Cracow, Poland, on January 27, 1861, the son of Gustav and Helena Modrzejewski, who, as Helena Modjeska, was to become known as “the première tragedienne of her time.” According to his mother’s memoirs, Rudolphe came to America with her for the first time in 1876, when they visited New York, Philadelphia, and the Centennial Exposition. As they crossed the Isthmus of Panama on the first transcontinental railroad, on their way to California, the young man declared that “someday he would build the Panama Canal.” Although she remembers him as “even then determined to become a civil engineer,” a career as a pianist was evidently also a possibility, for he had been well trained musically and was said to be a leading exponent of Chopin. Indeed, young Ralph, as he preferred to be called in America, was at one time a fellow student with Ignace Paderewski.


pages: 404 words: 108,253

9Tail Fox by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Kickstarter, large denomination, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, transcontinental railway

Having been destroyed in one earthquake, the city had seen its freeways ripped down in another and was busy awaiting a third; for all its climate, beauty and obvious affluence everyone living here existed on the edge of permanent uncertainty. Obvious really, Bobby realised. Nothing personal. The Begley House was wood-framed and grey-painted, an octagonal turret set in the left corner to match the turret on the right corner of the house behind. It had been built for Theodore Begley, a sugar importer and tobacco merchant whose father was one of the few to realise what damage the transcontinental railway would do to trade in the city. While others celebrated the hammering of the final spike, Theodore’s father was busy buying up factories on the East Coast, ready to undercut not only himself but also his friends. The house his son built had a huge hall, reception room and dining room, seven bedrooms, two bathrooms and a small garden cut into Tamsin Hill and supported with field stone walls.

CHAPTER 27 Monday 1 March The school on Runyon Drive had been built in 1875 to educate the sons of the newly rich, and San Francisco in the late 1870s was a city firmly divided into the newly rich and those still desperate to join them. The great days of the gold rush were gone and sailing clippers no longer beached on the Bay shore, remaining there to rot as whole crews abandoned their watch to go in search of riches. Great faith had been placed in the transcontinental railroad and its ability to open San Francisco to the culture, sophistication and elegance of the East Coast. In the event, the railroad brought only disaster. Cheap goods flooded the city, putting whole neighbourhoods out of work. The track layers, mostly Chinese, thousands of whom had been injured, died in blasting accidents or burnt out their lives as indentured labour, found themselves blamed for the city’s plight.


pages: 523 words: 159,884

The Great Railroad Revolution by Christian Wolmar

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, accounting loophole / creative accounting, banking crisis, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, intermodal, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban sprawl

The building of a line from the Atlantic to the Pacific had been mooted at the very dawn of the railroad age, and despite the physical obstacles and huge distances involved, the dream of uniting the two oceans had become part of the American psyche. The idea of a transcontinental railroad was integral to the very notion of creating a unified nation across North America. The land was there, but, for the settlers to come, transportation was needed. In the early days, they traveled in wagon—rather than steam—trains, but it was obvious that the creation of substantial communities in the West was dependent on finding a better transportation solution than the horse and cart. Without the railroad, it would be impossible to open up the huge swath of land between the Mississippi and the West Coast. Several fanciful and impractical ideas for a transcontinental railroad had been put forward as early as the 1810s and 1820s, but the first detailed proposal emerged just as the first locomotives were chugging along the Charleston & Hamburg and Baltimore & Ohio lines.

He also suggested—quixotically perhaps, because his knowledge of weather patterns was limited—that one reason to build the line would be to facilitate the export of furs to India. But then, to be fair, the notion of a three-thousand-mile transcontinental railroad at a time when there were barely a few dozen miles of line in the whole country could be conceived only by those with a fervent imagination. Various enthusiasts began to pick up on the idea. There was, for example, John Plumbe, a Welsh engineer who had moved to the United States in the 1820s and in 1836 began to examine possible routes for the line from his home in Wisconsin, then still a territory rather than a state. Rather presciently, Plumbe, best remembered as a pioneer of photographic techniques, argued that a transcontinental railroad “would hasten the formation of dense settlements throughout the whole extent of the road, advance the sales of the public lands, afford increased facilities to the agricultural, commercial and mining interests of the country . . . and enable the government to transport troops and munitions of war.”

A key factor was that it eventually had control of its own metals all the way between Chicago and the West Coast, whereas other companies had to use tracks belonging to other railroads, which would invariably prioritize their own services. Meanwhile, two other transcontinental railroads had been built to the north. These were epic affairs, on a scale with the original transcontinental. The Northern Pacific was a completely separate enterprise from its southern namesake and one that suffered, like its predecessor, from constant cash shortages that delayed progress. On the same day in July 1864 that Durant’s bribery had obtained from Congress those generous arrangements for the financing of the Union Pacific, the lawmakers also granted a charter and land to a second transcontinental railroad, with a route from the shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota to the northern Pacific coast. Whereas the first transcontinental had been completed within five years, it would take nearly two decades to build the Northern Pacific, not least because its construction was even more demanding than that of its predecessor.


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The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty by Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Kula ring, labor-force participation, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, openstreetmap, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Skype, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, the market place, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks

This created huge incentives for the railway companies to get the work done, since once the railroad was built the land would be valuable and they could sell it for considerable profit. We saw in Chapter 1 how the Union Pacific railway, as soon as it constructed the track in Wyoming, founded the city of Cheyenne and began to sell off the land. None of this required new spending, so the federal government did not need to raise taxes. The public-private partnership strategy to build the transcontinental railway wasn’t just about spending as little government money as possible. It also aimed at shackling the budding American Leviathan. It focused on incentivizing the private sector to do work that in other parts of the world might have been done by the government, so that the state did not grow too big or too powerful. It kept the private sector involved too, so that the Leviathan remained tightly monitored.

See also Novak and Pincus (2017) on the origins of the strong American state. The Mapp v. Ohio judgment is at http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/367/643.html. We quote from Morgan (1975): “having little interest” (238), and “if any slave resist” (312). See John (1995, 1997) on the importance of the post office, and see Larson (2001) on infrastructure more broadly and Duran (2012) for the economic impact of the transcontinental railway. Acemoglu, Moscona, and Robinson (2016) provide econometric evidence that the creation of post offices and appointment of postmasters stimulated patenting and thus innovation in the nineteenth-century United States. The quote from Zorina Khan is from that paper, and also see Khan (2009). “There is an astonishing” is from Tocqueville (2002, 283). Abernathy is quoted from Eskew (1997, Chapter 7).

., 323 Taif Agreement, 63 Taiping Rebellion, 218 Taiwan, 235, 476 Tajikistan, 288–90, 290 Tallensi people, 366 Talleyrand, Charles-Maurice, 2 Tamil Nadu, India, 245–47, 253, 257–59, 262 T’an-ch’eng County, China, 211, 216 Tang legal code of 653, 215 Tang dynasty, 209, 215, 220–22 taxation: and African economics, 363–64; and American exceptionalism, 307; and American Leviathan, 48; and American state building, 317, 320; and ancient Greece, 33, 43; and Byzantine state, 187; and Champagne fairs, 136; and Chinese civil service, 217; and Chinese Communist state, 233; and Chinese legal codes, 215; and Chinese social organization, 219; and Chinese well-field system, 207–8; and Colombian governance reforms, 448, 449; and despotic growth, 114, 221–22; and divergent impact of Soviet collapse, 282; and English political development, 191; and European parliaments, 184; and Hawaiian state, 117–18; and Islam, 77, 372, 374; and Islamic caliphates, 106–7, 108–12; and Italian communes, 133; and legacy of colonization, 365; and Magna Carta, 174–76; and market reforms in Russia, 286; and Montenegro, 277; and Mughal Empire, 259–60; and Nigerian governance reforms, 445–47; and Progressive era, 323; and Prussia, 273–74, 279; and Qing dynasty, 225; and self-defense forces in Colombia, 353; and social tensions, 309; and Zulu state, 84, 85 technology companies, 480–82 Tenth Amendment, 320 Teotihuacán, 150 terrorism, 308–9, 335, 388, 389 Themistocles, 45 Theodosius, 158 Theseus, 33–36 Thevars, 245–47 Thibault II, Count of Champagne, 135–36 things (assemblies), 185–86 Third Reform Act, 190 Thirteenth Amendment, 52 Thirty Years War, 273 This Is the New Woman (Herrmann), 394 Thomas Aquinas, Saint, 138 Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (Carroll), 40–41 Tiananmen Square protests, 233, 235, 443 Tilly, Charles, 188–89, 269, 271–72, 349 Time of Troubles (Georgia), 93 Time on the Cross (Engerman and Fogel), 454 Tinubu, Bola Ahmed, 444–46 Tivland and Tiv culture, 4, 42, 54–59, 63–66, 64, 86, 91, 95, 102–4, 434 Tlaxcalan, 150 tobacco, 295, 314–15 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 51, 318, 359, 403 Tojo, Hideki, 437–38 Tombstone (Yang), 14–15 Tonga society, 97–98, 100–101, 104, 277–78 tonsure decree, 212–13 Toro di Berto, 141 Township Village Enterprises (TVEs), 232 trade unions, 283, 470–71, 473–75 traffic safety, 446, 449 transcontinental railway (U.S.), 317–18 Treaty of Basel, 271 Treaty of Versailles, 376, 400 trial rights, 46–47, 172–73 Triana, Miguel, 348 Triana, Victor, 348 tribal groups, 8, 38, 43, 78–79, 252, 276, 371, 373–74. See also clans; kinship ties True Whig Party (Liberia; TWP), 360 Trump, Donald J., 330, 420, 425–26 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 433 Ts’ao family, 226–27, 227 Tubman, William, 361, 362 Tuchinat, 184 Turkey, 376, 425, 439–43 Tutu, Desmond, 431 Twain, Mark, 323, 460 “Twenty-Four Crimes” memorial, 210–11 Ubaydid dynasty, 111–12 Uberto de Iniquitate, 418 Uighurs, 235–36 Ukraine, 282 ulama, 375–79, 381, 385, 388 Umar, 106 Umayyad dynasty, 106, 109, 112 Umkosi, 85 Union of South Africa, 429 Union Pacific railway, 317 United Arab Emirates, xvi United as One Family campaign, 235–36 United Nations, 3, 11, 63, 460, 462 United States: and civil rights, 309–13, 321–23; and coalition-building efforts, 484–85, 487–88; and effects of American exceptionalism, 306–9, 316, 337; and effects of social polarization, 425–26; and federal police powers, 332–36; impact of Great Depression in, 467; and legacy of slave economy, 313–16; and norms against political hierarchy, 57; and paradox of American Leviathan, 336–37; and police violence, 304–6; and Progressive era, 323–27; and protection of rights, 46–53; and racial/social inequalities, 327–32; Revolutionary War, 47, 49, 51, 322, 358; and state-building dynamics, 316–21; and trade unions, 475.


pages: 283 words: 81,163

How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas J. Dilorenzo

banking crisis, British Empire, business cycle, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Norman Mailer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, wealth creators, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

HOW TO BUILD A RAILROAD Most business historians have assumed that the transcontinental railroads would never have been built without government subsidies. The free market would have failed to provide the adequate capital, or so the theory asserts. The evidence for this theory is that the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, which were completed in the years after the War Between the States, received per-mile subsidies from the federal government in the form of low-interest loans as well as massive land grants. But there need not be cause and effect here: the subsidies were not needed to cause the transcontinental railroads to be built. We know this because, just as many roads and canals were privately financed in the early nineteenth century, a market entrepreneur built his own transcontinental railroad. James J. Hill built the Great Northern Railroad “without any government aid, even the right of way, through hundreds of miles of public lands, being paid for in cash,” as Hill himself stated.2 Quite naturally, Hill strongly opposed government favors to his competitors: “The government should not furnish capital to these companies, in addition to their enormous land subsidies, to enable them to conduct their business in competition with enterprises that have received no aid from the public treasury,” he wrote.3 This may sound quaint by today’s standards, but it was still a hotly debated issue in the late nineteenth century.

Sure enough, in the second half of the nineteenth century, when the federal government began subsidizing internal improvements, noneconomic factors became paramount. During the congressional debates over federal subsidies for transcontinental railroads in 1862, a New Mexico politician complained that “the wrangle of local interests” was such that many congressmen would not support the subsidy bill unless the railroad “starts in the corner of every man’s farm and runs through all his neighbors’ plantations” in every part of the state.15 The concerns of the man from New Mexico were not unfounded. Indeed, Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania “had received a block of . . . stock in exchange for his vote,” writes Dee Brown in his popular history of the transcontinental railroads. Stevens also “demanded insertion of a clause [in the railroad bill] requiring that all iron used in the construction and equipment of said road to be American manufacture.

There was no government-imposed “right of eminent domain” in New Hampshire, but the private railroad company was not hindered: it simply purchased rights of way. Similarly, the Mormons built four railroads in Utah without any government subsidies. And as will be seen in Chapter 7, in the late nineteenth century entrepreneur James J. Hill built a transcontinental railroad that was not subsidized. Hill’s privately financed railroad was built better, had a more direct route, and was more profitable than the government-subsidized transcontinental railroads with which he competed, most of which went bankrupt at some point because they were so mired in government regulation and crippled by the inherent inefficiencies of all government-financed or -sponsored “public works” programs. Despite such successes, however—and despite the failures of government-financed infrastructure development—Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party remained fierce proponents of internal improvement subsidies, especially for railroads.


Frommer's San Francisco 2012 by Matthew Poole, Erika Lenkert, Kristin Luna

airport security, Albert Einstein, Bay Area Rapid Transit, California gold rush, car-free, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, El Camino Real, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, place-making, Port of Oakland, post-work, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, Torches of Freedom, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Speculation on the newly established San Francisco stock exchange could make or destroy an investor in a single day, and several noteworthy writers (including Mark Twain) were among the young men forever influenced by the boomtown spirit. The American Civil War left California firmly in the Union camp, ready, willing, and able to receive hordes of disillusioned soldiers fed up with the internecine war-mongering of the eastern seaboard. In 1869, the transcontinental railway linked the eastern and western seaboards of the United States, ensuring the fortunes of the barons who controlled it. The railways, however, also shifted economic power bases as cheap manufactured goods from the east undercut the high prices hitherto charged for goods that sailed or steamed their way around the tip of South America. Ownership of the newly formed Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads was almost completely controlled by the “Big Four,” all iron-willed capitalists—Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Collis P.

dateline 1542 Juan Cabrillo sails up the California coast. 1579 Sir Francis Drake lands near San Francisco, missing the entrance to the bay. 1769 Members of the Spanish expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá become the first Europeans to see San Francisco Bay. 1775 The San Carlos is the first European ship to sail into San Francisco Bay. 1776 Captain Juan Bautista de Anza establishes a presidio (military fort); San Francisco de Asís Mission opens. 1821 Mexico wins independence from Spain and annexes California. 1835 The town of Yerba Buena develops around the port; the United States tries unsuccessfully to purchase San Francisco Bay from Mexico. 1846 Mexican-American War. 1847 Americans annex Yerba Buena and rename it San Francisco. 1848 Gold is discovered in Coloma, near Sacramento. 1849 In the year of the gold rush, San Francisco’s population swells from about 800 to 25,000. 1851 Lawlessness becomes acute before attempts are made to curb it. 1869 The transcontinental railroad reaches San Francisco. 1873 Andrew S. Hallidie invents the cable car. 1906 The Great Earthquake strikes, and the resulting fire levels the city. 1915 The Panama Pacific International Exposition celebrates San Francisco’s restoration and the completion of the Panama Canal. 1936 The Bay Bridge is built. 1937 The Golden Gate Bridge is completed. 1945 The United Nations Charter is drafted and adopted by the representatives of 50 countries meeting in San Francisco. 1950 The Beat Generation moves into the bars and cafes of North Beach. 1967 A free concert in Golden Gate Park attracts 20,000 people, ushering in the Summer of Love and the hippie era. 1974 BART’s high-speed transit system opens the tunnel linking San Francisco with the East Bay. 1978 Harvey Milk, a city supervisor and America’s first openly gay politician, is assassinated, along with Mayor George Moscone, by political rival Dan White. 1989 An earthquake registering 7.1 on the Richter scale hits San Francisco during a World Series baseball game, as 100 million watch on TV; the city quickly rebuilds. 1991 Fire rages through the Berkeley/Oakland hills, destroying 2,800 homes. 1993 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts opens. 1995 New San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opens. 1996 Former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown elected mayor of San Francisco. 2000 Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park), the new home to the San Francisco Giants, opens. 2002 The San Francisco Giants make it to the World Series but lose to the Anaheim Angels in Game 7. 2004 Thirty-six-year-old supervisor Gavin Newsom becomes the city’s 42nd mayor and quickly makes headlines by authorizing City Hall to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

AE, MC, V. Mon–Sat 11:30am–3pm; Mon–Thurs 5:30–9pm; Fri–Sat 5:30–9:30pm. Oakland 10 miles E of San Francisco Although it’s less than a dozen miles from San Francisco, Oakland is worlds apart from its sister city across the bay. Originally little more than a cluster of ranches and farms, Oakland exploded in size and stature practically overnight, when the last mile of transcontinental railroad track was laid down. Major shipping ports soon followed and, to this day, Oakland remains one of the busiest industrial ports on the West Coast. The price for economic success, however, is Oakland’s lowbrow reputation as a predominantly working-class city; it is forever in the shadow of chic San Francisco. However, as the City by the Bay has become crowded and expensive in the past few years, Oakland has experienced a rush of new residents and businesses.


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The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff

California gold rush, interchangeable parts, Kickstarter, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, new economy, New Journalism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South of Market, San Francisco, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

Walker, “Economic Opportunity on the Urban Frontier: Wealth and Nativity in Early San Francisco,” Explorations in Economic History 37.3 (2000), pp. 258–277; Kevin Starr, Inventing the Dream: California Through the Progressive Era (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1986 [1985]), p. 131; and David J. St. Clair, “The Gold Rush and the Beginnings of California Industry,” California History 77.4 (Winter, 1998/1999), pp. 185–208. The Civil War would Origins of transcontinental railroad: Richard White, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011), pp. 17–22, and David Haward Bain, Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad (New York: Penguin, 2000 [1999]), pp. 3–118. Messianic rhetoric and anticipation: William Deverell, “Redemptive California? Re-thinking the Post–Civil War,” Rethinking History 11.1 (March 2007), pp. 65–66. Any citizen July 4 festivities: San Francisco Evening Bulletin, July 6, 1863.

New mines in Nevada and elsewhere kept bullion flowing into San Francisco’s banks—$185 million of which would be sent to Northern coffers to help finance the Union war effort. Aside from this hefty contribution, however, California’s role in the conflict was limited. No serious fighting reached the coast, and Lincoln never applied the draft west of Iowa and Kansas, partly in a bid to keep the Far West loyal. The Civil War would be a boon to California: not only by increasing its wealth but by bringing the dream of a transcontinental railroad closer to reality. Although a railway to the Pacific had been debated for decades, Congress didn’t lay the legislative foundations until the war made it possible to sell the idea as a matter of military necessity. The Pacific Railway Act of 1862 took the first step, chartering two private companies to build the tracks, and subsidizing the venture with land grants and federal bonds. The construction would go slowly at first.

“[S]o loudly is the poor paper made to blow its own trumpet,” Webb wrote, “that the popular impression will be that it is a BRAZEN ERA.” Ina Coolbrith around 1871, when she was about thirty. This kind of puffery felt crass in light of the city’s new sophistication. The past year had boosted San Francisco’s prosperity and prestige. An influx of easterners had invigorated its culture. The Civil War had made it rich, and set in motion the construction of the transcontinental railroad, whose western span workers began building that year. The Era had dominated the first phase; now a new periodical was needed, as San Francisco’s Bohemians came into their own. Building a better paper would bring Twain, Harte, and Stoddard closer together. They went from being acquaintances to friends, from colleagues in the Era’s crowded firmament to co-conspirators in a literary crusade of their own.


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The Story of the Pony Express by Glenn D. Bradley

transcontinental railway

Maximilian bestowed an abundance of hollow honors upon the renegade senator, and made him Duke of the Province of Sonora, which region Gwin and his clique had doubtless coveted as an integral part of their projected "Republic of the Pacific." Because of this empty title, the nickname, "Duke," was ever afterward given him. When Maximilian's soap bubble monarchy had disappeared, Gwin finally returned to California where he passed his old age in retirement. [18] Senate documents. [19]All parties in California were unanimous in their desire for a transcontinental railroad. No political faction there could receive any support unless it strongly endorsed this project. [20] The signers of this petition were: Robert C. Rogers, Macondray & Co., Jno. Sime & Co., J. B. Thomas, W. W. Stow, Horace P. James, Geo. F. Bragg & Co., Flint, Peabody & Co., Wm. B. Johnston, D. O. Mills, H. M. Newhall & Co., Henry Schmildell, Murphy Grant & Co., Wm. T. Coleman & Co., DeWitt Kittle & Co., Richard M.

By the early autumn of 1866, the Kansas Pacific had reached Junction City, Kansas, and the Union Pacific was at Fort Kearney, Nebraska. The golden era of the overland stage business was from 1858 to 1866. After that, the old through routes were but fragments "between the tracks" of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific roads which were building East and West toward each other. Wells Fargo & Co., however, clung to these fragments until the lines met on May 10th, 1869, and a continuous transcontinental railroad was completed. Then they turned their attention to organizing mountain stage and express lines in the railroadless regions of the West,--some of which still exist. And they also turned their energies to the railway express business, in which capacity this great firm, the last of the old stage companies, is now known the world over. [34] Authority for Early Mail Routes is Root and Connelley's Overland Stage to California

.$700,000 The receipts are said to have been about $500,000 leaving a debit balance of $200,000. That the Company changed hands in 1861 is not surprising. While the Pony Express failed in a financial way; it had served the country faithfully and well. It had aided an imperiled Government, helped to tranquilize and retain to the Union a giant commonwealth, and it had shown the practicability of building a transcontinental railroad, and keeping it open for traffic regardless of winter snows. All this Pony Express did and more. It marked the supreme triumph of American spirit, of God-fearing, man-defying American pluck and determination--qualities which have always characterized the winning of the West. [41] Senate Documents. End of Project Gutenberg's The Story of the Pony Express, by Glenn D. Bradley *** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE STORY OF THE PONY EXPRESS *** ***** This file should be named 4671-h.htm or 4671-h.zip ***** This and all associated files of various formats will be found in: http://www.gutenberg.org/4/6/7/4671/ Produced by David A.


pages: 585 words: 151,239

Capitalism in America: A History by Adrian Wooldridge, Alan Greenspan

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, white flight, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War, young professional

In the early years of the republic, productivity improvements were limited by the speed that horses could run or ships could sail. Improved roads or rigging could only improve productivity a little, since hooves or sails could only go so fast. Productivity increased when steamships replaced sails, not only because steamboats could go faster than sailboats in inland waterways, but also because they could sail upstream as well as downstream. The transcontinental railroad reduced the time it took to transport people and goods across the continent from six months to six days.9 The addition of local lines gradually plugged a larger proportion of the country’s human and physical resources into a national rail line and dramatically increased the flow of people and goods around the country. Motorcars and highways eventually supplanted railway lines because they are more fluid and flexible: they can take goods to your front door rather than just to the local railway station.

A disproportionate amount of this building was in the hitherto sparsely inhabited West. MILES OF RAILROAD BUILT 1890 – 1940 Railroads reduced the cost of moving stuff around: according to one estimate, by 1890 the cost of rail freight was $0.875 a ton-mile compared with $24.50 per ton-mile for wagon freight, a reduction of 96 percent. They speeded up connections: the transcontinental railroad reduced the time it took to get across the continent from six months to six days. They also boosted reliability: you could more or less guarantee that you would get to where you were going on time. Trains could pull dozens of wagons’ worth of stuff: David Wells calculated that, in 1887, the country’s railway freight was equivalent to every person carrying a thousand tons one mile or every ton a thousand miles.6 Railways also acted as industrial stimulants in their own right.

In the East, railroads had to compete against several different sorts of transport, from canals to roads. In the West, they were often the only providers of transportation—and like all monopolists they exploited their power to extract the maximum rent from their clients. The pioneering railroad in the region was the Union Pacific, which was chartered by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The Union Pacific formed America’s first transcontinental railroad when it met up with the Central Pacific Railroad on May 10, 1869. It quickly built or acquired additional lines, which provided it with links to most of the region’s great (or soon to be great) cities: Salt Lake City, Denver, and Portland. The extension of America’s rail network to the West turned the country into an agricultural superpower, opening up new markets ever farther west, and turning the Midwest into the breadbasket of not only America but the world.


pages: 801 words: 209,348

Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American ideology, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, oil rush, peer-to-peer, pets.com, popular electronics, profit motive, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

With larger political issues looming, the transcontinental railroad had not been approved during the 1850s. But in the summer of 1862, the emboldened federal government, in the absence of Southern elements in the House and the Senate, approved the Pacific Railway Act. While the South was rationing its iron, here was the North embarking on a railroad experiment to connect the continent. The Pacific Railway Act, with a combination of land grants and bond guarantees, allowed for private interests to begin the construction of a railroad. Starting from the West, the rights to build fell to a group of Sacramento merchants, led by Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford, men who had arrived and prospered with the Gold Rush. By the end of the decade, the transcontinental railroad would allow a passenger embarking in New York to arrive in San Francisco in less than a dozen days.

It was here in this paper temple that the best operators of the era, such as Jay Gould, could—without leaving the island of Manhattan—end up controlling far-flung enterprises that had taken the toil of thousands to build. Through dealings in the stock market, Gould engaged in corporate gamesmanship of the highest order and ended up in control of major railroads and telegraph operations. Gould’s boardroom battles and intrigues—which included the Erie Railroad, Western Union, and one half of the first transcontinental railroad, the Union Pacific—often played out in the newspapers, highlighting the power of the knowing men on Wall Street to determine the fate of so many through the control of financial instruments. At the same time, even the young prospector who might have ventured to the oil fields in search of easy money could participate by taking sides, by buying his own few shares of stock. The idea of Wall Street could even be found in uplifting literature meant for young boys and adolescents.

• • • “ALL WAS GOING WELL for us,” wrote Carnegie, “when one morning in our summer cottage, a telegram came announcing the failure of Jay Cooke & Co.” For Northerners, Jay Cooke was the patriotic pitchman behind the Union’s war bonds, responsible for helping the government borrow over $2 billion during the war. Eight years later, Jay Cooke & Co. was regarded as one of the strongest financial houses in America, but it had overreached with investments in the transcontinental railroad. Its failure set off a panic. As was often the case, what happened next was a self-fulfilling prophecy. When depositors panicked, they tended to withdraw deposits, which increased the insolvency of the institutions. Seeing the run on banks, other creditors called in loans to ensure that they had capital on hand. Without a central bank or source of emergency liquidity, rumor fueled the panic.


Shotguns and Stagecoaches: The Brave Men Who Rode for Wells Fargo in the Wild West by John Boessenecker

California gold rush, mass immigration, transcontinental railway

Although Wells Fargo owned and operated stage lines in various places in the West, it was an express company, not a transportation business. It carried letters, packages, and valuables, not passengers. For the most part, Wells Fargo paid local stage lines to carry its green strongboxes. However, in 1866, Wells Fargo began running overland stages, and it acquired ownership interests in numerous local stage lines. After the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, Wells Fargo increasingly transported shipments aboard trains. During the 1870s, as railroads expanded throughout the West, Wells Fargo express cars, usually coupled behind the tender and in front of the baggage car, became a common sight. Wells Fargo’s first messengers, during the California Gold Rush, carried letters by horseback to and from the mining camps; soon they began transporting treasure from the mines on riverboats to San Francisco.

These were carried in the front boot, under the driver’s seat. Beginning in the early 1860s, some coaches carried an iron box, known as a “pony safe” because of its small size, bolted to the floor under an inside passenger seat. With the rapid growth of railroads throughout the West, bandits turned their attention to train robbery. The first western train holdup took place on the newly finished transcontinental railroad near Verdi, Nevada, in 1870. Nonetheless, train holdups in the far west were quite rare at first. Nevada saw two in 1870, California one in 1881 and another in 1888, Utah one in 1883, and New Mexico two in 1883 and 1884. During the late 1880s, train holdups became increasingly common and violent, reaching epidemic proportions in the 1890s. Between 1890 and 1903, there were 341 actual and attempted train robberies in the United States, which resulted in the killing of ninety-nine persons.

Those were his last words.14 2 THE FIRST WELLS FARGO DETECTIVE Henry Johnson On a breezy spring day in 1868, the side-wheeler Montana, smoke billowing and steam hissing, churned through San Francisco Bay toward the huge Pacific Mail wharf at the foot of Brannan Street. Her deck was jammed with passengers, eager to see the booming city after the long Pacific voyage from the Isthmus of Panama. This was one year before the completion of the transcontinental railroad, and the trip to California was a long one by sea or by wagon train. A newspaperman watched a tumultuous scene as the Montana slowly pulled up alongside the dock for mooring. He found the wharf crowded with “the roughs, thieves, baggage-smashers, and jay-hawkers who infest San Francisco,” all attempting to charge through the gates and prey on the disembarking passengers. He declared that “they manage to spot strangers who are unused to the ways of cities, and follow them up to places where they can commence their operations more safely.


pages: 519 words: 148,131

An Empire of Wealth: Rise of American Economy Power 1607-2000 by John Steele Gordon

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buttonwood tree, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, global village, imperial preference, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, margin call, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, undersea cable, Yom Kippur War

Successful self-regulation would guide Wall Street for the next sixty years as it eclipsed London and became the world’s leading financial center. THE CORRUPTION OF THE POSTWAR PERIOD was by no means limited to New York capitalists, government, or New York railroads. Indeed, the greatest railroad project in the nation’s history—the transcontinental railroad built between 1864 and 1869—also set off the greatest financial and political scandal of the nineteenth century. The transcontinental railroad had been envisioned ever since California had joined the Union in 1850, but the deepening political crisis between North and South had prevented any action. In 1862, with only loyal states now represented in Congress, the Pacific Railroad Act was passed creating the Union Pacific Railroad, the first corporation chartered by the federal government since the Second Bank of the United States in 1816.

Then New York State decided to undertake a canal project that was not only the largest yet undertaken in the United States, but was more than twice as large as any canal yet built in the world, at a projected cost that rivaled the annual budget of the federal government. The Erie Canal would prove to be the first of the long, and continuing, list of megaprojects—the Atlantic cable, the transcontinental railroad, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, the interstate highway system, the Apollo project—that would become so much a part of the American experience. And it was a titanic roll of the economic dice. Failure might have crippled the New York economy for decades. But success would ensure that New York, already the most populous state by 1810, would outstrip all its rivals as the American economy developed.

As many as ten thousand men—immigrant Irish, freed blacks, mustered-out soldiers, Chinese immigrants—worked on the two roads as they wended their ways across the plains, mountains, and deserts of the West toward a rendezvous at Promontory Point, Utah. The crews sometimes laid rails at the astonishing rate of four a minute. The casualty rate was appalling. Many were killed in accidents, but many too were killed in the drunken brawls that regularly erupted in the camps that moved along with the railhead. Even at the time, the transcontinental railroad was perceived as one of the great epics of that age of engineering miracles in which they lived. William Tecumseh Sherman called it the “work of giants.” The Western poet Joaquin Miller thought that “there is more poetry in the rush of a single railroad across the continent than in all the gory story of the burning of Troy.” Although physically one of the marvels of the age, financially the Union Pacific was wrecked by its construction, thanks to Crédit Mobilier, which was wildly profitable.


pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, industrial cluster, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

From their thinking and that of others, here are ten steps for reclaiming the American Dream. Step #1: Infrastructure Jobs to Compete Better Step #1 is to form a new public-private partnership to modernize America’s outdated transportation networks and create five million jobs—and maybe many more—with major investments over the next decade. Follow the model of President Lincoln, who used government aid to promote and subsidize the transcontinental railway, or President Theodore Roosevelt, who built the inland waterways, or President Dwight Eisenhower, who fathered America’s modern interstate highway network. Wall Street is reported to be eager to invest in infrastructure projects if the government puts up seed money. That plan wins backing from such traditional political adversaries as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. It wins bipartisan endorsement from politicians like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Texas senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, all Republicans, and Democrats such as Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Mark Warner of Virginia and former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell.

He argued that American industry needed support, contending that “He, therefore, who is now against domestic manufacture, must be for reducing us either to dependence on that foreign nation, or to be clothed in skins, and to live like wild beasts in dens and caverns.” Presidents James Madison, James Monroe, John Adams, and John Quincy Adams, holding similar views, supported subsidies and tariffs to promote domestic industry. In fact, American history is replete with examples, from the Erie Canal to the transcontinental railroad to the Apollo moon project to the Internet and the GPS, where the government has backed economic and industrial projects to build the nation’s transportation backbone or to create new technologies to enhance America’s competitiveness and then has handed them off to the private sector. In 1842, Congress awarded Samuel F. B. Morse a $30,000 appropriation to test the feasibility of an experimental telegraph line, and another $10,000 in 1843 to lay a telegraph line from Washington to New York via Baltimore and Trenton, New Jersey.


pages: 219 words: 67,173

Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts

accounting loophole / creative accounting, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, Marshall McLuhan, New Urbanism, the High Line, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, Y2K

To which Vanderbilt famously testified, “My personal friends, when they take such grounds as they did, I am afraid of; I am not afraid of my enemies, but, my God, you must look out when you get among friends.” Vanderbilt’s ploy worked. The Central begrudgingly capitulated. Vanderbilt became its president. And, by 1869 (the year he turned 76 years old and when the last spike was driven to complete the first transcontinental railroad), his Central absorbed his Hudson line. “NOT ORNAMENTAL,” was how Henry Adams described the Commodore, a man who “lacked social charm.” A biography by a descendant, Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, recalled the Commodore’s predilection to spit streams of tobacco juice and fondle the maids at social events. Mark Twain attacked him for “superhuman stinginess” and suggested he perform a single charitable act to place “one solitary grain of pure gold upon the heaped rubbish of your life.”

A brakeman, acting as the conductor, calculated that he had enough time to switch to a siding but was relying on a watch borrowed from a milkman that was running slow. “Our columns groan again with reports of wholesale slaughter by Railroad trains,” the Times fumed. As a result, railroads in New England adopted a single standard. The need for a national standard was hastened by the commercial development of the telegraph and, in 1862, when Congress authorized the building of the first transcontinental railroad. A year later, a rash of collisions spurred the Reverend Charles F. Dowd, coprincipal, with his wife, of Temple Grove Ladies’ Seminary in Saratoga Springs, New York (a girls’ boarding school, which later became Skidmore College), to suggest multiple regional time zones. He sketched out his proposal in 1869 and the following year presented it to railway superintendents in New York. He elaborated in a pamphlet proposing four zones 15 degrees longitude wide (the sun moves across 15 degrees every hour).

The C and T in the name of the 34-story New York Central Building at 230 Park Avenue, the railroad’s sublime and historic gem of a headquarters since 1929, were ignominiously chiseled into a G and an E when the building was sold to General Tire & Rubber (a ninth-floor office in 230 Park had been the scene of the mob execution of Mafia boss Salvatore Maranzano in 1931; appropriately enough, in The Godfather the meeting of the five Mafia families was filmed in the Central’s 32nd-floor boardroom, with its mural of Engine 999; it was also described as Dagny Taggart’s Transcontinental Railroad Building in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and later became the Helmsley Building). Since the Penn Central had gone belly up in 1970, operation of the terminal was turned over to Conrail (and, in 1983, to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Metro-North). In still another retrenchment, the railroad recommended the cancellation of all nine predawn passenger trains (only a decade before, there were 30), sending musicians, bartenders, printers, and other graveyard-shift workers scurrying to find alternative routes home.


pages: 581 words: 162,518

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights by Adam Winkler

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, desegregation, Donald Trump, financial innovation, glass ceiling, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, obamacare, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, yellow journalism

By the time Justice Field was asked to decide whether corporations had rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, technological development promoted by commercial enterprises of the post–Civil War era had radically transformed the daily lives of most Americans. LELAND STANFORD OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD HAD A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH JUSTICE STEPHEN FIELD. The railroads could plausibly claim to have improved society as much as any other corporations. In 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed when Stanford drove in the famous Golden Spike, engraved with Stanford’s name, at Promontory Summit. Not only did the transcontinental railroad enable people to cross the country with ease—something that could be appreciated by Field, whose first journey to California more than twenty years earlier had taken six weeks on a boat packed with cholera-infected passengers—but goods moved easily too. Railroads transported more than 350 million tons of freight each year and employed upwards of 1.5 million people.

By 1920, this kind of corporation, with layers of hierarchical organization ruling over multiple divisions, had become the dominant type of business firm in major sectors of the American economy.13 Railroads, which had already experienced explosive growth before the Civil War, built more than 100,000 miles of additional tracks in the two decades following it. As before the war, graft remained popular with politicans and the railroads seeking to persuade them for rights of way, eminent domain power, and other privileges. When Congress was deciding whether to subsidize the building of the first transcontinental railroad in 1861, Leland Stanford sent one of his men to Washington with a suitcase full of Central Pacific stock certificates to dole out liberally to lawmakers. According to the best estimates, the Central Pacific Railroad alone distributed to lawmakers and lobbyists $500,000 annually—equal to roughly $13 million today. As congressional leader James G. Blaine explained the political reality in postbellum America, “to make the wheels revolve we must have grease.”14 When bribes were not enough to prevent unfavorable legislation, railroads like the Southern Pacific hired the nation’s top lawyers—men like Roscoe Conkling—and mounted their attack in the courts

Brands, American Colossus: The Triumph of Captialism, 1865–1900 (2011), 24–25; Scott R. Bowman, The Modern Corporation and American Political Thought: Law, Power, and Ideology (1995), 54. 14. See Mark Wahlgren Summers, “To Make the Wheels Revolve We Must Have Grease: Barrel Politics in the Gilded Age,” 14 Journal of Policy History 49 (2002); Richard White, “Information, Markets, and Corruption: Transcontinental Railroads in the Gilded Age,” 90 Journal of American History 19 (2003); Ted Nace, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (2003), 93; Robert Justin Goldstein, Political Repression in Modern America From 1870 to 1976 (1978), 7. 15. On the controversy over the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification, see Joseph B. James, The Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment (1984); David Lawrence, “There is No ‘Fourteenth Amendment’!


pages: 485 words: 143,790

The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway by Doug Most

Menlo Park, place-making, RAND corporation, transcontinental railway

He was already using small electric motors he’d invented to power a sewing machine and a water pump at his home, and he was beginning to wonder if that same idea could be applied to transportation. In his trip to the Great Plains, Edison saw farmers making long and costly trips just to get their produce and grains to the steam railroads. It occurred to him that if the farmers had a lighter, cheaper, narrower railroad, powered not by steam but by electricity, it could serve as a much more efficient link to the transcontinental railroad. Farmers could then spend more time harvesting their land and would be more productive. Edison returned to New Jersey and set to work, excited about the idea of applying electricity to transportation. He hired a crew to build a track one-third of a mile long and a mechanical engineer to work with him on an electric locomotive. In 1879, before he had invested much time in electric transit, Edison was, at thirty-one years old, already one of America’s most famous and prolific inventors.

On January 9, 1863, the night London opened its Underground, a banquet at the Farringdon Street station was held to toast the feat. Seven years later, in New York City, when Alfred Beach unveiled his one-block pneumatic subway tunnel, he did not let the moment pass quietly. Ever the showman, he invited dignitaries down and crowed to the world that he had solved the urban transportation nightmare. On May 10, 1869, when the last hammer swung to finish the transcontinental railroad, thousands gathered in the flatlands of Promontory, Utah, and stood in a circle or sat on the idling trains to watch as a gold spike was hammered into the ground. Within minutes, President Ulysses S. Grant received a telegram telling him the railroad was complete. In May 1883, when the Brooklyn Bridge opened, President Chester A. Arthur attended the festivities, as did hundreds of thousands of citizens on land and in the boats in the harbor.

If the mission of the subway was for cities to feel a little bit smaller by quickening the way people could move from one neighborhood to the next, then Orville and Wilbur Wright had a similar goal. They were determined to make the whole world feel a little bit smaller. Their rickety 605-pound double-winged plane with a wingspan of forty feet and a twelve-horsepower engine was going to make the transcontinental railroad feel like a horse-drawn buggy and the steamship feel like a rowboat. The following year was shaping up to herald the future of travel. And the New York City subway was not even the most exciting transportation innovation. As the Wright brothers perfected their airplane to make it fly farther and faster, a hundred thousand people crowded into Madison Square Garden in January 1904 to see how much the automobile had advanced since the turn of the century.


On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World by Timothy Cresswell

British Empire, desegregation, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global village, illegal immigration, mass immigration, moral panic, Rosa Parks, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, urban planning

Transportation changed these products into commodities, as goods began to lose their spatial presence and became instead products of an increasingly expansive market.13 At the same time it became possible to visit these places as tourists—another factor, some have argued, in the erosion of local distinctiveness. The railroad also deprived localities of their own time. In 1870 a traveler from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco would have passed through over two hundred time zones. Every town had their own time, tied more or less to the position of the sun in the sky. This system worked until the building of the transcontinental railroad (1869); the increased speed of the railroad made this dangerous as it became possible for two trains to be in the same time and space with potentially fatal consequences. On November 18, 1883, the railroad enforced four uniform time zones in the United States. In 1884 this was expanded to the globe with the designation of Greenwich as the prime meridian and the division of the world into twenty-four time zones.

Rail travel also included more people in the experience of travel. In 1835 around ten million individual coach journeys were made. Just ten years later, thirty million rail journeys were made. By 1870 the number had reached a staggering 336 million journeys. A similar story could be told in the United States. In 1850 the continental United States had 9,000 miles of track. By 1869 the figure had grown to 70,000. It was in 1869 that the transcontinental railroad was completed allowing relatively easy travel from coast to coast for goods and people. The railroad quickly became a symbol of national identity in the United States.50 Modernity is certainly a contested concept, and most commentators recognize that it has ambiguities and tensions within it.51 As Miles Ogborn writes, “Its periodisation, geographies, characteristics and promise all remain elusive.”52 Arguments about the nature of modernity revolve around notions of newness, artificiality, order, reason, democracy, technology, and chaos.

By the time of his death in 1904, large portions of the world were connected by the iron web of rail, steamships crossed the Atlantic on regular schedules, and the Wright brothers had successfully flown a powered aircraft just six months earlier. The annihilation of time and space was a project that had overcome its principle hurdles. Muybridge’s sponsor, Leland Stanford, was also the president of the Central Pacific Railroad, and thus played his part in the transformation of senses of mobility. He was one of the four principle backers of the construction of the transcontinental railroad that was completed in 1869. Much of the money that paid for his horses, and for the labor of Muybridge, came from the development of the railroad and the transformation in the land that surrounded it. Jonathan Crary sees a logical connection between the development of the railroad system and the photography of Muybridge.9 He argues that Muybridge gave movement a “new form of legibility and rationality” through the development of innovative representational practices.10 Stanford, through his investment in the railroad, was a central figure in the reduction in time and money of mobility and the “time spent in motion from one place to another.”11 He was, in other words, deeply implicated RT52565_C003.indd 61 4/13/06 7:29:56 AM 62 • On the Move in transformations in the sense of mobility at the end of the nineteenth century—the process of the eradication of space by time.12 Along with the increased speed in life came new forms of perception—new understandings of the world in terms of speed and motion.


The Hour of Fate by Susan Berfield

bank run, buy and hold, capital controls, collective bargaining, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, income inequality, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, the market place, transcontinental railway, wage slave, working poor

Morgan’s days came to be consumed by the railroads: a sprawling, overextended, indebted industry that was growing with careless speed and changing everything it touched. It absorbed20 more money, mostly from European investors, than any enterprise before and more natural resources than any other in America. Some 170 million21 acres of the country’s public land would become the private property of the railroads, given, not sold, to them. Lincoln hoped transcontinental railroads would be a nation-building project after the Civil War. For every mile22 of track laid, the government awarded companies 12,800 acres, along with a bonus: any coal or iron underground. The J. P. Morgan Building, 23 Wall Street, circa 1905 Railroads relied on the labor of Chinese immigrants in the West and Irish, Italian, and Greek immigrants in the East. They first brought Scandinavian immigrants to the Midwest, then Eastern Europeans.

More than one billion6 tons of anthracite coal had been broken loose from the earth in eighty years, almost all of it by hand. America’s industrialization depended on the coal. Anthracite was more efficient than charcoal; in many places it was more plentiful than wood. It burned hotter and cleaner than either. Anthracite made possible7 stronger grades of iron and steel, which made stronger rails, which allowed for heavier locomotives, which made interstate trade on the transcontinental railroads possible. Anthracite generated steam for those locomotives and for manufacturing glass, textiles, ceramics, and chemicals. In other words, anthracite powered the quest to expand westward. It also warmed the homes, offices, and schools of a distant America, urban and modern. All natural resources are political, and here too anthracite was of decisive consequence. A fight between the miners and the mine owners would come to roil Roosevelt’s presidency.

He began at ten in the morning on that Wednesday and spoke until almost four in the afternoon, stopping only for a court-ordered two-hour lunch break. Griggs summed up23 the defense on Friday. Why are we here, he asked. This company didn’t deserve to be punished. The Sherman Act doesn’t forbid “the natural process of unification.” Beck argued that Northern Securities combined two competing transcontinental railroads and was a “virtual merger,” no matter what Morgan and Hill called it. He criticized New Jersey for its “reckless sale of corporate privileges to secure petty fees.” He told the courtroom that the method of creating a monopoly could be ingenious. It could be indirect. But it would still be illegal. He said the Sherman Act could be invoked even though prices on the three lines hadn’t increased.


Western USA by Lonely Planet

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donner party, East Village, edge city, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, Maui Hawaii, off grid, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supervolcano, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

After winning independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico briefly ruled California, but then got trounced by the fledgling United States in the Mexican-American War (1846–48). The discovery of gold just over a week before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed sent the territory’s nonindigenous population soaring from 14,000 to 92,000 by 1850, when California became the 31st US state. Thousands of imported Chinese laborers helped complete the transcontinental railroad in 1869, which opened up markets and further spurred migration to the Golden State. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was barely a hiccup as California continued to grow exponentially in size, diversity and importance. Mexican immigrants arrived during the 1910–20 Mexican Revolution, and again during WWII, to fill labor shortages. Important military-driven industries developed during wartime, while anti-Asian sentiments led to the unjust internment of many Japanese Americans, including in the Eastern Sierra.

History The hunter-gatherer existence of the Gabrieleño and Chumash peoples ended with the arrival of Spanish missionaries and pioneers in the late 18th century. Spain’s first civilian settlement here (1781), El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, remained an isolated farming outpost for decades. LA was incorporated as a California city in 1850, and by 1830 its population had swollen thanks to the collapse of the Northern California gold rush, the arrival of the transcontinental railroad, the citrus industry, the discovery of oil, the launch of the port of LA, the birth of the movie industry and the opening of the California Aqueduct. The city’s population has boomed from some 1.5 million in 1950 to almost four million today. LA’s growth has caused problems, including suburban sprawl and air pollution – though thanks to aggressive enforcement, smog levels have fallen annually since records have been kept.

CHINATOWN Since 1848 this community has survived riots, earthquakes, bootlegging gangsters and politicians’ attempts to relocate it down the coast. Chinese Historical Society of America Museum MUSEUM (CHSA; Click here; 415-391-1188; www.chsa.org; 965 Clay St; adult/child $5/2, 1st Tue of month free; noon-5pm Tue-Fri, 11am-4pm Sat) Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the gold rush, transcontinental railroad construction or the Beat heyday at the nation’s largest Chinese American historical institute. Rotating exhibits are across the courtyard in CHSA’s graceful red-brick, green-tile-roofed landmark building, built as Chinatown’s YWCA in 1932 by Julia Morgan, chief architect of Hearst Castle. Chinese Culture Center GALLERY ( 415-986-1822; www.c-c-c.org; 3rd fl, Hilton Hotel, 750 Kearny St; donation requested; 10am-4pm Tue-Sat) You can see all the way to China on the 3rd floor of the Hilton inside this cultural center, which hosts exhibits of traditional Chinese arts; Xian Rui (Fresh & Sharp) cutting-edge art installations, such as Stella Zhang’s discomfiting toothpick-studded pillows; and Art at Night, showcasing Chinese-inspired art, jazz and food.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

CHAPTER 3 Free Labor and Social Darwinism: 1865–1900 While the Civil War ended slavery, inequality changed shape rather than disappearing. Waves of immigration to the North, urbanization, and a complete revision of the labor system among freed people in the South precipitated a wide-ranging discussion of inequality and distribution. Large-scale industrialization, the formation of vertical and horizontal trusts, and the creation of transcontinental railroads facilitated the growth of large, untaxed, individual fortunes. But financial panics in 1873 and 1893, and the Great Strike of 1877, revealed the limitations of American upward mobility and the shortcomings of a philosophy predicated on individual bootstrapping. Some Americans, like sociologist William Graham Sumner, proposed that evolutionary theory meant that intervention in the economy to help the poorest would have tragic effects for the future of the race.

Even socialism in the United States focused more on antiglobalization and anti-immigration rhetoric than on building a united working class.36 THE CORPORATE FORM AND POPULIST PROTEST A final vector of inequality in the late nineteenth century was the triumph of the corporate form, facilitated by federal assistance and plenty of corruption. The United States subsidized the growth of the railroads through vast land grants, totaling 131,230,358 acres. Selling the land parcels between the checkerboard parcels granted to the railroads for double the going price raised even more money that could be funneled back into the railroads. Historian Richard White argues that the transcontinental railroads in the United States suffered from duplication of effort and poor planning, because the root purpose of their funders and builders was not actually to transport goods but rather to enrich themselves through railroad funding. They were able to do this largely through a friendly network of newspaper reporters, politicians, and businessmen. As happened with subprime mortgages during the Great Recession of 2006, railroad financiers raised funds by issuing and packaging new investment instruments, with the assets of their nonexistent companies as collateral.

He anticipated that being stakeholders in a larger enterprise would help workers to make cultural progress.61 And, centrally, he pointed out that there was more than one way to build complex industrialism in the late nineteenth century, and other countries were able to do it in ways that did not necessarily and permanently sacrifice the public to the corporations.62 By the end of the nineteenth century, some regulation was in place, transcontinental railroads capitulating because they thought they could control the regulation to their benefit.63 The Interstate Commerce Commission (1887) was intended to prevent railroads from engaging in the monopolistic practices from which they had benefited over the previous 15 years. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890) targeted combinations in restraint of trade, although it was used more often to suppress unions than to dismantle corporate trusts (individuals involved in unions were seen as conspiring together, whereas the individuals who made up the fictive personhood of the corporation were viewed by the courts as comprising a single person).64 The changes of the late nineteenth century gave rise to economic protest literature that called into question American exceptionalism.65 In 1896, Charles Barzilai Spahr, who held a Ph.D. from Columbia University and edited a magazine called The Outlook, wrote An Essay on the Present Distribution of Wealth in the United States, systematically evaluating economic inequality in the United States.


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Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration by Buzz Aldrin, Leonard David

Buckminster Fuller, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, Elon Musk, gravity well, high net worth, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Ronald Reagan, telepresence, telerobotics, transcontinental railway, Tunguska event, X Prize

Implementing the cycler system enables transport of people, cargo, and other materials to and from Earth over inner solar system distances—and at a great fuel savings. A sequential buildup of a Full Cycling Network would be a counterpart to the ever increasing escalation of actions at the moon and Mars. Earth, the moon, and Mars become busy places as people, cargo, and commerce navigate through the inner solar system. Think of it as a space version of the early transcontinental railroads here on Earth. They were the transportation backbone that moved people and cargo into vast stretches of wilderness, enabling exploration and eventual settlement of regions. Space road map: Aldrin cycling system (Illustration Credit 2.2) In the present day, you don’t have to look too far to see a number of terrestrial parallels to cycling transportation. For instance, cruise ships drop off or take on passengers without pulling into harbor.

He places it at 600 million metric tons, which, when converted to liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, is the equivalent of fuel for a space shuttle launch every day for 2,200 years. Water is by far the easiest and most useful substance that can be extracted from the moon and utilized to establish a cislunar spacefaring transportation infrastructure. Establishing a permanent foothold on the moon opens the space frontier to many parties for many different purposes, Spudis contends. By creating a reusable, extensible cislunar spacefaring system, a “transcontinental railroad” in space can be built, connecting two worlds, Earth and the moon, as well as enabling access to points in between. Spudis and I share a similar perspective. A future lunar outpost can be internationalized, a common-use facility for science, exploration, research, and commercial activity. Apollo 17’s Harrison Schmitt, a geologist and the last man to step onto the lunar surface, has argued for and written extensively about mining helium-3 on the moon to generate economical fusion power on Earth.


pages: 198 words: 53,264

Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments by Michael Batnick

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, buy low sell high, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, financial innovation, fixed income, hindsight bias, index fund, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, transcontinental railway, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

Twain recalled, “He visited me every few days to report progress and I early noticed by his breath and gait that he was spending 36 dollars a week on whisky, and I could never figure out where he got the other dollar.”5 Twain invested in Plasmon, a milk powder extract, a steam pulley and a start‐up insurance company called the Hartford Accident Insurance Company. He became so fed up with these money‐losing ventures that he wrote to a fellow author, “If your books tell how to exterminate inventors send me nine editions.” He also lost plenty of money the old‐fashioned way, by buying stocks and selling at the wrong time. One of many examples was the Oregon Transcontinental Railroad, which he purchased at $78 a share and sold at $12. Of this experience, he said, “I don't wish to ever look at a stock report again.”6 These experiences led him to not only errors of commission but errors of omission, which perhaps burned an even deeper hole of resentment into his soul. He wasted $42,000 on an engraving process called a kaolotype that was supposed to revolutionize illustrations (it didn't), and then decided to pass on Alexander Graham Bell's telephone.

., 67 Netflix, 139–140 Net working capital, 5 term, usage, 4 New Century Financial, 134 Newton, Isaac, 37 New York Institute of Finance, 4 New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), 4 listed stock trading, 135 opening, 147 shares, trading level (1934), 6–7 New York Vaporizing Co. (Twain investment), 28 No Bull (Steinhardt), 58, 60 Nocera, Joe, 90 Not safe for work (NSFW), Snapchat categorization, 151 Nudge (Thaler), 126 One‐decision stocks, 50 Options, usage, 131 Oreos, comparison, 91 Oregon Transcontinental Railroad, Twain share purchase, 29 O'Reilly Automotive, Sequoia holding, 111 Overconfidence, impact, 61, 75–76, 82 Overtrading, 159 Paige Compositor Manufacturing Company, 31 Paige, James, 30 Paine Webber, Livermore exit, 16 Palmolive, comparison, 91 Paulson & Co., founding, 132 Paulson, John, 3, 129, 131–132 merger/arbitrage, 133 Pearson, Mike, 113 Buffett, contrast, 114 Pellegrini, Paolo, 132–133 Penn Dixie Cement, shares (purchase), 58 Pershing Square Capital Management, 89 Pittsburgh National Bank, 101 Plasmon (Twain investment), 28 Polaroid, trading level, 70 Poppe, David, 114 Portfolio turnover, 69 Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain (PIIGS), 158 Post‐go‐go years meltdown, 147 Post III, William, 131 Price, Teddy, 19–20 Princeton University, 47–48 Private/public investing, history, 149 Profit sharing, 68 Prospect Theory (Kahneman/Tversky), 126 Pyramid schemes, 93 Qualcomm, gains, 57 Quantitative easing program, 134–135 Quantum Fund, 100, 103 Ramirez, Alberto/Rosa, 132 Rational thinking, suspension, 27 Recession, odds (calculation), 38 Renaissance Technologies, 135 Return on equity, term (usage), 4 Reverse crash, 100 Risk, arrival, 32 Risk management, 23 Roaring Twenties, bull market cycle, 7 Robertson, Julian, 58 Roche, Cullen, 99 Rockefeller, John, 30 Rogers, Henry (“Hell Hound”), 30–32 Rooney, Frank, 80, 81 Rosenfeld, Eric, 39, 41 Ruane, Bill, 4, 109, 112 Ruane & Cunniff, 112 Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb, 110–111 Russell 3000, 135 Russia, Quantum Fund loss, 103–104 Sacca, Chris, 145, 149–150 Salomon Brothers, 39 Buffett investment, 79 Samuelson, Paul (remarks), 51 San Francisco Call, 31 Schloss, Walter, 4 Schmidt, Eric, 150 Scholes, Myron, 39 Nobel Prize in Economics, 40–41 Schroeder, Alice, 80 Schwager, Jack, 159 Sears, Ackman targeting, 90 Sears Holdings, 109 Securities and Exchange Act, 7 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 13D registration, 90 creation, 22 Security Analysis (Graham), 3–5 See's Candy Berkshire Hathaway purchase, 78 purchase, 142 Self‐esteem, satisfaction (impact), 75–76 Sequoia Fund, 107 operation, 110–111 Shiller, Robert, 75–76, 87 Short squeeze, 93 Silvan, Jon, 94 Simmons, Bill, 151 Simons, Jim, 135 Slack, Sacca investment, 149 Smith, Adam, 68, 121 Snapchat, 151 Snap, going public, 151 Snowball, The, (Schroeder), 80 Social activities, engagement, 87–88 Soros Fund Management, losses, 105 Soros, George, 58, 60, 100, 103 interaction, 102 reform, 121 South Sea Company shares, 37 Speculation, 15 avoidance, 28 SPY, 62 Stagecoach Corporate Stock Fund, 52 Stamp revenues, trading, 141–142 Standard Oil, 30 Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P500) ETF, 62 gains, 112, 114 performance, comparison, 119 shorting, 163 Valeant performance, comparison, 113 Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Company, opening, 58 Steinhardt, Michael, 55, 58 performance record, 59–60 Steinhardt Overseas Fund, 60 Stoker, Bram, 30 Stock market, choices, 114–115 Stocks crashing/reverse crashing, 100 return, 99 stock‐picking ability, 88 Stock trader, training, 18 Strategic Aggressive Investing Fund, 102 Sunk cost, 110 Sun Valley Conference, 57 “Superinvestors of Graham‐and‐Doddsville, The,” 111–112 Taleb, Nassim, 42 Target, Ackman targeting, 90 TDP&L, 50 Tech bubble, inflation, 57 Technivest, 50 Thaler, Richard H., 75, 126 Thinking, Fast and Slow, (Kahneman), 15 Thorndike, Dorain, Paine & Lewis, Inc., 48 Time horizons, 120 Time Warner, AOL merger, 49 Tim Ferriss Show, The, (podcast), 150 Tim Hortons, spinoff, 89 Tract on Monetary Reform, A, (Keynes), 125–126 Trader (Jones), 119 Trustees Equity Fund, decline, 50 Tsai, Jerry, 65, 68 stocks, trading, 69 ten good games, 71 Tsai Management Research, sale, 70 Tversky, Amos, 81 Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens), 25, 27, 75 bankruptcy filings, 32 money, losses, 27–32 public opinion, hypersensitivity, 31 Twilio, Sacca investment, 149 Twitter, Sacca investment, 149–150 Uber, Sacca investment, 149 Undervalued issues, selection, 10 Union Pacific, shares (sale), 18 United Copper, cornering, 19 United States housing bubble, 132 University Computing, trading level, 70 US bonds international bonds, spreads, 41 value, decline, 61 U.S. housing bubble, impact, 132 U.S.


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Top 10 San Diego by Pamela Barrus, Dk Publishing

California gold rush, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, East Village, El Camino Real, G4S, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Silicon Valley, the market place, transcontinental railway, urban renewal

With a payment of $15 million and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, California became part of the US and then later its 31st state. Alonzo Horton Establishes a New City (1867) Horton realized an investment opportunity to develop a city closer to the water than Old Town. He bought 960 acres for $265, then sold and gave lots to anyone who could build a brick house. Property values soared, especially after a fire in 1872 in Old Town. “New Town” became today’s San Diego. Transcontinental Railroad Arrives (1885) Interest was renewed in San Diego when the Transcontinental Railroad finally reached town. Real estate speculators poured in, infrastructure was built, and Previous pages: La Jolla coastline Panama-California Exposition (1915–16) To celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal and draw economic attention to the first US port of call on the West Coast, Balboa Park (see pp14–15) was transformed into a brilliant attraction.


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Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City by Neal Bascomb

buttonwood tree, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, hiring and firing, margin call, market bubble, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

Contents Title Page Dedication PROLOGUE The Soaring Twenties Part One CHAPTER 1 A Hunch, Then a Demand CHAPTER 2 The Architect-Artist CHAPTER 3 A Proud and Soaring Thing CHAPTER 4 The Organization Man CHAPTER 5 Make the Land Pay CHAPTER 6 An American Invention CHAPTER 7 The Poet in Overalls CHAPTER 8 To Scrape the Sky CHAPTER 9 Equivalent to War CHAPTER 10 A Three-way Race INTERLUDE Oxygen to the Fire Part Two CHAPTER 11 Call It a “Vertex” CHAPTER 12 A Monument to the Future CHAPTER 13 The Prize of the Race CHAPTER 14 The Butterfly and Its Cocoon CHAPTER 15 Crash CHAPTER 16 Pharaoh Against Pharaoh CHAPTER 17 Aladdin’s Genii and Paper Fights CHAPTER 18 The Chase into the Sky CHAPTER 19 Excelsior EPILOGUE Spirit—Not Steel and Stone Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Copyright Page Photo Insert For My Parents P R O L O G U E The Soaring Twenties “What floor, please?” said the elevator man. “Any floor,” said Mr. In. “Top floor,” said Mr. Out. “This is the top floor,” said the elevator man. “Have another floor put on,” said Mr. Out. “Higher,” said Mr. In. “Heaven,” said Mr. Out. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, “May Day” Like other races—to build the transcontinental railroad, discover the North Pole, scale Everest, or land on the moon—the race to build the tallest skyscraper in the world demanded sheer determination, deep pockets, terrific speed, unbridled ambition, grand publicity campaigns, and a dose of hubris. It began in 1924 with architects William Van Alen and Craig Severance, who had just passed into their partnership’s tenth year. In the course of a few short months, a bitter rivalry would begin to take shape—one that would ultimately bring their celebrated union to an end and cause a much greater battle ahead.

During his time with Carrère & Hastings, Severance learned how to manage men and came to understand that more went into a building than some designs and a nice rendering for the papers. It was a business to be mastered. An architect who understood finance and industry, one who recognized the importance of maximizing profit, would go far. Every year since the end of the Civil War, the pump was being primed to enable this kind of architect—one Severance was training to become—to succeed. The transcontinental railroad brought the economic might of America into one fold, thereby giving rise to great fortunes and corporate giants. Increasingly industrial juggernauts ruled business, and cities like New York and Chicago held sway over the countryside. In 1907 when Severance went out on his own, he had an intuitive understanding of this modern world and its potential. He was a disciple of Daniel Burnham, even if he was not privy to his words.

Bibliography SELECTED BOOKS Abramson, Daniel, Skyscraper Rivals: The AIG Building and the Architecture of Wall Street (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001) Adams, James Truslow, The Epic of America (Little, Brown, & Company, 1931) Allen, Frederick Lewis, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties (Harper & Row, 1931) Allen, Frederick Lewis, Since Yesterday: The Nineteen-Thirties in America (Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1940) Ambrose, Stephen, Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863–69 (Simon & Schuster, 2000) Andersen, Stanley Peter, American Ikon: Response to the Skyscraper, 1875–1934 (University of Michigan, Ph.D. dissertation, 1960) Bacon, Mardges, Ernest Flagg: Beaux-Arts Architect and Urban Reformer (MIT Press, 1968) Baker, Paul R., Richard Morris Hunt (MIT Press, 1980) ———, Stanny: The Gilded Life of Stanford White (Free Press, 1989) Bank of the Manhattan Company, Manna-hatin: The Story of New York (Ira J.


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On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis

British Empire, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, invisible hand, joint-stock company, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Ronald Reagan, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway

24 No one fanned more flames over slavery than the man who tried, too cleverly, to extinguish them. Stephen A. Douglas, the senior senator from Illinois, was a fellow Springfield lawyer and frequent Lincoln debating partner who, although a Democrat, shared the Whigs’ enthusiasm for economic development. Both sought to position their region between eastern innovation and western opportunity. Both favored, as the first step, an Illinois-based transcontinental railroad. Both knew it would need federal subsidies, land grants, and military protection. Both expected southerners, wanting their own route, to demand compensation. But only “Judge Douglas,” as Lincoln called him, thought he knew what it should be. Why not in the vast Kansas-Nebraska territory—extending west to the Rocky Mountains and north to the Canadian border—repeal all congressional restrictions on slavery and let settlers themselves decide its future?

., 236, 242 Leicester, Earl of, 143 Lend-Lease, 286 Lenin, Vladimir Ilich, 272, 276, 278, 306 Leonidas, 10–11 Lepidus, 71–72, 76, 79 Lesbos, 51 Lexington and Concord, battles of (1775), 163 liberty: and necessity of choice, 15, 310–11 positive vs. negative, 310–11, 312 “lightness of being,” 107, 109, 118, 134, 147 Lincoln, Abraham, 24, 174, 175, 267, 309 alignment of ends and means by, 240 appearance of, 222 assassination of, 255 in balancing law and military necessity, 238 cabinet of, 233 in call for antislavery amendment, 243–44 childhood of, 221–22 as circuit court lawyer, 227 Civil War strategy of, 236–37, 240, 249, 251 Clausewitz’s principles intuited by, 237, 240, 249, 252 as combination of fox and hedgehog, 16–17, 19, 20 common sense of, 19, 20, 239, 250 as congressman, 221, 224 coup d’oeil of, 239–40, 243, 249 debating style of, 227–28 early jobs of, 223 in 1860 election, 232–33 in 1864 election, 247–48 Emancipation Proclamation of, 242–43, 247, 251 fatalism of, 222–23 first inaugural address of, 234 on free will vs. determinism, 253 in gradual adoption of abolitionism, 240–42 “House Divided” speech of, 230–31 humor as used by, 222 internal improvements and, 244–45 J. Q. Adams compared with, 250–51 mastery of scale, space, and time by, 250–53 and need to retain border states’ allegiance, 238 political career of, 223–24 preservation of Union as utmost goal of, 235–36, 239, 240, 241 second inaugural address of, 252 self-education of, 22, 223, 228 on slavery, 226–27, 228–29, 238–39 transcontinental railroad and, 225, 259 war powers invoked by, 242, 247 Lincoln, Mary Todd, 222 Lincoln (film), 16–17 Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858), 231–32 Livia (Augustus’ wife), 87 Lloyd George, David, 271, 286 Locke, John, 110, 157, 160 Louis XIV, king of France, 157, 192–93 Louis XVI, king of France, 166, 197 Louis XVIII, king of France, 194 Louisiana Purchase, 177 Luce, Henry, 298 Lusitania, RMS, 269 Luther, Martin, 135 MacArthur, Douglas, 54 Macbeth (char.), 217, 223 McClellan, George B., 240, 242, 251 in 1864 election, 247–48 McCormick, Robert, 301 Macedonia, 10 Machiavelli, Niccolò, 23, 24–25, 105, 116, 150, 166, 170, 173, 175, 192, 201, 236, 309 on alignment of means with ends, 113–14 Augustine contrasted with, 109, 111–12, 114 on balance of power, 115–16 Berlin on, 117–19 as fox, 107 on free will, 106–8 on God, 106–7 imprisonment of, 106, 109–10 on justice, 112 on just war, 111–12 on leadership, 112–14 on love vs. fear, 139–40 as pivot in the history of ideas, 121 on princes as both lions and foxes, 135 on republican governments, 115–16 on responding to changed circumstances, 135 on Roman Catholic Church, 114–15 on sketching, 113, 201, 304 on usefulness of history, 108 utilitarian morality of, 114 on violence as means to an end, 111 Mackinder, Halford, 258–60, 261, 264, 265, 281 McPherson, James, 240 Madison, James, 169, 218, 221 Federalist essays of, 172–74, 176, 179, 182, 251 on reconciling opposing ideas, 173–74 Mahan, Alfred Thayer, 259, 280 Manchuria, Japan’s conquest of, 280 Manicheanism, 97–98 Marathon, battle of, 2, 31, 36 Marx, Karl, 245, 248, 276, 306 Marxists, Marxism, 305, 306 Mary I, queen of England, 124, 126–28, 133, 146 Mary II, queen of England, 157 Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland, 127, 136–37 execution of, 141–42 and plots to depose Elizabeth, 138–39, 140–41 Mason, James, 246 Mattingly, Garrett, 129 Maximilian, emperor of Mexico, 246 means, alignment of ends with, 12–13, 27, 101, 105, 113–14, 132, 133, 145–46, 171–72, 183, 198, 203, 204, 215, 271, 287–88 balancing in, 77, 82, 240 Elizabeth I and, 133 FDR and, 283, 287–88 foxes and, 310–11 grand strategy as, 21–22, 203, 312 hedgehogs and, 12–13, 310 Lincoln and, 240 Machiavelli on, 113–14 Napoleon’s failure at, 204, 215 overstretch and, 215 Philip II’s failure at, 131–32, 143, 145–46 proportionality in, 101, 105, 112, 114, 118–19, 145–46, 175, 198, 215–16, 312 across time, 14–15, 16–17 Wilson’s failure at, 271 Xerxes’ failure at, 204, 215 Medici, Lorenzo de’, 23, 110 Medina Sidonia, Duke of, 143, 144 Megara, 45–46, 54, 55–56, 59 Melos, Melians, 52–53, 104 Metternich, Klemens von, 115 Mexican-American War (1846–48), 221, 311 Mexico, 152, 246–47, 269, 270 Mission to Moscow (Davies), 286–87 Missouri Compromise (1820), 179, 220, 225, 226 monotheism, 94–95 Monroe, James, 178, 218, 222 Monroe Doctrine, 152, 178–79, 180, 219, 246, 257, 266 morality, politics and, 117, 223, 232 Moscow, Napoleon’s capture of, 11, 18, 189, 198 Moscow Conference (1943), 300 Mutina, battle of, 71 Mytilene, in revolt from Athens, 51–52 Napoleon I, emperor of France, 11, 90, 178, 193–94, 217, 237, 240, 309 as failing to align means with ends, 204, 215 as hedgehog, 215 Moscow captured by, 11, 18, 189, 198 Russia invaded by, 185–86, 188–89, 197–200, 203–4 Tolstoy’s portrayal of, 188, 205–6 Napoleon III, emperor of France, 246 Napoleonic Wars, 197, 266, 273 narratives (dramatization), history and, 16, 18–19, 62 Naval War College, U.S., author’s strategy seminars at, 60–61, 65 navigation, leadership as, 47–49, 84, 86 Navy, U.S., FDR’s upgrading of, 281 Neoplatonism, 100 net assessment, 214–15 see also coup d’oeil; sketching Netherlands, Spanish rule in, 125, 129–31, 134, 136, 137, 142 New Deal, 279–80 New Salem, Ill., 223 Nicholas II, tsar of Russia, 286 Nicias, 57, 65, 102 Nicolay, John, 233 Niebuhr, Reinhold, 296 Niemen River, 195, 197, 198, 203 North America: British colonies in, see American colonies (British) French colonies in, 155, 156, 159, 166 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), French withdrawal from, 59 North Korea, 55 North Vietnam, 59 obstacles, 17, 20, 48, 49, 65, 77, 214, 230, 277 Octavia (Augustus’ sister), 77, 80 Octavian, see Augustus, emperor of Rome Odysseus, 7 Odyssey (Homer), 85 Okinawa, 54 Olney, Richard, 256–57 On War (Clausewitz), 23–24, 55, 186–87, 189–90, 205, 210, 215–16, 237, 252, 273 opposing ideas: balancing of, 40, 51, 113, 158, 173, 177–78, 215, 251, 265, 311 coexistence of, 26, 33, 312 opposing ideas, reconciling of: Clausewitz on, 196 FDR as master of, 291, 307 Machiavelli on, 113 through scale, 17–19, 38, 66, 173–74 in single mind, 14, 15–17, 38, 66, 91, 107, 170, 213, 291, 307 in space, 14, 15–17, 38, 66, 173–74 Sun Tzu on, 83 across time, 14–15, 38, 66, 173–74, 309 order: Augustine on, as necessary for justice, 101, 105, 114, 116 justice vs., 100 Ordinance of 1787, 229 “Originality of Machiavelli, The” (Berlin), 117 Orlando (Woolf), 122 Ottoman empire, Greek rebellion in, 182 overstretch, 215 Oxford University, 295, 296 Paine, Thomas, 161–63, 164, 165 Panama Canal, 257, 266, 280–81 Paris, Peace of (1763), 159 Paris, Treaty of (1783), 167 Parker, Geoffrey, 145–46, 152 Parliament, English, 140–41, 146, 156, 158, 160 Parma, Duke of, 140, 143, 144 Parthians, 70, 74, 76, 80, 84 Patton, George S., 195, 196 Pavane (Roberts), 149–50 Pearl Harbor, Japanese attack on, 287, 288, 297 Peloponnesian War (431–404 B.C.E.), 32, 34 Athenian invasion of Sicily in, 57–58 Athenian plague in, 50–51 Megara in, 45–46, 54, 55–56, 59 Mytilenian revolt in, 51–52 Pericles’ role in, 36, 38, 46–50, 53–54, 55 slaughter of Melians in, 52–53 Spartan invasion of Attica in, 49 Spartans’ fear of growing Athenian power as cause of, 41, 43, 48 Thucydides on causes of, 40–41, 48 Vietnam War compared to, 60–61 Peraino, Kevin, 245 Pericles, 35–36, 261, 309 and conflict between equality and empire, 44–45, 52 death of, 51 funeral oration of, 38–40, 45, 49, 161, 273 growing rigidity of, 47–49, 50, 53 loss of credibility feared by, 46, 53–56, 59–60 Megarian decree of, 46, 54, 55–56, 57, 59–60 Peloponnesian War and, 36, 38, 46–50, 53–54, 55 reconstructed Athenian culture as goal of, 36, 37–40, 44 Spartans’ offers of compromise rejected by, 46–47, 53 Perpetual Peace (Kant), 115–16 Persian empire, 30, 45 Persians, The (Aeschylus), 11–12, 35 Persian Wars, 32, 36, 42 see also Xerxes, king of Persia Peru, Spanish conquest of, 152 Perusia, siege of, 75, 76 Pfuel, Karl Ludwig von, 209 Philip II, king of Spain, 123, 139, 151, 152, 309 as Augustinian, 123, 126, 132, 135, 137, 145, 150 constraints on, 130–31 Elizabeth’s rejection of marriage to, 128 extensive empire of, 125 grand strategy of, 132 invasion of England planned by, 137–38, 142–43 marriage of Mary I and, 126 Netherlands and, 129–31, 134, 136, 142 restoration of English Catholicism as goal of, 137–39 service to God as primary goal of, 123–24, 128, 129, 131, 137, 145, 146 statecraft of, 123–24, 136 as unable to align ends with means, 131–32, 143, 145–46 as unwilling to delegate authority, 126, 130, 143 Philippi, battle of, 73–74 Philippics (Cicero), 69, 73 Philippines, 54, 257, 266 Piraeus, see Athens-Piraeus walls Pius V, Pope, 137, 138, 139 pivots: in the history of ideas, 121, 199 princes as, 121, 129, 133, 134–35, 147 plague, in Athens, 50–51 planning: improvisation vs., 24–25, 26 surprises and, 201 see also strategy Plataea, battle of, 11, 36 Plato, 196 pluralism, Berlin’s concept of, 311 Plutarch, 32, 44, 47, 48, 67, 77 Poland, USSR and, 299, 300 policy, war as instrument of, 197–98, 215, 273, 312 politics, morality and, 117, 223, 232 Polk, James K., 221, 224 Polonius (char.), 6, 91 Pompeius, Sextus, 72, 73, 74, 76–79 Porter, Patrick, 288 Portsmouth, Treaty of (1905), 266 Portugal, Spanish rule in, 131, 140, 142 Potidaea, 41 power, balance of, 140, 147, 177, 180, 181, 258, 261, 264, 265, 275, 280 Machiavelli on, 115–16 Treaty of Westphalia and, 115 practices: gap between theories and, 185–89, 195–96, 201–2, 208, 209, 213, 216, 271 principles tethered to, 63–66, 105, 113 “Prague Spring,” 59 Prince, The (Machiavelli), 23, 106, 109–11, 116, 117, 124, 170 principles, practices tethered to, 63–66, 105, 113 probabilities, strategy and, 214–15 proportionality, 101, 105, 112, 114, 118–19, 145–46, 160–61, 166, 175, 198, 215–16, 312 Protestants, Protestantism, 110, 118, 130, 133, 135, 136, 1146 Pythius, 13 Quebec, 159 radio, as instrument of democracy, 292 Raleigh, Walter, 145, 153 Reagan, Ronald, 309 religion: irreconcilability of, 119 monotheistic, 94–95 polytheistic, 94 statecraft and, 135–36 states and, 94–96, 98–105 Remirro de Orco, 110–11 Republicans, Republican Party, 230, 232 republics: equality and, 162, 173 Machiavelli on balance of power in, 115–16 retreats, consequences of, 55 Richard II (Shakespeare), 217 Richelieu, Cardinal, 115 Ridolfi, Roberto, 139 Roberts, Andrew, 255 Roberts, Keith, 149–50 Roman Catholic Church, 90, 106, 114–15 Roman empire: fall of (476), 89 legacy of, 90–91 Rome: food riots in, 78 sack of (410), 97 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 295, 298, 309 Berlin on, 289–91, 306–7 coup d’oeil of, 289–90, 307 geopolitical savvy of, 280–82, 283 German-Soviet pact as viewed by, 284 improvising by, 282 Lend-Lease and, 286 navy upgraded by, 281 need for public support understood by, 282 need to align ends and means understood by, 283, 287–88 New Deal of, 279–80 in 1932 election, 279 in planning for U.S. entry into war, 284 radio addresses of, 291–93 rearmament program of, 284–85, 288 reconciling opposing ideas mastered by, 291, 307 as successful grand strategist, 288 as unafraid of the future, 289, 306–7 USSR and, 288, 299–300 Roosevelt, Theodore, 266, 280 Rumsfeld, Donald, 24 Russia, 259 Napoleon’s invasion of, 185–86, 188–89, 197–200, 203–4 see also Soviet Union Russian Revolution, 3, 269, 271–72, 276 Russo-Japanese War (1904–5), 266 Rutledge, Ann, 222 St.

.), 175, 229 and alignment of ends and means, 183 compromise and, 224 Emancipation and, 177 Federalist and, 172, 173 preservation of, as Lincoln’s utmost goal, 235–36, 239, 240, 241 South’s secession from, 234–35 United States: antiwar protests in, 59 Berlin’s World War II reports on, 297–302 in diplomatic recognition of Soviet Union, 280 economic might of, 265–66, 277–78, 288 great power system and, 266–67 hegemony over North and South America proclaimed by, 152, 178–79, 180 isolationism in, 278, 279–80, 281 Lend-Lease and, 286 race riots in, 59 Soviet exports of, 277 transcontinental railroad in, 225, 259 World War I and, 266–67, 281–82 World War II and, 267–68, 287–89, 291–93 unknowns, strategy and, 214–15 Vandals, 97 Varus, Publius Quinctilius, 88 Venezuela crisis (1895), 257 Versailles, Treaty of (1919), 274–75 Vespucci, Amerigo, 106 Vicksburg, battle of (1863), 247 Vienna, Congress of (1815), 275 Vietnam War: loss of U.S. credibility as issue in, 59–60 Peloponnesian War compared to, 60–61 U.S. casualties in, 58–59 violence: economy of, 119 as means to an end, 111 Virgil, 84, 85, 87, 207–8 virtù, 108, 112, 119 Wallace, Henry A., 298, 301 Walsingham, Francis, 139, 140, 141 war, 215 alignment of means with ends in, 204, 215; see also grand strategy; strategy Athenian democratizing of, 39 chance in, 210–11 Clausewitz’s definition of, 195, 237 gap between theory and practice of, 185–89, 190, 195–96, 201–2, 208 as instrument of policy, 197–98, 215, 264, 273, 312 peace vs., 100 scale in expansion of, 186, 198–99 shift of psychological balance in, 198, 203–4 space in expansion of, 185, 186, 198 time in expansion of, 186, 198 war, just, 101 Augustine on, 99, 102–3, 105, 111–12, 312 Machiavelli on, 111–12 War and Peace (Tolstoy), 5, 17–19, 61–62, 185–86, 190, 192–93, 199, 205–7, 211–13, 215–16, 217, 252–53 War of 1812, 179, 218, 266 war powers, 242, 247 Warsaw, Duchy of, 195 Washington, George, 159, 165, 169–70, 218 Waterloo, battle of, 26 Wealth of Nations, The (Smith), 115, 161 Welles, Gideon, 233, 242 Wellington, Duke of, 26 West Germany, 59 Westphalia, Treaty of (1648), 115, 116 westward expansion, 177–78, 250–51 Wheeler-Bennett, John, 297 Whigs, 223–24, 225, 232 Wilentz, Sean, 219 Wilkes, Charles, 246 William I, king of England, 162 William II, kaiser of Germany, 257, 262 William III, king of England, 157 Williams, John, 68, 89 Willkie, Wendell, 285 Wilson, A.


pages: 431 words: 106,435

How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher

British Empire, California gold rush, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, white flight, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

Miners had to leave their digs prey to claim jumpers and spend weeks traveling to and from a chaotic, overwhelmed post office, where they waited in line for hours to pick up their letters or paid a bribe to get a better spot. In short, mail service didn’t remotely meet the booming state’s urgent economic, political, and social needs, and in 1856, seventy-five thousand fed-up residents signed a petition of protest to the federal government. Private carriers known as “expressmen,” who began to haul freight, people, and mail across the West before the transcontinental railroad’s completion, quickly stepped in to fill the communications and transportation void. In 1849, Alexander Todd, a bookkeeper turned failed miner, sensed an opportunity and began to carry letters by horse and boat between San Francisco and the prospectors’ camps for an ounce of gold dust per delivery—an impressive measure of mail’s value. He soon expanded his business to include bringing the isolated miners’ hoards back to the safety of the city’s vaults and even selling them necessarily outdated New York newspapers.

In 1900, Carney became the first African American to earn a Congressional Medal of Honor, and he and his regiment were celebrated a century later in the movie Glory. 11 FULL STEAM AHEAD THE POST IMPROVED IN major ways during the Civil War, but its Railway Mail Service was an innovation of a different order, which changed Americans’ concepts of distance and time, national and local, modern and old-fashioned. The completion of the five transcontinental railroads, starting with the Union Pacific and Central Pacific in Promontory, Utah, in 1869 and ending with the Great Northern in Seattle in 1893, was one of nineteenth-century America’s signature achievements. The advance opened both its own West to development and the Far East to commerce. At the same time, the vast rail networks allowed most of the nation’s intercity mail to be sorted as well as transported aboard moving trains—a tremendous boost to the country’s booming industrial economy and its population of passionate correspondents alike.

Then, around the turn of the century, independently produced picture postcards took the simple form to another level and generated a new mainstream hobby as well as postal revenue from stamps. If their plain predecessors were about efficiency, the colorful new postcards were about the pleasures of preserving a memory and sharing it with others. Iconic scenes of Old Faithful and Niagara Falls celebrated the wonders of long-distance travel, which, though not easy, was easier than it had been before the transcontinental railroad. Humbler cards documented small-town Americans’ pride in their new hotels, fairgrounds, and paved, electric-lit main streets. Still others, such as drawings of Victorian ladies careering about in hot-air balloons, were meant to amuse, as were those that stooped to crude ethnic caricature. That the postcard craze peaked in the first decade of the twentieth century helped the department recover from the deficits produced by RFD and other new services.


pages: 939 words: 274,289

The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H. W. Brands

California gold rush, clean water, Corn Laws, industrial cluster, long peace, Monroe Doctrine, retrograde motion, strikebreaker, transcontinental railway

“I very respectfully tender my resignation of my commission as an officer of the Army,” he wrote to the adjutant general in Washington. He did not explain but simply asked that the resignation take effect on the last day of July, four months hence. The adjutant general, on the recommendation of Colonel Buchanan, accepted the resignation and the proposed timing. 9 WHEN GRANT HELPED GEORGE McCLELLAN ORGANIZE HIS SURVEY of a route for a transcontinental railroad, they both acted in implicit alliance with Stephen Douglas. The Illinois Democrat headed the Senate committee on federal territories, which set the rules for administering and organizing most of the trans-Missouri West. Douglas recognized railroads as the transforming technology of the era, and he saw that railroads could make Chicago, as yet a modest town on the shore of Lake Michigan but one in which he had sizable investments, the great metropolis of the West.

But the positive reaction to the proclamation inspired the president to broader reform; he called on Congress to approve and send to the states a thirteenth, emancipating amendment to the Constitution, which the legislature duly did. Aiding business came more easily. Lincoln and the Republicans in Congress raised tariffs, boosting the profits of American manufacturers. They underwrote a transcontinental railroad, immediately throwing contracts to the hundreds of firms engaged in the construction of the road and prospectively knitting the country into a vast single marketplace for the purveyors of American products. They established a national currency and a national banking system, to enhance the war effort but to facilitate commerce as well. They crafted laws to shift hundreds of millions of acres of public land and hundreds of millions of dollars in other natural resources to the private sector.

Crazy Horse ambushed parties along the Bozeman road, enticing the commander at Fort Phil Kearny to sally forth in pursuit. The commander, William Fetterman, a Civil War veteran, had boasted that with eighty men he could ride through the entire Sioux nation. With eighty-one men he rode into Crazy Horse’s trap, and he and his men were annihilated. The conflict escalated further with the approach of construction crews of the transcontinental railroad. The Indians of the region hadn’t seen trains before, but they quickly realized that these trains weren’t like wagon trains, here today and gone tomorrow. The railroad established a permanent white presence and consequently a more serious threat to the indigenes’ way of life. When the railroad trains disgorged buffalo hunters who slaughtered the herds on which the Indians depended for food, clothing, shelter and fuel, the conflict became irrepressible.


Smart Cities, Digital Nations by Caspar Herzberg

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, business climate, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, hive mind, Internet of things, knowledge economy, Masdar, megacity, New Urbanism, packet switching, QR code, remote working, RFID, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart meter, social software, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, X Prize

After listening to endless questions about when Songdo’s NEATT building would open its doors, it is refreshing to discover, via Glaeser, that the Empire State Building did not reach maximum occupancy until the post–World War II boom, more than a decade after its completion.13 The growth and distinguishing of new cities is a process that takes years, if not decades. On occasion, smart city technology is compared to the rise of the railway in the nineteenth century. Prototypes of the steam engine, barely functional and of little practical use, appeared intermittently during the 1820s, ’30s, and ’40s. The Transcontinental Railroad, a symbol of the technology’s triumph over a continent, was not finished until 1869. If railway technology is used as a standard for comparison, smart cities are still in the early phases. Having said that, technology development has accelerated. The best evidence of the efficacy of the Internet of Everything may be the human mind and its capabilities for collective action. Urban planning today, as this small survey of authors demonstrates, is a multifaceted discipline that requires the expertise of many specialists.

See also individual cities free economic zones in, 64–65, 75 GDP of, 62 multinational interest in, 63–64 new cities in, 19, 23 obesity in, 173 urban population growth of, 19 Streetline, 152 Success, recognizing, 214–15 Surveillance systems, 110, 111, 117, 203–4, 205–6 Sustainability, 174–75, 185, 199–200 T Telepresence (TP), 55, 77, 83, 193–95, 210 Tianfu Software Park, 104–6 Tomorrow City, 67–68 Townsend, Anthony, 66, 176, 178, 180, 186 Transcontinental Railroad, 188 Transport, importance of, 182–84, 189 Travel, future of, 201–2 Trias, Xavier, 151 Tsunami warning systems, 203–4 U U-Life, 71, 73, 75, 79, 81–82, 193 United Arab Emirates, 41, 47, 183. See also individual cities U.S. Green Building Council, 78 W Wang Lijun, 112 Washington, D.C., 184 Water, 197 Worksites, remote, 166–67, 201–2 World Bank, 171 X X Prize Foundation, 196 Z Zhejiang University, 114, 203 ZTE Corporation, 117 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS THE IDEA FOR THIS BOOK was born out of my desire to tell the story of building smart cities from the perspective of a small group of men and women in a multinational company.


pages: 300 words: 78,475

Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream by Arianna Huffington

American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carried interest, citizen journalism, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, full employment, greed is good, housing crisis, immigration reform, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, new economy, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, smart grid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Works Progress Administration

We’ve seen this over and over again throughout American history. For example, in the 1880s, as the post–Civil War Gilded Age came to an end, a severe economic crisis began that culminated in the depression of 1893.142 But the search for scapegoats among the American people began early. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspended immigration from China, after Chinese immigrants had just helped build the transcontinental railroad.143 Attacks on the Chinese by white mobs took place all over the country. One newspaperman captured the mood of the times: “Why permit an army of leprous, prosperity-sucking, progress-blasting Asiatics befoul our thoroughfares, degrade the city, repel immigration, drive out our people, break up our homes, take employment from our countrymen, corrupt the morals of our youth, establish opium joints, buy or steal the babe of poverty or slave, and taint with their brothels the lives of our young men?”

George Washington knew that without a national system of transportation, especially canals that would connect the East Coast to the Ohio and Mississippi river systems, we could never truly come together as a “more perfect union.”1 Thomas Jefferson put Washington’s vision into effect, creating a concrete national plan for roads and canals—a far-sighted plan that served as the touchstone for the next hundred years of development and led to America’s transcontinental railroad, championed by Abraham Lincoln. Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent massive federal dollars, even in the midst of the Great Depression, to bring electricity to rural America. Dwight Eisenhower pushed through the interstate highway system. Building things—amazing things, grand things, forward-looking things, useful things—has always been an integral part of who we are as a country. We created highways, waterways, railroads, and bridges to link us together and forge a strong nation.


pages: 240 words: 75,304

Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time by Clark Blaise

British Empire, creative destruction, Dava Sobel, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Khartoum Gordon, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair

Many more signed on with American railroads. 5 The Decade of Time, 1875–85 BY THE MIDDLE of the 1870s, the assertion of human reason over the processes of nature was yielding discoveries and inventions in all the arts and sciences that lent that famous Victorian confidence to the notion that man was no longer the passive inheritor of an ordained “natural” universe. All of nature was his to discover and mold. The ability to communicate instantaneously by voice, to light the dark, the luxurious trans-Atlantic steamers, the transcontinental railroads, a new personal printing press called the typewriter, bound the world in exciting and, for some, alarming new ways. But the outworn shell of time, those heavy boots inherited from tradition, from nature, were impeding progress. Societies were moving faster than their ability to measure. Before railroads began serving every “civilized” part of the globe (as the Victorians were fond of calling it), the sun had set the temporal rhythm.

Rivers were crossed, ships’ designs turned from wood and sail to steel and iron, hold capacities and passenger cabins expanded a hundredfold, with a need to fill their holds with thousands of tons of coal for ocean passage. Meticulous planning and astronomical start-up costs entered the calculation for any new enterprise, and London and Continental banks oversaw bond issues for projects that might have seemed fanciful only a generation earlier: undersea cables, new shipyards, new steel mills, new mining equipment; transcontinental railroads spanning Canada, South Africa, America, India; telegraphs down the African coast. The new technology ran on coal, on more coal than traditional methods could ever extract. Workers had to be at least semiskilled just to handle the demands of the new technology, and, in the end, many grew sufficiently confident to challenge ancient wisdom, or to suggest shortcuts to greater efficiency. Quite a few, like the men who created time, learned enough on the job to become engineers themselves.


pages: 58 words: 18,747

The Rent Is Too Damn High: What to Do About It, and Why It Matters More Than You Think by Matthew Yglesias

Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, land reform, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, statistical model, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, white picket fence

If there’s wisdom here, it points to the idea that land is the central investment commodity in a real estate transaction. It makes sense for land to be a speculative commodity. For one thing, it’s hard to make more land. And the desirability of different patches of land can change over time. When the Erie Canal connected the Hudson River to the Great Lakes, the port of New York City became a better place to do business. The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad added value to the land along the route. The invention of the automobile and the subsequent construction of a nationwide network of highways reduced the value of proximity to train stations and central cities. The invention of affordable air-conditioning made Phoenix a much more desirable place to live. High crime and bad schools reduce the value of land in Baltimore and Trenton even while land in Maryland and New Jersey is generally quite valuable.


Coastal California by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, airport security, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Mason jar, McMansion, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Wozniak, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, white picket fence, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

CHINATOWN Chinatown & North Beach Top Sights City Lights BookstoreB4 Coit TowerC1 Sights 1Beat MuseumC3 2Bob Kaufman AlleyB2 3Chinese Culture CenterC5 4Chinese Historical Society of America MuseumB6 5Columbus TowerC4 6Dragon GateC7 7Old St Mary's ChurchC6 8Portsmouth SquareC5 9Ross AlleyB5 10Saints Peter & Paul ChurchA2 11Spofford AlleyB5 12Waverly PlaceB5 Activities, Courses & Tours 13Chinatown Alleyways ToursC5 Sleeping 14Hotel BohèmeB3 15Washington Square InnA2 Eating 16CinecittàA2 17City ViewC5 18CoiD3 19CotognaD4 20House of NankingC4 21IdealeB3 22Liguria BakeryA1 23MolinariB3 24Tony's Coal-fired Pizza & Slice HouseA2 25Yuet LeeB3 Drinking 26Caffe TriesteB3 27Comstock SaloonC4 28Li PoC5 29Specs'C3 30Tosca CafeC4 Entertainment 31Beach Blanket BabylonA3 32Purple OnionC4 Shopping 33Golden Gate Fortune Cookie CompanyB5 Chinese Historical Society of America Museum MUSEUM ( 415-391-1188; www.chsa.org; 965 Clay St; adult/child $5/2, first Tue of month free; noon-5pm Tue-Fri, 11am-4pm Sat) Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the Gold Rush, the transcontinental railroad construction or in the Beat heyday at the nation’s largest Chinese American historical institute. There are rotating exhibits across the courtyard in CHSA’s graceful red-brick, green-tile-roofed landmark building, built as Chinatown’s YWCA in 1932 by Julia Morgan, chief architect of Hearst Castle. Chinese Culture Center CULTURAL CENTER ( 415-986-1822; www.c-c-c.org; 3rd fl, Hilton Hotel, 750 Kearny St; gallery free, donation requested; 10am-4pm Tue-Sat) You can see all the way to China on the 3rd floor of the Hilton inside this cultural center, which hosts exhibits of traditional Chinese arts; Xian Rui (Fresh & Sharp) cutting-edge art installations, such as Stella Zhang’s discomfiting toothpick-studded pillows; and Art at Night, showcasing Chinese-inspired art, jazz, and food.

The discovery of gold soon sent the territory’s population soaring from 14,000 to 92,000 by 1850, when California became the 31st US state. Top History Books » California: A History (Kevin Starr) » A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush (Joshua Paddison) » Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water (Marc Reisner) Thousands of imported Chinese laborers helped complete the transcontinental railroad in 1869, which opened up markets on both coasts and further spurred migration to the Golden State. Mexican immigrants arrived during the 1910–21 Mexican Revolution and again during WWII to fill labor shortages. During WWII, military-driven industries developed, while anti-Asian sentiments led to the internment of many Japanese Americans, especially those living in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In fact, San Francisco made more money speculating on silver than Nevada did mining it: huge mansions sprouted on the city’s Nob Hill, and California’s new business tycoons became renowned for their unscrupulous audacity. RICHES FROM RAILROADS & REAL ESTATE In 1873, German immigrant and San Francisco store owner Levi Strauss received a patent for his hard-wearing, riveted denim pants, originally designed for California’s gold prospectors – and, voilà! – American blue jeans were born. Opening the floodgates to massive migration into the West in 1869, the transcontinental railroad shortened the trip from New York to San Francisco from two months to less than four days, elevating the latter to California’s metropolitan center. Meanwhile, Southern California’s parched climate, its distance from water resources, and relatively small population made it less attractive to profit-minded railroad moguls, though wheeling and dealing finally resulted in a spur line to LA in 1876.


The rough guide to the Grand Canyon by Greg Ward, Rough Guides

transcontinental railway

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RIZONA 3TRIP AND FAILED TO CROSS THE RIVER AT THE SITE OF ,EES &ERRY4HAT SAME YEAR &ATHER 'ARCÏS FROM 4UCSON PENETRATED WHAT HE CALLED A hCALABOOSE OF CLIFFS AND CANYONSv TO VISIT THE (AVASUPAI IN THE WESTERN CANYON *OHN 7ESLEY 0OWELL /NE OR TWO MOUNTAIN MEN AND TRAPPERS MAY HAVE SEEN THE 'RAND #ANYON DURING THE lRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY BUT BY THE TIME JURISDICTION OVER THE REGION PASSED FROM -EXICO TO THE 5NITED 3TATES IN IT HAD YET TO BE SURVEYED AND DID NOT EVEN HAVE A lXED NAME4O THE (AVASUPAI IT WAS 7IKATATA h2OUGH 2IMv 3PANISH MAPS SHOWED IT AS THE 2ÓO -UY 'RANDE h6ERY "IG 2IVERv AND 9ANKEE PROSPECTORS KNEW IT AS THE "IG #A×ØN 4HE lRST SERIOUS ATTEMPT TO EXPLORE IT CAME IN WHEN THE 53 7AR $EPARTMENT INSTRUCTED ,IEUTENANT *OSEPH #HRISTMAS )VES TO lND OUT IF THE #OLORADO 2IVER WAS NAVIGABLE BY STEAMBOAT ,IKE HIS 3PANISH PREDECESSORS )VES GOT LITTLE FARTHER THAN THE FUTURE (OOVER $AM SITE BUT HE THEN CONTINUED ON FOOT ALL THE WAY TO THE ,ITTLE #OLORADO 2IVER 4HOUGH AN ACCOMPANYING GEOLOGIST MADE THE lRST ACCURATE SCIENTIlC OBSERVATIONS OF THE CANYON THE EXPE DITION IS BEST REMEMBERED FOR )VES OWN VERY NEGATIVE ASSESSMENT h4HE REGION IS OF COURSE ALTOGETHER VALUELESS x /URS HAS BEEN THE lRST AND WILL DOUBTLESS BE THE LAST PARTY OF WHITES TO VISIT THIS PROlTLESS LOCALITYv 4HE NAME 'RAND #ANYON lRST USED ON A MAP IN WAS POPULARIZED BY THE ONE ARMED #IVIL 7AR VETERAN *OHN 7ESLEY 0OWELL WHOSE DRAMATIC BOAT TRIP ALONG THE FEARSOME AND UNCHARTED #OLORADO CAPTURED PUBLIC IMAGINA TION 3UCH A TRIP HAD LONG BEEN MULLED BUT IN THE WORDS OF *OHN &RÏMONT THE LEGENDARY h0ATHlNDERv OF THE 7EST hNO TRAPPERS HAVE BEEN FOUND BOLD ENOUGH TO UNDERTAKE A VOYAGE WHICH HAS SO CERTAIN A PROSPECT OF A FATAL TERMINATIONv # /.4% 843 \ (ISTORY 0OWELLS TEN MAN #OLORADO 2IVER %XPLORING %XPEDITION SET OFF FROM 'REEN 2IVER 7YOMING ON -AY 4HIS WAS JUST TWO WEEKS AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD WHICH CARRIED HIS FOUR HEAVY 7HITEHALL OAK ROWING BOATS HERE FROM #HICAGO !NOTHER EXPEDITION LED BY 4HOMAS (OOK SET OFF A FEW DAYS LATER BUT WAS ABANDONED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER (OOK DROWNED IN A RAPID 0OWELL HIMSELF SOON LOST ONE OF HIS BOATS BUT HE REACHED WHAT WOULD BECOME 'REEN 2IVER 5TAH ON *ULY THEN THE PREVI OUSLY UNSEEN CONmUENCE OF THE 'REEN AND LARGER 'RAND RIVERS WHICH MARKS THE START OF THE #OLORADO ON *ULY AND THE MOUTH OF THE 3AN *UAN ON *ULY &ROM WHATS NOW ,EES &ERRY HE LAUNCHED HIMSELF INTO THE 'RAND #ANYON ON !


pages: 280 words: 83,299

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

You find that talk surrounding the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which (among other things) sought to keep French immigrants and French influence from corrupting the new republic. You find it in the Know-Nothing movement of the 1850s, which fought to stem the flood of German and Irish Catholics who were the latest contribution to the American melting pot. After the Civil War, white Protestants sounded the cry over the “yellow peril,” the tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants who carried out the hard, dirty, dangerous, and ill-paid work of building the transcontinental railroad. They also worked in the mines and in the fields. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prohibited Chinese immigration. Chinese migrants already resident could not marry white women or obtain citizenship. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, steam-powered vessels made it possible to bring many more immigrants to American shores. Labor surpluses in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe drove millions of men and women across the Atlantic in search of work.

“A stalwart peasant in a sheep-skin coat, born on the soil, whose forefathers have been farmers for ten generations, with a stout wife and a half-dozen children, is good quality,” he maintained.410 Scandinavia and Eastern Europe at the end of the nineteenth century was firmly in Stage Two of population growth—a declining death rate with a high birth rate. There was no new land left to farm, and few prospects for young men and women in the old country. They took Sifton’s advice. Beginning in the 1890s, immigrants by the millions flooded across the Atlantic to Halifax’s Pier 21—the Ellis Island of Canadian immigration—then headed west using the new transcontinental railroad to Manitoba and Saskatchewan and Alberta, mixing with new arrivals from America, many of them immigrants from the same parts of Europe. Sifton’s gamble paid off, handsomely. Eastern Europeans not only stocked Prairie Canada but became integral to the Canadian mosaic. As one wag observed, without Clifford Sifton we would never have had Wayne Gretzky.411 Lesson learned. Immigrants boosted the Canadian economy, filling the empty vastness of the land.


pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

The discovery [of gold] at Coloma commenced a revolution that rumbled across the oceans and continents to the ends of the earth, and echoed down the decades to the dawn of the third millennium. The revolution manifested itself demographically, in drawing hundreds of thousands of people to California; politically, in propelling America along the path to the Civil War; economically, in spurring the construction of the transcontinental railroad. But beyond everything else, the Gold Rush established a new template for the American dream. America had always been the land of promise, but never had the promise been so decidedly—so gloriously—material. The new dream held out the hope that anyone could have what everyone wants: respite from toil, security in old age, a better life for one’s children.33 The Rise of Bank Clearinghouses Another significant development in the history of the American monetary system prior to the Civil War that deserves attention is the creation of private clearinghouses around the country to help banks manage their payments and liquidity.

With the passage of the National Bank Act in 1865, the connection between specie and paper money had in theory been stabilized. Yet as the gold market operation of Fisk and Gould four years later illustrates, speculating on changes in the paper value of gold had become a means to wager on the basic unit of account and therefore on the value of the U.S. economy. The year 1869 also marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad, a project championed by the railroad lawyer Lincoln, and with it a long period of capital expenditure. Some observers believe that the crisis in the gold markets was the precursor to the financial and economic crisis four years later known as the Panic of 1873, which put the United States and much of the world into years of political and economic turmoil. An important component of the crisis of 1869 and subsequent crises was debt made available by banks to finance purchases of gold and securities.

Steel acquisition Tenth National Bank funds, Fisk collection attempt Terror, balance (exploitation) Texas, annexation (Cooke speculation) Third Bank of the United States, authorization/Tyler veto Third World loan portfolio Thomas, Elmer Thomas, J.J. Thomas Amendment Thrifts, government-subsidized term liquidity (provision) Thrift stamps, purchase Timberlake, Richard Todd, Walker debt analysis “Federal Reserve Board and the Rise of the Corporate State” “History of International Lending” Total debt (1929-1996) Trade balance, impact Trade restraint cases Transcontinental railroad, completion (1869) Treaty of Ghent Treaty of Versailles Triffin, Robert (Gold and the Dollar Crisis) Triffin’s dilemma, U.S. dollar (relationship) Truman, Harry S. administration, housing focus succession Trusts growth investment vehicles Tugwell, Rexford G. Twain, Mark Tweed, “Boss” William Fisk/Gould connections Tyler, John cabinet, defection/appointment Unconscious revolution Underwood Tariff Unemployment increase (1970s) insurance, increase Nixon observation Unemployment (1837) Unemployment level (1950s) Union Pacific Railroad, Gould control Unitary government, Hamilton support United Kingdom adjustment loan receipt deflation, initiation Fed policy, Hoover dissuasion food prices, WWI control war finances, Keynes assistance United States banking system crisis flaw pressure, intensification Confederation, problems confidence, FDR (impact) consumption/opportunity, maintenance currency system, flaw debt growth debtor position (WWI) deflation economic growth, drag economic output (WWI), decline economic resurgence, European goods flow dependence economy performance post-WWI correction recession WWI, impact exports increase (WWI) Fed accommodation post-WWI decrease external account, surplus account factories, productivity (increase) farm acreage, WWI growth farm sector, WWI profits federal debt annual average maturity reduction (WWI) financial system, shortcomings fiscal discipline fiscal/monetary regimes, change fiscal stringency, acceptance foreign nation subsidy, provision government bonds, sale inflationary tendencies spending habits, change industrialization industrial power, rise interest rate, increase interventionist tendency markets, speculative character military outlays, decrease military spending (1945-1996) money supply, growth money supply, growth (1867-1960) nominal GDP, comparison output, inflation-adjusted decline political challenges public sector debt, equivalence real economy, deterioration recession (1927) reputation, damage reserve currency, burden (easing) slaves, importation (illegality) stock valuations, arguments tactical/strategic situation tariff protection, WWI increase trade balance (1960-1972) trade protectionism, post-WWI return transformation unemployment (1873) wealth, appearance World War I, impact United States Bank of Pennsylvania, charter Urban America, transformation U.S.


pages: 304 words: 87,702

The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout

Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, global village, Golden Gate Park, if you build it, they will come, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, supervolcano, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

* * * QUICK OREGON TRAIL FACTS Although the first Oregon Trail emigrants were Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, who made the trip in 1836, the big wave didn’t begin until 1843. Over the next 25 years, more than half a million people went west in search of new land and new lives. The average trip took six months from Independence, Missouri, to the Oregon Territory. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 brought the Oregon Trail’s glory days to an abrupt halt. A common misperception is that Native Americans posed the biggest problem. Quite the contrary, most local tribes were quite friendly, even helping emigrants pull wagons out of ditches and trading with them for supplies. The real enemies were cholera, poor sanitation, drownings (in 1850 alone, 37 drowned crossing the Green River), and—somewhat surprisingly—accidental gunshots.

Rates for a summer week at C Lazy U range from $2,300 to $2,975, including all meals and activities; winter rates start at $245 per night, again including meals. C Lazy U, 3640 State Highway 125, P.O. Box 379, Granby, CO, 80446, 970-887-3344, www.clazyu.com. Devil’s Thumb Ranch. Located in a beautiful meadow with stunning views of the mountains at the Continental Divide, this ranch, too, was on the stagecoach route before the transcontinental railroad opened in 1869. The current owners of this “4,000 acres of raw Colorado,” as they call it, are winning lots of eco-awards, including one from the Environmental Protection Agency, for their commitment to keeping this amazing ranch in Fraser Valley as natural and pristine as possible. Not only did Suzanne and Bob Fanch import the Broad Axe Barn (which serves as the spa and the activities center) from a farm in Indiana, thereby eliminating the need to cut down additional trees, but the new lodge and the 16 luxury log cabins are geothermally heated, using the Earth’s own natural heat.


Northern California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, housing crisis, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, McMansion, means of production, Port of Oakland, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the built environment, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Downstairs, watch Beat-era films in ramshackle theater seats redolent with the odors of literary giants, pets and pot. Upstairs, pay your respects at shrines to individual Beat writers. Chinese Historical Society of AmericaMUSEUM (CHSA; MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %415-391-1188; www.chsa.org; 965 Clay St; adult/student/child $15/10/free; h11am-4pm Wed-Sun; c; g1, 8, 30, 45, jCalifornia, Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde)F Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the gold rush, transcontinental railroad construction or Beat heyday in this 1932 landmark, built as Chinatown's YWCA by Julia Morgan (chief architect of Hearst Castle). CHSA historians unearth fascinating artifacts, from 1920s silk qipao dresses to Chinatown miniatures created by set designer Frank Wong. Exhibits reveal once-popular views of Chinatown, including the sensationalist opium-den exhibit at San Francisco's 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo inviting fairgoers to 'Go Slumming' in Chinatown.

After the discovery of gold, a quarter of a million Chinese people arrived in California, often traveling through Sacramento. Although many were indentured servants who traded passage to the US in return for years of labor, they developed a thriving Chinatown and left an indelible mark on the region. These communities literally built the infrastructure of the city – as well as the levees and roads in the surrounding valley. Chinese also built much of the Transcontinental Railroad, though you won't see any among the faces of the ‘Big Four’ – Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Collis P Huntington and Charles Crocker. These wealthy men founded Central Pacific Railroad, which began construction here in 1863, and connected to the Union Pacific in Promontory, UT, in 1869. 1Sights Sacramento is roughly halfway between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. The city is boxed in by four main highways: Hwy 99, which is the best route through the Central Valley; I-5, which runs along its west side; I-80 skirts downtown on the city’s northern edge, heading west to the Bay Area and east to Reno; and Hwy 50 runs along downtown’s southern edge (where it’s also called Business Route 80) before heading east to Tahoe.

The beer sampler is a great deal, as Auburn brings home tons of medals for its ales and pilsners, and the setting, with swirly stucco and a pressed-metal ceiling, is impressive. 8Information Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce ( GOOGLE MAP ; %530-885-5616; www.auburnchamber.net; 1103 High St; h10am-4pm Tue-Fri) In the Southern Pacific railroad depot at the north end of Lincoln Way, it has lots of useful local info and a monument to the Transcontinental Railroad nearby. Auburn State Recreation Area Office ( GOOGLE MAP ; %530-885-4527; 501 El Dorado St; h9am-4pm Mon-Fri) Information on sights and outdoor activities in the area. California Welcome Center (Placer County Visitors Center; GOOGLE MAP ; %530-887-2111; www.visitplacer.com; 1103 High St; h9am-4:30pm Mon-Sat, 11am-4pm Sun) Great information on Gold Country and eastward. 8Getting There & Away Amtrak ( GOOGLE MAP ; %800-872-7245; www.amtrak.com; 277 Nevada St) runs one train a day along the Capital Corridor route (http://capitolcorridor.org) linking Auburn with Sacramento ($16, one hour); other destinations require connecting with Thruway buses.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Parag Khanna, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

Originally, the most efficient American lines were those private companies built because politicians guided publicly financed railroads to their home districts, however remote.27 Unlike European countries, the United States had hundreds of miles of sparsely populated areas to cover in order to join the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The American government became a major sponsor of railroad construction, providing incentives in land grants to railroad companies. Real estate speculations abounded as building the transcontinental railroad became awash in graft. Despite this, laying railroads became an important adjunct to nation building for both Germany and the United States. By the last three decades of the nineteenth century the United States and Germany had nurtured the innovations that picked up the beat of economic development. Constant innovations didn’t come without cost, because every improved device rendered obsolete its predecessor.

Turning toward the West, in 1871 Congress passed the Indian Appropriation Act, which made Native Americans national wards and nullified all previous Indian treaties. The Civil War had interrupted the efforts to integrate California into the nation; four years after Appomattox, the Central Pacific tracks joined those of the Union Pacific from the east. A gold spike attached the two at Promontory Point, Utah. The transcontinental railroad connected the two coasts of the United States, pulling in all the sparsely settled places in between. The victorious North was ready to impose its national vision upon both the South and the West. With the Civil War behind it, the United States could turn toward developing the vast tracks of unoccupied land acquired in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase and through the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War in 1848.

Denied the protection of monopoly control, the most efficient operators forced the less efficient to imitate them or retreat from the active management of their resources. Capitalist activity was not dependent upon any particular person, region, or family. If one passed up a moneymaking opportunity, another would see the potential gain in it. This is an optimal assessment that has to be balanced against the fact that capitalist wealth also created rich opportunities for graft such as the bribing of politicians by the builders of the American transcontinental railroads. At the beginning of the century the United States had fewer than four million people, almost all of whom lived on the Atlantic shelf on the North American continent. They had shared a common history for a very brief period. Germany, like the United States, was composed of disparate parts in 1776, but those disparate parts shared a history going back to the time of Charlemagne in the ninth century.


pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

Soon, some 300,000 people from around the world had swarmed the region to seek their fortunes, exponentially increasing its population and propelling the unorganized territory into official U.S. statehood. Boomtowns bubbled and burst throughout northern California. San Francisco became a bustling city. The redwood forests fell to feed furnaces that reduced quarry-hewn limestone into lime, which went into the cement for marble-faced buildings. By 1863, a transcontinental railroad was under construction, and the great opening of the American West had properly begun. All because of gold, by chance delivered in a Jurassic upwelling of magma beneath the sea. After the gold rush, the transcontinental railroad ensured that the surge of new settlers never truly abated. They rolled across the land in waves, chasing boom after boom, and at the end of each day, as the Sun fell into the Pacific, it set upon what appeared to be the truest expression of the American Dream. Almost everyone, it seemed, could make a fortune in the wide-open spaces of California.


pages: 104 words: 30,990

The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demand response, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, obamacare, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, stem cell, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Walter Mischel

More broadly, the American public has developed a remarkable inability to defer gratification. We seem unable or unwilling to make the short-term sacrifices necessary to build a more prosperous society; the political system panders to that shortsighted view. This is a country that was built on huge public and private investments that paid dividends, decade after decade, generation after generation: the land grant universities, the interstate highway system, the transcontinental railroad. There is a set of famous research studies from the 1960s and 1970s in which young children were placed in a room alone. On a table in front of them was a desirable treat or toy, such as a marshmallow. Each child could eat the treat or take the toy at any point; however, the children were also told that if they avoided eating the tantalizing treat for a short period, then they would get two treats once the time elapsed.


Coastal California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, flex fuel, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Lyft, Mason jar, New Journalism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Downstairs, watch Beat-era films in ramshackle theater seats redolent with the odors of literary giants, pets and pot. Upstairs, pay your respects at shrines to individual Beat writers. Chinese Historical Society of AmericaMUSEUM (CHSA; MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %415-391-1188; www.chsa.org; 965 Clay St; adult/student/child $15/10/free; h11am-4pm Wed-Sun; c; g1, 8, 30, 45, jCalifornia, Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde)F Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the gold rush, transcontinental railroad construction or Beat heyday in this 1932 landmark, built as Chinatown's YWCA by Julia Morgan (chief architect of Hearst Castle). CHSA historians unearth fascinating artifacts, from 1920s silk qipao dresses to Chinatown miniatures created by set designer Frank Wong. Exhibits reveal once-popular views of Chinatown, including the sensationalist opium-den exhibit at San Francisco's 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo inviting fairgoers to 'Go Slumming' in Chinatown.

In fact, San Francisco made more money speculating on silver than Nevada did mining it: grandiose mansions sprouted on Nob Hill, and California’s new business tycoons became renowned for their unscrupulous audacity. In 1873 German immigrant and San Francisco store owner Levi Strauss received a patent for his hard-wearing, riveted denim pants, originally designed for California’s gold prospectors and – voilà! – American blue jeans were born. Riches from Railroads, Real Estate & Oil Opening the floodgates to massive migration into the West in 1869, the transcontinental railroad shortened the trip from New York to San Francisco from two months to less than four days. Nouveau riche San Francisco became California’s metropolitan center. Meanwhile, Southern California’s parched climate, its distance from water resources and relatively small population made it less attractive to profit-minded railroad moguls, though wheeling and dealing finally resulted in a spur line to LA during the mid-1870s.

Mexico inherits 21 Catholic missions in various states of disrepair, but quickly reorganizes Alta California into ranchos (land grants). 1826–32 Teenage Kit Carson helps blaze the Santa Fe Trail, which eventually leads to Los Angeles through 900 miles of rattlesnake-filled high desert and plains guarded by Native American tribes. 1848 After winning the Mexican-American War and signing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the US takes control of Alta California, just as gold is discovered in the Sierra Nevada foothills. 1850 After debate about whether it would be a slaveholding or free state (Congress chooses the latter), California enters the Union. Its first constitution is written in both Spanish and English. 1869 A golden spike is nailed in Utah, completing the first transcontinental railroad linking California with the East Coast. Gold is uncovered outside San Diego, unleashing a mini mining frenzy. 1882 The US Chinese Exclusion Act suspends new immigration from China, denies citizenship to those already in the country and sanctions racially targeted laws that stay on the books until 1943. 1892 Oil is discovered by Edward Doheny in Downtown LA, near where Dodger Stadium stands today, sparking a major oil boom.


pages: 134 words: 39,353

The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge by Gay Talese, Bruce Davidson

delayed gratification, fixed income, New Journalism, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, transcontinental railway

Later a fifteen-mile parade marched across it, President Grant applauded from the reviewing stand, General Sherman drove in the last spike on the Illinois side, and Andrew Carnegie, who had been selling bonds for the project, made his first fortune. The bridge was suddenly instrumental in the development of St. Louis as the most important city on the Mississippi River, and it helped develop the transcontinental railroad systems. It was credited with "the winning of the West" and was pictured on a United States stamp in 1898; and in 1920 James Buchanan Eads became the first engineer elected to the American Hall of Fame. He died an unhappy man. A project he envisioned across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec did not work out. John Augustus Roebling was a studious German youth born in 1806, in a small town called Muhlhausen, to a tobacco merchant who smoked more than he sold and to a mother who prayed he would someday amount to more than his father.


pages: 369 words: 121,161

Alistair Cooke's America by Alistair Cooke

Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, interchangeable parts, joint-stock company, Maui Hawaii, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

They started with the familiar East, but then the curtain went up on the blue Appalachians and, beyond, an ocean of prairie and scudding convoys of buffalo pursued by flotillas of redskins; then the land soared up to the famous Rockies and dipped again to another crumpled plain and semidesert, and then true desert, till the fabulous Sierras unloosed their cascading waterfalls; and over their watershed the continent tumbled in glory to golden valleys and the Lewis and Clark wonder of the sailless Pacific. Until the war was over the transcontinental railroad was a giant enterprise stalled by much bickering between a reluctant Congress and the Army, which had clamored for it. If it had been left to the government it would have taken another twenty years to complete. But it was a commercial venture, and it was fortunately fed by the adrenaline of competition. There were two railroad companies, the Union Pacific in the East and the Central Pacific in the West, panting to best each other in slamming down a record mileage of track.

John 51, 52–3 Smith, Sir Thomas 49 Smithsonian Institution 288 Spanish explorations 20–37. see also New Spain Spice Islands 21 Staël, Mme de 205 Stamp Act 78, 92 Standard Oil Company of Ohio 195 Stanford, Leland 174 steamboats 151, 152 steel industry 196–7 Stevenson, Adlai E. 225 stock market crash (1929) 245–6 stockyards 176 Strategic Air Command 272–6 suburbs 283–5, 286 Supreme Court 113–16, 155, 156, 164, 222, 223, 249, 289, 290 Sutherland, Justice George 115 Sutter, Johann August 135–6 Szilard, Leo 263 Taft, William Howard 224, 225 Talleyrand, Charles 129 Tammany organization 217, 230 taxation of the colonies 77–9, 81–2 Tecumseh (Shawnee chief) 132 telegraph, invention of 190 Teller, Edward 263 Thoroughgood, Adam 55 Tippecanoe, battle of 132 tobacco 52–3, 55, 56 Tocqueville, Alexis de 13, 15, 153 Tojo, Gen. Hideki 259 Torrio, Johnny 245 Toussaint L’Ouverture, Pierre 128 Townsend, Charles 79 Tracy, Marquis de 40–41 transcontinental railroad 171–5 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory 225 Truman, Harry 164, 235, 247, 266, 290 Tudor, Frederic 282–3 Turkey Red wheat 11, 178 Turner, Nat 291 Twain, Mark 1, 4, 7 Tweed, William Marcy “Boss” 217 United Nations 102, 266–8, 271, 293 United States Steel Corp. 197, 223 Ustinov, Peter 71 Valley Forge, Pa. 89, 293 Vanderbilt, Cornelius 200 Vanderbilt, William K. 201 Verrazano, Giovanni 37 Versailles, Treaty of 231, 231–2, 234 Vespucci, Amerigo 19 Victoria (queen) 119, 178, 181, 206 Vietnam War 269–70 Vinci, Leonardo da 22 Voltaire 46 wagon trains 137–43, 145 Walker, Thomas 123 War of 181–2, 132 Warren, Chief Justice Earl 116, 290 Warren Joseph 80 Washington, George 74, 78, 87–90, 91, 99, 102, 103, 105, 107, 108, no, 132, 162, 209, 253, 254, 258, 293 Washington, Martha 88, 89 Wells, H.


pages: 650 words: 204,878

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre, William J. O'Neil

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, bank run, British Empire, business process, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, clean water, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, fiat currency, Hernando de Soto, margin call, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, price stability, refrigerator car, reserve currency, short selling, technology bubble, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, yellow journalism

Lefevre calls the deals that followed the “rungfinders and ladder-builders for Harriman” as he worked through his apprenticeship in the railways. Harriman eventually took control of the Union Pacifi c, which he helped take out of bankruptcy in 1898. The railroad expanded rapidly through a string of acquisitions. First there was a pair of lines in Oregon, then the purchase of the large Southern Pacific system in February 1901. Soon Harriman’s road dominated the territory west from Omaha, across the original Transcontinental Railroad through Wyoming and Utah before splitting south to San Francisco in California and north to Oregon and Washington. Kuhn, Loeb & Co., led by Jacob Schiff (see photo on next page), became Harriman’s banker. Together they formed a syndicate with capital backing from the Rockefellers of Standard Oil, the Vanderbilts, and the Goulds.19 A battle between Harriman and rival tycoon J.P. Morgan, who controlled Northern Pacific, and their proxies brewed for years as their competing rail networks wrestled for supremacy in the states west of the Mississippi River.

As you will see later, insurance payouts resulting from this disaster played a huge role in the financial crisis that followed.3 The news spread quickly throughout the United States, eventually affecting the fi nancial markets in London and New York. On April 26, the New York Times reported that the San Francisco disaster resulted in a plunge of 12.5% on the New York Stock Exchange, wiping out $1 billion in market capitalization. British insurers were particularly hard hit by the disaster, as shares of leading underwriters, such as London & Lancashire, fell as much as 30%. Even before the transcontinental railroad was built in 1869, San Francisco was an international trade hub connecting California’s mining and There I was, short five thousand shares of UP on a hunch. That was as much as I could sell in Harding’s office with the margin I had up. It was too much stock for me to be short of, on a vacation; so I gave up the vacation and returned to New York that very night. There was no telling what might happen and I thought I’d better be Johnny-on-the-spot.

His final days were plagued by dyspepsia and insomnia. On December 2, 1892, Gould died, leaving $72 million to his family. Said Minnigerode: “And when it was announced, the stocks of all his corporations rose in a rejoicing market.”52 19.16 Collis P. Huntington was one of the men responsible for building the Central Pacific Railroad, which joined with the Union Pacific at Promontory Summit in Utah to form the First Transcontinental Railroad. Afterward, Huntington would work with a number of other railroads, including the Southern Pacific and the Chesapeake & Ohio. Born in Connecticut in 1821, he sailed for San Francisco in 1849 and operated a general store out of a tent. Later, his business grew to be one of the most prosperous on the Pacific coast. It was then that Huntington devised the idea for a railroad to the East.


pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

air freight, American ideology, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, undersea cable

., in large factories, with machinery applied to every process, the extreme subdivision of labour and all reduced to an almost perfect system of manufacture.” Destructive though it was, the Civil War broke the slaveocracy’s power to obstruct an American development agenda. In one of the darkest years of the war, the Republican congress passed the Homestead Act, the Land Grant College Act—no other country had conceived the possibility of educating its farmers and craftsmen—and the Transcontinental Railroad Act. The rise of a new world economic hyperpower was virtually assured. The book closes with both epilogue and prologue. Chapter 8 is a compressed account of how America caught up to and finally surpassed Great Britain in the decades after the Civil War. That story highlights the great advantages possessed by a fast-growing, emerging power moving to supplant an older incumbent. To round out the story, therefore, the book closes with an assessment of the new contest between an aging economic incumbent, now the United States, and China, the fast-surging potential usurper, and looks particularly at what is likely to be similar to and quite different from the story that began to unfold some two centuries ago.

Most impressive, perhaps, was the Starrucca Viaduct, consisting of Roman-style stone arches, 1,090 feet long, 25 feet wide, and between 90 and 100 feet high. When asked if he could build it, an engineer affirmed that he could, and could finish on time, “provided you don’t care what it costs.”54 But the true miracle was navigating the shoals of politics and finance in a notoriously corrupt age, while fending off Wall Street’s banditti. For comparison, the transcontinental railroad authorized by Congress the next decade was completed in about one-third the time, even though it crossed the Rockies. There were multiple close calls. Several times the planned route turned out to be impassable, and by pure luck, another acceptable path was found.55 And the road was often on the verge of bankruptcy. At one of the darkest moments, in 1846, the company was running out of money, the British were ratcheting up the price of the line’s iron rails, and late British deliveries were making the completion deadline unattainable under almost any circumstances.


pages: 452 words: 126,310

The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility by Robert Zubrin

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, battle of ideas, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gravity well, if you build it, they will come, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, more computing power than Apollo, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, off grid, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, private space industry, rising living standards, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment

This virtual transorbital railroad would cut the launch mass—or increase the payload—of any mission using it by at least a factor of four. Similar concepts could be used to enhance transport to Mars. America's pioneers first went west on foot or by horse, raft, or canoe. But once towns were established at the far end of the trail, we took steps to greatly facilitate travel. We built turnpikes, and canals, and ultimately opened the way for all to move quickly and easily coast to coast with the Transcontinental Railroad. The first settlers of the moon and Mars will no doubt rough it at high cost and considerable discomfort in cramped little rockets. But their children or grandchildren will travel in style on the Transorbital Railroad. Figure 3.4. On to Mars! FOCUS SECTION: VIRTUAL REALITY The spaceflight revolution will make it possible for millions of people to travel through space from point to point on Earth, and for thousands to people to travel across space to the moon, Mars, and eventually worlds beyond.

See fusion Thiel, Peter, 179 thrust, 38, 143, 185–86, 188, 191, 193, 194, 296–97, 344 dipole drive thrust, 205, 206 of fission reactor propulsion, 143 of fusion reactor propulsion, 160, 161, 168, 179 use of high thrust FRC rockets to depart Jupiter, 179 of Interplanetary Transport System (SpaceX), 108 and magnetic sails, 202, 203, 204 and Noah's Ark Eggs (seed spaceships), 210 and Nuclear Electric Propulsion systems, 343 and nuclear thermal rockets, 343 and specific impulse, 45, 344 Titan (moon of Saturn), 152, 260 commercial development of, 162–65, 168 terraforming of, 223 Titan-Saturn ferry, 163–64 Titius, Johann Daniel, 125 Tito, Dennis, 33 TLI (translunar injection), 107, 110, 111 TMI (Trans-Mars injection), 77, 344 Tokamak Energy, 175–76, 176 tokamaks, 84, 344 defined, 176–77 spherical tokamak, 175–76, 176 spherical tokamak (ST), 180 See also fusion, entrepreneurial fusion revolution Tombaugh, Clyde W., 152 Toutatis (near-Earth object), 129 Transcontinental Railroad, 97, 97 Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS telescope), 244, 251 “Translife” mission, 31 translunar injection orbit (TLI), 107, 109, 110, 111 Trans-Mars injection (TMI), 77, 344 transorbital railroad, 93–97 Tri-Alpha Energy (TAE), 177–78, 178 Triton (moon of Neptune), 152, 237 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin, 316 Tumlinson, Rick, 138, 332 Turner, Frederick Jackson on importance of having a frontier to conquer, 272–73 Twigg, Robert, 54 two-stage rocket systems, 39–45 payloads for one and two stage reusable rockets, 42 types of civilization.


pages: 388 words: 211,314

Frommer's Washington State by Karl Samson

airport security, British Empire, California gold rush, centre right, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, place-making, sustainable-tourism, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, transcontinental railway, white picket fence

When, in 1859, a British pig rooting in an American soldier’s potato patch was shot and killed, the two nations came to the brink of war. It took international arbitration to settle the disagreement, which was finally resolved by turning San Juan Island over to U.S. control. Both the American Camp and the English Camp are preserved as part of the San Juan National Historic Park. In 1881, the first transcontinental railroad reached Spokane, in eastern Washington, and finally linked the Northwest with the eastern United States. In 1883, Tacoma became the end of the line for the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks that originated in St. Paul, Minnesota. With the arrival of the railroads, Washington took a great leap forward in its development. No longer a remote wilderness, the region began to attract industry, and in 1889 Washington gained statehood.

However, trees were still the foundation of the state’s economy. Nurtured on steady rains, Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, western red cedar, and hemlock grew as much as 300 feet tall. Washington’s first sawmill began operation near present-day Vancouver, Washington, in 1828, and between the 1850s and 1870s, Washington sawmills supplied the growing California market as well as a limited foreign market. When the transcontinental railroads arrived in the 1880s, mills began shipping to the eastern states. In the early years, sawmills and logging companies would cut all the trees in one area and then move on to greener forests. By the turn of the 20th century the government had gained more control over public forests in an attempt to slow the cutting of the region’s trees, and sawmill owners began buying up huge tracts of land.

Today, U.S. 101, which loops around the east, north, and west side of the peninsula is lined with clear-cuts and second- and third-growth forests for much of its length, a fact that takes many first-time visitors by surprise. 8 PORT TOWNSEND: A RESTORED VICTORIAN SEAPORT THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA Port Townsend: A Restored Victorian Seaport 60 miles NW of Seattle, 48 miles E of Port Angeles, 40 miles S of Anacortes Named by English explorer Capt. George Vancouver in 1792, Port Townsend did not attract its first settlers until 1851. However, by the 1880s the town had become an important shipping port and was expected to grow into one of the most important cities on the West Coast. Port Townsend felt that it was the logical end of the line for the transcontinental railroad that was pushing westward in the 1880s, and based on the certainty of a railroad connection, real estate speculation and development boomed. Merchants and investors erected mercantile palaces along Water Street and elaborate Victorian homes on the bluff above the wharf district. However, the railroad never arrived. Tacoma got the rails, and Port Townsend got the shaft. With its importance as a shipping port usurped, Port Townsend slipped into quiet obscurity.


pages: 848 words: 240,351

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough

death of newspapers, Isaac Newton, Menlo Park, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, transcontinental railway

“The same means of communication will unite the western coast of this continent to the eastern coast of Asia. New York will remain the center where these lines meet.” This, in other words, was to be something much more than a large bridge over an important river. It was to be one of history’s great connecting works, symbolic of the new age, like the Atlantic cable, the Suez Canal, and the transcontinental railroad. “Lo, Soul, seest thou not God’s purpose from the first?” wrote Walt Whitman at about this time. “The earth be spann’d, connected by network…The lands welded together.” “The shapes arise!” wrote the Brooklyn poet. Singing my days, Singing the great achievements of the present Singing the strong, light works of engineers… But it was Roebling himself, never one to be overly modest, who had set forth the most emphatic claim for the bridge itself and the one that would be quoted most often in time to come: The completed work, when constructed in accordance with my designs, will not only be the greatest bridge in existence, but it will be the greatest engineering work of the continent, and of the age.

What really counted was that things were being accomplished at last on a scale in keeping with the commonly held vision of the future. Man the killer, man the destroyer, would be man the builder for now—now and here, on the infinite, seemingly inexhaustible landscape of America. It was the time and place to be intensely, boldly constructive. In less than a month, when a much publicized golden spike would be driven with humorous difficulty at Promontory, Utah, the completion of the transcontinental railroad would be hailed as “one of the victories of peace.” In his way Slocum was saying the same thing. The real glory of American achievement lay ahead, as always. But the true heroes now would be those who made possible such victories of peace—the builders. One of the greatest of them, the architect Louis Sullivan, would later write of his own feelings as a boy at about this same time: “The chief engineers became his heroes; they loomed above other men…he dreamed to be a great engineer.

Abram Hewitt came as King Lear, “while yet in his right mind,” the paper noted, a remark that doubtless cheered Washington Roebling. In the time he had spent on the bridge, the telephone and the electric light had been introduced. (What a difference they would have made during the work inside the caissons.) Now at night he could see hundreds of electric lights burning over in New York, directly across the river, in the blocks Edison had first lit the summer before, when Roebling was at Newport. Instead of one transcontinental railroad, there were now four and a fifth was under construction. There were ten million more people in the country than there had been in 1869. (Brooklyn had grown by 180,000; New York by more than 200,000.) The buffalo had been all but exterminated on the Great Plains and Chester A. Arthur had installed modern plumbing in the White House. Robert E. Lee was dead. Horace Greeley, Jesse James, Brigham Young, Emerson, Crazy Horse, Peter Cooper, they were all dead now.


California by Sara Benson

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, planetary scale, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the new new thing, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Sometime San Francisco newspaper publisher and full-time bigmouth Sam Brannan lets word out, and the Gold Rush is on. 1850 With hopes of solid-gold tax revenues, the US hastily dubs California the 31st state. But when miners find gold and tax loopholes, SoCal ranchers are left carrying the tax burden, creating early north−south rivalries. 1851 The discovery of gold in Australia means cheering in the streets of Melbourne and panic in the streets of San Francisco, as the price for California gold plummets. May 10, 1869 The Golden Spike is nailed in place, completing the first transcontinental railroad linking California to the East Coast. The event is reported blow by blow using a new invention, the telegraph, in the world’s first real-time communication. 1882 The US Chinese Exclusion Act suspends new immigration from China, denies citizenship to those already in the country and sanctions racially targeted laws that stay on the books until 1943. 1906 A massive earthquake levels entire blocks of San Francisco in 47 seconds flat, setting off fires that rage for three days without adequate water supply or fire breaks.

* * * Visual Arts Although the earliest European artists were trained cartographers accompanying Spanish explorers, their images of California as an island show more imagination than scientific rigor. This mythologizing tendency continued throughout the Gold Rush and through the 1880s, as Western artists alternated between caricatures of Wild West debauchery and manifest-destiny propaganda urging pioneers to settle the golden west. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 brought an influx of romantic painters, who produced the classic California landscapes seen at the Oakland Museum and Long Beach Museum of Art. But with the invention of photography, the improbable truth of California’s landscape and its inhabitants was revealed. Pirkel Jones saw expressive potential in California landscape photography in the 19th century, and San Francisco native Ansel Adams’ sublime 1940s photographs finally did justice to Yosemite.

Sunny outdoor eating and antique hunting in the historic Old Town offer respite from the road, but navigate out of the narrow stone streets to get away from crowds of weekenders and there’s as much flavor in the middle of town, along Lincoln Way. On Sunday, the Old Town hosts a traffic-jamming flea market, complete with live music and food stands. Information Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce ( 530-885-5616; www.auburnchamber.net; 601 Lincoln Way; 9am-5pm Mon-Fri) Housed in the old Southern Pacific railroad depot at the north end of Lincoln Way, it has lots of useful local info. There’s a nearby monument to the first transcontinental railroad. California Welcome Center ( 530-887-2111; www.visitplacer.com; 13411 Lincoln Way; 9am-3pm) Right off I-80 at the Foresthill exit; there is oodles of information for those entering the state from the east. Sights & Activities Placer County Museum ( 530-889-6500; 101 Maple St; admission free; 11am-4pm Tue-Sun), on the 1st floor of the monumental 1898 Placer County Courthouse ( 8am-5pm), has Native American artifacts and displays of Auburn’s transportation heritage.


Lonely Planet Pocket San Francisco by Lonely Planet, Alison Bing

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, edge city, G4S, game design, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Mason jar, Silicon Valley, stealth mode startup, Stewart Brand, transcontinental railway, Zipcar

Downstairs, watch fascinating Beat-era films; upstairs, pay respects at shrines to individual Beats. Entry to the adjoining bookstore and frequent poetry readings are free. ( 1-800-537-6822 (1-800-KER-OUAC); www.thebeatmuseum.org; 540 Broadway; admission $5; 10am-7pm Tue-Sun; Columbus Ave) 4 Chinese Historical Society Museum Offline map Google map Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the Gold Rush, transcontinental railroad construction or the Beat heyday in this 1932 landmark, built as Chinatown’s YWCA by Julia Morgan (of Hearst Castle fame). Century-old photos, gold-mining tools and mesmerizing miniatures of Chinatown landmarks bring local history to life, alongside vintage advertisements and toys conveying Chinese stereo­types. ( 415-391-1188; www.chsa.org; 965 Clay St; adult/child $5/2, 1st Thu of month free; noon-5pm Tue-Fri, 11am-4pm Sat; Stockton St, California St; ) 5 Chinese Culture Center Art Gallery Offline map Google map You can see all the way to China inside this cultural center, which hosts exhibits of traditional Chinese arts, cutting-edge contemporary art installations and a new Art at Night series showcasing Chinese-inspired art, jazz, and food.


San Francisco by Lonely Planet

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, G4S, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Joan Didion, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mason jar, New Urbanism, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

All proceeds support Chinatown community programming at the Chinese Culture Center; bookings can be made online or by phone. Groups of four or more should book two days in advance. Chinese Historical Society of America Museum Offline map Google map (CHSA; 415-391-1188; www.chsa.org; 965 Clay St; adult/child $5/2, 1st Thu of month free; noon-5pm Tue-Fri, 11am-4pm Sat; Stockton St; California St) Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the Gold Rush, the transcontinental railroad construction or the Beat heyday at the nation’s largest Chinese American historical institute. Intimate vintage photos, an 1880 temple altar and Francis Wong’s mesmerizing miniatures of Chinatown landmarks are seen alongside the Daniel KE Ching collection of thousands of vintage advertisements, toys and postcards conveying Chinese stereotypes. Sleuthing by CHSA historians continue to uncover lost and neglected artifacts, including Jake Lee’s fascinating watercolors of Chinese American history, painted in the 1960s for a Chinatown restaurant.

San Francisco newspaper publisher and full-time big mouth Sam Brannan lets word out, and the Gold Rush is on. 1850 With hopes of solid-gold tax revenues, the US hastily dubs California the 31st state. 1849–51 San Francisco’s waterfront ‘Sydney-Town’ area becomes an increasing target of resentment and attacks; Australian boarding houses are torched six times by arsonists in two years. 1851 Gold discovery in Australia leads to cheering in the streets of Melbourne and panic in the streets of San Francisco as the price for California gold plummets. 1861–65 While US Civil War divides North from South back East, SF perversely profits in the West as industry diverted from factories burdened by the war effort heads to San Francisco. May 10, 1869 The Golden Spike completes the first transcontinental railroad. The news travels via San Franciscan David Brooks’ invention, the telegraph. 1873 When a nervous driver declines to test the brakes of Andrew Hallidie’s ‘wire rope railway,’ aka cable car, Hallidie jumps in and steers the car downhill as crowds cheer. 1882 The US Chinese Exclusion Act suspends new immigration from China. These racially targeted laws remain until 1943. 1882–1924 The Exclusion Act spurs the passage of parallel Japanese exclusion laws, with ordinances limiting citizenship, marriage, immigration and property rights for Japanese San Franciscans.


Lonely Planet Panama (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Carolyn McCarthy

California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, land tenure, low cost airline, Panamax, post-Panamax, Ronald Reagan, sustainable-tourism, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, women in the workforce

Although as much as 5% of the world’s total sea commerce traverses the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal in Egypt, which is capable of handling larger vessels, serves more than 6%. Furthermore, the Panama Canal is already operating at more than 90% of its maximum capacity and will reach its saturation point in less than five years. The biggest challenge the Panama Canal faces is luring the enormous post-Panamax vessels, which currently depend on either the US Transcontinental Railroad or the Suez Canal. But those in favor of the canal expansion are hoping that this lucrative market will adopt the Panama route, especially as trade volumes between Asia and the continental east coast increase. There is concern that the expansion will not offset its construction costs. Furthermore, critics from all sectors of society are pessimistic that the government can actually pull off the project at its stated price tag.

History In 1850 the city of Colón (originally called Aspinwall for a Panama railroad founder) was established as the Caribbean terminus of the Panama Railroad. It became a boom town attracting east-coast Americans who favored this ‘shortcut’ to California at the height of gold-rush fever. Even with boating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and crossing the isthmus, it was considered a faster and less dangerous journey than crossing the US heartland and facing hostile indigenous groups. Following the completion of the US transcontinental railroad in 1869, Colón faded into obscurity less than 20 years after its founding. At the peak of Colón’s economic depression in 1881 the French arrived to build an inter-oceanic canal, but the city was burnt to the ground four years later by a Colombian hoping to spark a revolution. In the years to follow, the city blossomed, entirely rebuilt in French colonial architectural style. Rivaling Panama City in beauty and wealth, life in the Canal Zone was pleasurable and highly profitable.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

It wanted a 21-year naturalisation period for immigrants and the banning of all Catholics from public office. At its peak, the party had more than 100 congressmen and eight governors, but it was split apart by the issue of slavery.46 Racism was even more prevalent than anti-Catholicism (which may, in any case, have been motivated by dislike of the Irish and Italian immigrants who were arriving in large numbers after 1850). The use of Chinese workers to build the transcontinental railroad caused unrest among workers who feared that their wages were being undercut, and inspired much Sinophobia; a riot in Los Angeles in 1871 killed 17 to 20 Chinese residents. In the face of trade union pressure, the US passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, preventing immigration of Chinese labourers. It was extended in 1892 and made permanent in 1902.47 Other states settled by European colonists passed similar measures, such as the “White Australia” Act of 1901.

Union Pacific received land grants equal to the size of New Hampshire and New Jersey combined.14 It cost the government nothing since the land was effectively confiscated from Native Americans. There was an enormous railroad boom after the end of the Civil War (the South’s relative lack of a network had weakened its campaign). The national system doubled in miles from 35,000 in 1865 to nearly 71,000 in 1873, and, during that period, the two coasts were symbolically linked when the Transcontinental Railroad met at Promontory Point in Utah. But as in Britain, the sponsors had overestimated demand. A financial panic in 1873 saw widespread bond defaults and by 1878, railroad share prices had fallen 60%.15 Synchronise your watches The railways affected more than just the way we travelled. They changed our measurement of time itself. When the railways began, time was set at the local rather than the national level, based on astronomical observation.


pages: 162 words: 61,105

Eyewitness Top 10 Los Angeles by Catherine Gerber

Berlin Wall, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, East Village, Frank Gehry, haute couture, Mahatma Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, transcontinental railway

1781: of Los Angeles The Arrival £ 1876: of the Railroad LA Becomes a City @ 1850: After the US-Mexican War The Movies $ 1911: Come to LA Under orders of King Carlos III of Spain, the governor of California Felipe de Neve laid out a small settlement along a river valley and, on September 4, called it El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (The Town of the Queen of the Angels), another name for the Virgin Mary (see p71). ended in 1846–48, Los Angeles became part of the USA on April 4, five months before California became the 31st state. With a tiny population of about 1,600, this unruly and lawless backwater lacked even such basic urban infrastructures as graded roads and street lights. Few events have stimulated LA’s growth more than its connection to the transcontinental railroad. A small army of Chinese immigrants built the Southern Pacific railroad from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The last spike – made of gold – was driven in ceremoniously on September 5. British immigrants David and William Horsely founded Hollywood’s first permanent movie studio, the Nestor Film Company, in an old tavern at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. Today, the site is occupied by CBS Television.


Frommer's San Diego 2011 by Mark Hiss

airport security, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, glass ceiling, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Today, many natives have come to dislike the City of Angels and all that it stands for. Where career-minded Angelenos have a reputation for wheeling and dealing and superficiality, San Diegans are a laid-back lot who seldom ask, “So, what do you do?” San Diego’s redheaded stepchild identity can trace its roots at least as far back as the 1880s, when the city’s sudden and dramatic boom hinged on its hope of becoming the West Coast terminus of the Santa Fe Railway’s transcontinental railroad. The city’s subsequent cataclysmic bust coincided with the Santa Fe’s decision to reroute its line through L.A., making San Diego the end of a spur line and squashing dreams of transforming the city’s promising port into the seat of commerce and industry in the Southland. Just as San Diego is defined, in part, by its northern neighbor, so, too, is it shaped by its sibling to the south.

The decision to move county records from Old Town to New Town in 1871 signaled the direction the city was moving. Old Town’s fate was sealed when it was swept by a devastating fire in 1872, followed 2 years later by a massive flood. San Diego’s population had already quadrupled (to about 2,300) by 1870, but that was nothing compared to the boom that was coming. Gold was discovered in the nearby Julian (p. 260) hills in 1870, and in 1873 construction began on an eastward transcontinental railroad line from San Diego. A stock market panic put the kibosh on that project, but by 1885 the first train from the east finally reached the city. 9 05_626214-ch02.indd 905_626214-ch02.indd 9 7/23/10 11:16 PM7/23/10 11:16 PM SAN DIEGO IN DEPTH Looking Back at San Diego 2 This touched off “the great boom,” as speculators realized the commercial potential of combining San Diego’s unparalleled port with the railroad’s ability to transport goods eastward.


pages: 510 words: 163,449

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It by Arthur Herman

British Empire, California gold rush, creative destruction, do-ocracy, financial independence, global village, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Joan Didion, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, Republic of Letters, Robert Mercer, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

Scots dominated the syndicate to promote its construction, from Donald Smith and his cousin George Stephen of the Bank of Montreal to London banker John Rose. Its principal engineer was also a Scot, Sandford Fleming. The building of the 3,700 mile Canadian Pacific was an epic achievement worthy of Thomas Telford. It defied obstacles and challenges as forbidding as anything the Americans faced with their transcontinental railroad. Fleming and his surveyors, engineers, and road crews had to lay track along nine hundred miles of bottomless muskeg, across the empty prairies of Manitoba and Alberta, and into the steep foothills of the Canadian Rockies. The place where Fleming decided to cross the Rockies was at Kicking Horse Pass. He and his men had to battle temperatures that plunged to thirty and forty degrees below zero, in addition to treacherous snowslides and hurricane-force winds.

His father Alexander Melville Bell had developed a “visible speech system,” which he hoped would be the prototype of a universal phonetic alphabet. His son, in turn, invented a method for teaching the hearing-impaired to speak (Bell’s mother was deaf, as was his future wife), before the family emigrated to Canada in 1870. In 1865, as telegraph wires connected the American continent from California to the east coast, and the transcontinental railroad was nearing completion, the eighteen-year-old Alex had conceived the possibility of the electrical transmission of actual human speech, not just dots and dashes on a keyed device. In the summer of 1874 he laid out his theory to his father at their house in Brantford, Ontario. “If I could make a current of electricity vary in intensity precisely as the air varies in intensity during the production of sound,” he concluded, “I should be able to transmit speech telegraphically.”


pages: 233 words: 64,479

The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife by Marc Freedman

airport security, Berlin Wall, David Brooks, follow your passion, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, McMansion, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, transcontinental railway, working poor, working-age population

In Nora Ephron’s words, “There’s a moment when people know—whatever their skills are at denial—that they have passed from what they can delude themselves into thinking is middle age to something that you could call the third act.” Ephron, now sixty-nine, declares, “I’m definitely in the third act.” As the “third act” notion suggests, the reality is that the end of middle age is no longer, for most people, attached to the beginning of either retirement or old age. (It’s like the transcontinental railroad, started at both ends, designed to eventually meet. However, the two ends of this project—life—don’t meet anymore.) Individuals left in that lurch, in this unstable space that has no name, no clear beginning or end, no rites or routes of passage, face a contradictory culture, incoherent policies, institutions tailored for a different population, and a society that seems in denial that this period even exists.


The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, source of truth, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog

Certainly neither World War I nor the Iraq conflict was "caused" by technology in any direct Level III Technology 77 sense, but confusion about technological complexity may have made them more probable. It was not only in the military sense that railroads changed the course of empire. They also fundamentally altered economic and power structures, and, more subtly, cultural authority. In the United States, for example, railroads-especially the completion of the transcontinental railroad-helped validate the continental scale of the American state, and restructured the economy from local or at best regional business concentrations to trusts and monopolies by creating the potential for national-scale markets. On the global scale, railroads enabled the connection of hinterlands with ports that were themselves changing with the growth of steamship capability. This new connectivity played an important role in unifying the world economy in a way that had never before been possible, leading to the wave of globalization that characterized the late nineteenth century, and enabling economic development of continental interiors not directly served by rivers and canals. is With the railroad, economic power passed to industrial firms from agriculture; more subtly, so did cultural authority.


pages: 243 words: 65,374

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

A. Roger Ekirch, Ada Lovelace, big-box store, British Empire, butterfly effect, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jacquard loom, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Live Aid, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Murano, Venice glass, planetary scale, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, walkable city, women in the workforce

The British had dealt with this problem by standardizing the entire country on Greenwich Mean Time in the late 1840s, synchronizing railroad clocks by telegraph. (To this day, clocks in every air traffic control center and cockpit around the world report Greenwich time; GMT is the single time zone of the sky.) But the United States was too sprawling to run off of one clock, particularly after the transcontinental railroad opened in 1869. With eight thousand towns across the country, each on its own clock, and over a hundred thousand miles of railroad track connecting them, the need for some kind of standardized system became overwhelming. For several decades, various proposals circulated for standardizing U.S. time, but nothing solidified. The logistical hurdles of coordinating schedules and clocks were immense, and somehow standardized time seemed to spark a strange feeling of resentment among ordinary citizens, as though it were an act against nature itself.


pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, wealth creators, Yogi Berra

At some point Rockefeller stopped being a Free Radical and instead became a ruthless businessman, or more likely criminal, blowing up his competitors’ oil pipelines so he could control distribution. But you can’t take away the benefit of ever-cheaper light and heat that he and others brought to millions. HERE’S ANOTHER ONE. After the Civil War, demand for railroads boomed. The Golden Spike creating the first transcontinental railroad was hammered at Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869 by Leland Stanford. But the pricing and economic part of this story are rarely discussed, which is why history teachers usually don’t teach math. The rails, obviously, are the key component of any railroad. Originally, metallurgists melted iron ore by mixing it with burning wood (charcoal), and then poured it into a mold to get cast iron.


pages: 212 words: 69,846

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World by Rahm Emanuel

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, blockchain, carbon footprint, clean water, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Filter Bubble, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Lyft, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

The preamble of the Confederate Constitution begins with the phrase “We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character…” The document also contains several provisions that grant some of the federal power found in the U.S. Constitution back to the states. The outcome of the Civil War put an end to the dominance of states in the U.S. government system. Through some fits and starts, federal influence began to grow from that point on. The first two projects beyond Reconstruction after the Civil War, transcontinental railroad development and the land grant college system, illustrate the point. * * * The great nation-state of the United States of America begins with the country’s response to the Great Depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal remains one of our nation’s greatest achievements, a shining example of how the federal government can work on behalf of its citizens and benefit them in a progressive manner.


pages: 877 words: 182,093

Wealth, Poverty and Politics by Thomas Sowell

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, European colonialism, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the sewing machine, invisible hand, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, profit motive, rent control, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, very high income, War on Poverty

In 1830, for example, it cost more than 30 dollars to move a ton of cargo 300 miles on land but only 10 dollars to ship it 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.2 One consequence of such huge transportation cost differentials was that people living in the city of Tiflis in the Caucasus, 340 miles from the Baku oil fields by land, bought oil imported from the United States, 8,000 miles away by water.3 Similarly in mid-nineteenth century America, before the transcontinental railroad was built, San Francisco could be reached both faster and cheaper across the Pacific Ocean from a port in China than it could be reached over land from the banks of the Missouri River.4 Given the vast amounts of food, fuel and other necessities of life that must be transported into cities, and the vast amounts of a city’s output that must be transported out to sell, there is no mystery why so many cities around the world have been located on navigable waterways, especially before the transportation revolutions within the past 200 years that produced motorized transport on land.

In an article titled “The Asian Advantage,” the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, for example, explains the academic and economic success of Asian Americans by asserting that they “started with one advantage: They are highly educated, more so even than the average American.”33 But most Asian American groups have not “started” as immigrants on American soil “highly educated.” Although there were substantial numbers of Chinese immigrants in the United States by the middle of the nineteenth century, as late as 1940 fewer than 2 percent of Chinese American males had completed college.34 The earliest generations of Chinese in nineteenth century America worked as manual laborers, whether on farms or in cities or as workers helping build the transcontinental railroad.35 Chinese men— there were very few women— lived poverty-stricken lives, often sleeping ten or twelve to a room.36 By the 1920s, the primary occupation of Chinese Americans was in laundries, usually small, one-man, hand laundries.37 In the twenty-first century, as we have seen, immigrants from Fujian province in China began working as hotel maids, restaurant laborers and in other similar low-level, low-paid jobs, often with long hours of exhausting work, while having their children tutored to be able to get into New York’s elite public high schools, from which they could go on to elite colleges.


How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Albert Einstein, book scanning, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, citizen journalism, City Beautiful movement, clean water, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, friendly fire, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Howard Zinn, immigration reform, land reform, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, urban planning, wikimedia commons

If Indian Country looked tenuous from its start in the 1830s, it looked even more so in the 1840s, with the annexation of Texas, the conquest of much of Mexico, and the extinction of the British claims in Oregon. Suddenly Indian Country was no longer pressed up against the nation’s western border. It stood exposed in the middle, right between the bustling East and the burgeoning West. Where gold had just been discovered. “The Indian barrier must be removed,” demanded Senator Stephen Douglas, who longed to run a transcontinental railroad through Indian Country to California. William Henry Seward noted that eighteen tribes lived on the land that Douglas wanted. “Where will they go?” Seward asked. “Back across the Mississippi?… To the Himalayas?” Who cared? Eager white settlers streamed in, and Congress obliged by carving Kansas and Nebraska out of the heart of Indian Country—two new territories open to white settlement.

.; Insular Cases decided by Swahili Swan Islands sweatshops Sweden synthetics; medical; for nitrogen fertilizers Syria Taft, Nellie Taft, William Howard Tagalog Taiwan Taliban Tanaka, Tomoyuki Tanzania tape recorders tariffs Tawakonis Taylor, Zachary tear gas technologies; Japanese; military (see also chemical weapons; nuclear weapons); standardization and; see also medical experiments, synthetics Telmex Tennessee Ten Years’ War (Cuba, 1868–78) terrorism Texaco Texas; annexation of Texas to Bataan (movie) Thailand Thanh, Nguyen Tat, see Ho Chi Minh “That’ll Be the Day” (Holly) They Were Expendable (White); movie of Third World; see also specific continents, nations, and regions Thor missiles Thornton, Russell Thule (Greenland) Thunderball (movie) Thurmond, Strom Tillman, Ben (“Pitchfork”) Time magazine Tinian Tinio, Gen. Manuel Tisquantum, see Squanto Tlingit Tokyo Tomahawk missiles Tom Sawyer (Twain) Tonkin Gulf Resolution Toots and the Maytals Tora Bora (Afghanistan) Torresola, Doris Torresola, Griselio torture Tosh, Peter Toshiba Total Quality Management movement Totsuko (Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo), see Sony Toyota traffic lights and signs, standardization of Trail of Tears transcontinental railroad transistor radios Treasure Island (Stevenson) Treasury, U.S. Department of the Trinidad Truman, Harry; assassination attempt on; Philippine independence approved by; protests against postwar military policy of Trump, Donald Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands tuberculosis Tugwell, Rexford Tunisia Tunner, Gen. William H. (“Tonnage”) Turin, University of Turner, Frederick Jackson Tutuila (American Samoa) Twain, Mark 12 Angry Men (movie) Tydings, Millard typhus U-boats Ukraine Union Carbide United Kingdom, see Britain; British Empire United Nations; General Assembly; in Korean War; logo of; U.S. reports on “non-self-governing territories” required by United States Magazine and Democratic Review Uruguay U.S. overseas bases; in Africa; for air attacks on Japan; on Aleutian Islands; for Berlin airlift; in British territories; on Caribbean islands; on Cuba (see also Guantánamo Bay); drones launched from; in Eastern Europe; in England; English language spread from; of “Fireball Express” route; on Guam; in Iraq; in Japan; Japanese bombing of, see Pearl Harbor; on Micronesian islands; nuclear weapons on; on Okinawa; in Operation Desert Storm; in Panama; in Philippines; in Puerto Rico; in Saudi Arabia; technology for USSR, see Soviet Union U.S.


pages: 206 words: 9,776

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

But precisely because all of this activity-which, by the way, is a hugely important arena for value and surplus-value production - is so long-term, it calls for some combination of finance capital and state engagements as absolutely fun­ damental to its function ing. This activity is clearly speculative in the long term, and always runs the risk of replicating, at a much later date and on a magnified scale, the very overaccumulation conditions that it initially helps to relieve. Hence the crisis-prone character of urban and other forms of p hysical infrastructural investments (transcontinental railroads and highways, dams, and the like) . The cyclical character of such investments has been well documented for the nineteenth century in the meticulous work of Brinley Th omas (see Figure 3 ).20 But the theory of construction business cycles became neglected after 1 945 or so, in part because state-led Keynesian-style interventions were deemed effective in flattening them out. Robert B uilding activity per capita in � ·a.. " I.J .... .. ""' , , I I "' � I.J " '0 "' 20 � 10 .


pages: 253 words: 79,441

Better Than Fiction by Lonely Planet

airport security, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, transcontinental railway

We were young(ish) and indulging in the romance of the great American road trip, as popularized in books and movies and, in a sense, reaching back to before there even were roads to take such trips on. We crossed the Mississippi in the shadow of the St Louis Arch, monument to the city’s role as gateway to the West, stopped outside Salt Lake City at Promontory Summit where the tracks of the first transcontinental railroad were joined, and paused near journey’s end at an Oregon Trail museum, where the original wagon ruts of the pioneers could still be seen worn deep into the rocky ground. This wasn’t my history – I’m an expat Brit – but I was at least as thrilled as my American wife to see these famous sights (and several lesser ones). To see them and, of course, be seen with them in the obligatory photos, since secure in the knowledge that our trip was purposeful, necessary, we could while away the miles – guiltlessly – as gawking tourists.


USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Mummers Museum MUSEUM ( 215-336-3050; www.mummersmuseum.com; 1100 S 2nd St; adult/child $3.50/2.50; 9:30am-4:30pm Wed, Fri & Sat, to 9:30pm Thu) Celebrating the tradition of disguise and masquerade. It has an integral role in the famed Mummers Parade, which takes place here every New Year’s Day. CHINATOWN & AROUND The fourth-largest Chinatown in the USA, Philly’s version has existed since the 1860s. Chinese immigrants who built America’s transcontinental railroads started out west and worked their way here. Today’s Chinatown remains a center for immigrants, though now many of the neighborhood’s residents come from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in addition to every province in China. Though it does hold a few residents, the tone of Chinatown is thoroughly commercial. African American Museum in Philadelphia MUSEUM Offline map Google map ( 215-574-0380; www.aampmuseum.org; 701 Arch St; adult/child $10/8; 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, from noon Sun) Housed in a foreboding concrete building, it contains excellent collections on African American history and culture.

Joslyn Art Museum MUSEUM (www.joslyn.org; 2200 Dodge St; adult/child $8/5; 10am-4pm Tue-Sat, noon-4pm Sun, to 8pm Thu) The admired and architecturally imposing museum has a great collection of 19th- and 20th-century European and American art and has a good selection of Western-themed works plus an exciting sculpture garden. Union Pacific Railroad Museum MUSEUM (www.uprr.com; 200 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, IA; admission by donation; 10am-4pm Tue-Sat) Just across the river in the cute little downtown area of Council Bluffs, Iowa; this grand museum tells the story of the world’s most profitable railroad, the company that rammed the transcontinental railroad west from here in the 1860s. Look for the pictures of Ronald Reagan and his chimp-pal Bonzo aboard a train. Sleeping There is a good mix of midrange and budget hotels along US 275 near 60th St, at I-80 exits 445 and 449 and across the river in Council Bluffs, IA, at I-29 exit 51. Old Market has several midrange chains. Omaha Magnolia Hotel HOTEL $$ ( 402-341-2500; www.magnoliahotelomaha.com; 1615 Howard St; r incl breakfast $110-200; ) Not far from Old Market, the Magnolia is a boutique hotel housed in a gorgeous restored 1923 Italianate high-rise.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark claimed their enduring fame after the USA bought almost all of present-day Montana, Wyoming and eastern Colorado in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The two explorers set out to survey the land, covering 8000 miles in three years. Their success urged on other adventurers, and soon the migration was in motion. Wagon trains voyaged to the mountainous lands right into the 20th century, only temporarily slowed by the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad across southern Wyoming in the late 1860s. To accommodate settlers, the US purged the western frontier of the Spanish, British and, in a truly shameful era, most of the Native American population. The government signed endless treaties to defuse Native American objections to increasing settlement, but always reneged and shunted tribes onto smaller reservations. Gold-miners’ incursions into Native American territory in Montana and the building of US Army forts along the Bozeman Trail ignited a series of wars with the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho and others.


pages: 769 words: 397,677

Frommer's California 2007 by Harry Basch, Mark Hiss, Erika Lenkert, Matthew Richard Poole

airport security, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, Columbine, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, indoor plumbing, Iridium satellite, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Reservations recommended. Main courses $16–$22. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon–Thurs 5:30–9:30pm; Fri 5:30–10pm; Sat 5–10pm; Sun 5–9pm. 2 Oakland 10 miles E of San Francisco Although it’s just 10 miles from San Francisco, Oakland is worlds apart from its sister city. Originally a cluster of ranches and farms, its size and stature exploded practically overnight in 1869, as the last mile of transcontinental railroad track was laid. Major shipping traffic soon followed, and to this day Oakland is one of the busiest industrial ports on the West Coast. The price for all this success, however, has been Oakland’s reputation as a workingclass city famous for its crime and forever in the shadow of its chic neighbor to the west. Certain areas of town are still plain, but “Oaktown” is in a renaissance, with far more inviting housing prices and weather than San Francisco.

These blocks contain more than 100 restored buildings (California’s largest restoration project), including restaurants and shops. Although the area has cobblestone streets, wooden sidewalks, and authentic Gold Rush–era architecture, the high concentration of T-shirt shops and other gimmicky stores has turned it into a sort of historical amusement park. Nonetheless, there are interesting things to see, such as where the Pony Express ended and the transcontinental railroad—and the Republican Party—began. The California State Railroad Museum (see below) is loved by railroad buffs, and the Sacramento 5 5th St. 2nd St. ROOSEVELT PARK Mall 10 CAPITOL PARK Archives Plaza DINING Biba 18 Esquire Grill 6 Fox & Goose Public House 12 Mulvaney’s B&L Restaurant 14 Paragary’s Bar and Oven 19 33rd Street Bistro 20 80 The Waterboy 15 12 6 9 8 i Governor’s Mansion 11 California State Capitol estrian Mall CESAR CHAVEZ PLAZA 7 12th St.

California State Railroad Museum Well worth visiting, this museum is Kids the highlight of Old Sacramento. You won’t miss much if you bypass the memorabilia displays and head straight for the museum’s 105 shiny locomotives and rail cars, beautiful antiques that are true works of art. Afterward, you can watch a 20-minute film on the history of the western railroads that’s quite good, then peruse related exhibits that tell the amazing story of the building of the transcontinental railroad. This museum is not just for train buffs: Over half a million people visit each year, and even the hordes of schoolchildren that typically mob this place shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting one of the largest and best railroad museums in the country. Allow about 2 hours to see it all. From April to September, on weekends and holidays from 11am to 5pm, steam locomotive rides carry passengers 6 miles along the Sacramento River.


Parks Directory of the United States by Darren L. Smith, Kay Gill

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Asilomar, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donner party, El Camino Real, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hernando de Soto, indoor plumbing, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Torches of Freedom, trade route, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

More than half of the park lies in the alpine tundra zone - above the limit of tree growth - with the rest of the park encompassing subalpine forests and meadows. Glacier’s steep terrain and heavy snowfall have given the park a reputation as one of North America’s premier road-accessible ski touring destinations from December to April. Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park has been designated a National Historic Site in commemoration of its role as an essential, yet perilous, link in the building of the transcontinental railway. cross-country skiing, boat tours, interpretive programs, live theater. Special Features: Park protects Newfoundland’s western highlands and Gulf of Saint Lawrence lowlands, and features rugged coastline, mountains, glacier-carved fjords, and ocean inlets and lakes. The park is considered a textbook illustration of plate tectonics, and due to its unique geological features, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

History: Designated as a national historic site in nonfederal ownership on April 2, 1957; authorized for federal ownership and administration by act of Congress on July 30, 1965. Location: 32 miles west of Brigham City, Utah, via UT 13 and 83. Facilities: Picnic area, visitor center (u), museum/exhibit, self-guided tour/trail. Entrance fee required. Activities: Interpretive and living history programs, auto touring. Special Features: Completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was celebrated here where the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads met on May 10, 1869, joining 1,776 miles of rail. ★154★ GLEN CANYON NATIONAL RECREATION AREA PO Box 1507 691 Scenic View Dr Page, AZ 86040 Web: www.nps.gov/glca/ Phone: 928-608-6200; Fax: 928-608-6259 Size: 1,254,429 acres. History: Administered under cooperative agreements between Bureau of Reclamation and U.S.

Facilities: Museum, exhibits, restrooms, food service. Activities: Guided tours, excursion train rides (seasonal). Special Features: Museum interprets the role of the ‘‘iron horse’’ in connecting California to the rest of the nation. Housed in one large building are more than 21 fully-restored historic locomotives and cars. A full-scale diorama depicts the building of a section of the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s. A block from the museum is a reconstructed passenger station and freight depot circa 1867. During the summer, a steam train takes visitors from the depot to Miller Park and back along the Sacramento River. ★1546★ CANDLESTICK POINT STATE RECREATION AREA c/o Diablo Vista District Office 845 Casa Grande Rd Petaluma, CA 94954 Web: www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=519 Phone: 415-671-0145 Size: 205 acres.


pages: 252 words: 80,636

Bureaucracy by David Graeber

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, David Graeber, George Gilder, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, means of production, music of the spheres, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Parkinson's law, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, post-work, price mechanism, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, union organizing, urban planning, zero-sum game

Even much later, after actual cogs had been invented, the design of complex machinery was always to some degree an elaboration of principles originally developed to organize people.113 Yet still, again and again, we see those machines—whether their moving parts are arms and torsos or pistons, wheels, and springs—being put to work to realize otherwise impossible fantasies: cathedrals, moon shots, transcontinental railways, and on and on. Certainly, poetic technologies almost invariably have something terrible about them; the poetry is likely to evoke dark satanic mills as much as it does grace or liberation. But the rational, bureaucratic techniques are always in service to some fantastic end. From this perspective, all those mad Soviet plans—even if never realized—marked the high-water mark of such poetic technologies.


pages: 278 words: 82,069

Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover by Katrina Vanden Heuvel, William Greider

Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, John Meriwether, kremlinology, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

This role of big government supporting the interests of the business classes has continued all through the nation’s history. Thus, in the nineteenth century the government subsidized canals and the mer-chant marine. In the decades before and during the Civil War, the government gave away some 100 million acres of land to the railroads, along with considerable loans to keep the railroad interests in business. The 10,000 Chinese and 3,000 Irish who worked on the transcontinental railroad got no free land and no loans, only long hours, little pay, accidents and sickness. The principle of government helping big business and refusing government largesse to the poor was bipartisan, upheld by Republicans and Democrats. President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, vetoed a bill to give $10,000 to Texas farmers to help them buy seed grain during a drought, saying, “Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character.”


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Politics of Place) by Tim Marshall

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hans Island, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, market fragmentation, megacity, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, Transnistria, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, zero-sum game

In 1867, Alaska was bought from Russia. At the time it was known as “Seward’s Folly,” named for the secretary of state, William Seward, who agreed to the deal. He paid $7.2 million, or two cents, an acre. The press accused him of purchasing snow, but minds were changed with the discovery of gold in 1896. Decades later, huge reserves of oil were also found. Two years on, in 1869, came the opening of the transcontinental railroad. Now you could cross the country in a week, whereas it had previously taken several hazardous months. As the country grew, and grew wealthy, it began to develop a blue-water navy. For most of the nineteenth century, foreign policy was dominated by expanding trade and avoiding entanglements outside the neighborhood, but it was time to push out and protect the approaches to the coastlines.


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Cumberland Times-News, July 28, 2012; Lee Drutman with Ethan Phelps-Goodman, “The Political One Percent of the One Percent,” Sunlight Foundation (blog), December 13, 2011, http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/12/13/the-political-one-percent-of-the-one-percent. 36. Chrystia Freeland, “The Rise of the New Global Elite,” Atlantic, January/February 2011; Paul Toscano, “Obama Wins 8 of 10 Wealthiest Counties in U.S.,” CNBC, November 8, 2012; Callahan, Fortunes of Change, pp. 39, 170. 37. Beard and Beard, The Rise of American Civilization, pp. 302–3; “The Transcontinental Railroad: The Credit Mobilier Scandal,” American Experience (PBS), PBS.com, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tcrr-scandal; “Election Central: The Progressives and Direct Democracy,” Constitutional Rights Foundation, http://www.crf-usa.org/election-central/the-progressives.html. 38. Daniel Bell, “The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism,” Journal of Aesthetic Education, vol. 6, nos. 1–2, Special Double Issue: Capitalism, Culture and Education (January–April, 1972): 36–37. 39.


Southwest USA Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Columbine, Donner party, El Camino Real, friendly fire, G4S, haute couture, haute cuisine, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), low earth orbit, off grid, place-making, supervolcano, trade route, transcontinental railway, walkable city, Works Progress Administration, X Prize

Mesa Verde Climb up to cliff dwelling that housed Ancestral Puebloans more than 700 years ago (Click here). Virginia City Site of the Comstock Lode, which begat an 1859 silver rush (Click here). Picacho Peak State Park On April 15, 1862 this desolate place witnessed the westernmost battle of the Civil War (Click here). Golden Spike National Historic Site Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad met here on May 10, 1869, completing the transcontinental railroad (Click here). Water Adventures Water adventures? In a land of deserts, red rocks and cacti? Thank the big dams like Hoover, Glen Canyon and Parker for the region’s big lakes and all their splashy activities. Elsewhere, hurtle over whitewater, paddle over ripples, slide through a plastic tube or simply sip a cocktail beside a Sin City pool – there’s something here to fit your speed.

The park’s four developed campgrounds (tent & RV sites $12) are open during summer; only Lower Lehman Creek is available year-round. Next to the visitor center, a simple cafe stays open from May through October. The nearby village of Baker has a gas station, a basic restaurant and sparse accommodations. Along I-80 I-80 is the old fur trappers’ route, following the Humboldt River from northeast Nevada to Lovelock, near Reno. It’s also one of the earliest emigrant trails to California. Transcontinental railroad tracks reached Reno in 1868 and crossed the state within a year. By the 1920s, the Victory Hwy traveled the same route, which later became the interstate. Although not always the most direct route across Nevada, I-80 skirts many of the Great Basin’s steep mountain ranges. Overnight stops in the Basque-flavored country around Elko or Winnemucca will give you a true taste of cowboy life.

Rules No pets are allowed at resorts and four-night minimum stays may be required December through March. Ski Utah (800-754-8724; www.skiutah.com) Puts out excellent annual winter vacation guides – in paper and online. THE REMOTE NORTHWEST On May 10, 1869, the westward Union Pacific Railroad and eastward Central Pacific Railroad met at Promontory Summit. With the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the face of the American West changed forever. Golden Spike National Historic Site (www.nps.gov/gosp; per vehicle $7; 9am-5pm), 32 miles northwest of Brigham City on Hwy 83, has an interesting museum and films, auto tours and several interpretive trails. Steam-engine demonstrations take place June through August. Aside from Golden Spike National Historic Site, few people visit Utah’s desolate northwest corner.


pages: 1,335 words: 336,772

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow

always be closing, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bolshevik threat, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital controls, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Etonian, financial deregulation, fixed income, German hyperinflation, index arbitrage, interest rate swap, margin call, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, paper trading, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, strikebreaker, the market place, the payments system, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, undersea cable, Yom Kippur War, young professional

Towns sprang up along the tracks, settled by European immigrants imported by the railroads.1 As speculation in rail shares grew frenzied, European investors were stumbling about in the dark. Between Kansas and the Rocky Mountains, schoolboy maps showed a blank space dubbed the great American desert.2 Europeans relied on their American agents to guide them through this financial wilderness, and American bankers had to keep posted on developments. Soon after completion of the first transcontinental railroad, in May 1869, Pierpont and Fanny Morgan made an extended rail journey across the country, stopping to see Mormon leader Brigham Young in Utah. A competition was already underway on Wall Street between Jewish bankers, such as Joseph Seligman, who wooed German investors with railroad shares, and Yankee bankers, such as Pierpont Morgan, who drew on London money. From the outset, railways were in a chaotic state as they covered the country in a crazy-quilt expansion that frequently produced more roads than traffic.

“And it will be much easier for them to obtain the second half than it was the first,” said one newspaper editor, foreseeing a subsequent eastern rail monopoly. “One railroad after another will slide gently into their grasp until any passenger anywhere who objects to traveling on their lines can take a trolley car or walk.”69 The dreams of the architects of Northern Securities went beyond the most vivid Populist fear. After tying up transcontinental railroads, they planned to link them with steamship lines to Asia—a vision that later would culminate in Edward Harriman’s plans for an around-the-world transportation network. Pierpont, meanwhile, meditated on a rail-ship monopoly of the North Atlantic, extending his domain beyond the borders of the United States. Wall Street increasingly gazed abroad. Besides bankrupting thousands of investors, the Northern Pacific corner claimed a last casualty—Morgan partner Robert Bacon.

Lamont’s estate was so enormous that the charitable and educational bequests came to $9.5 million, including $5 million to Harvard and $2 million to Phillips Exeter Academy. Through a syndicate managed by Morgan Stanley, his estate sold off his twenty-five-thousand-share block of J. P. Morgan stock. It was the largest block in existence, with an estimated market value of nearly $6 million. Lamont was a man of prodigious gifts, the real J. P. Morgan behind J. P. Morgan and Company. Had he lived in Pierpont’s day, he might have summoned steel mills or transcontinental railroads into being. Instead, as a man of the Diplomatic Age, he was the architect of huge state loans in the 1920s. As they defaulted in the 1930s, he had to devote his time to fruitless salvage operations, and his gifts were squandered in the general wreckage. For all his power, he seems in retrospect a tiny figure bobbing atop a gigantic tidal wave. His story is a sobering tale of human limitations.


The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

banks create money, barriers to entry, British Empire, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, creative destruction, desegregation, double helix, financial innovation, Joseph Schumpeter, manufacturing employment, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

In the meantime, almost by happenstance, southern politicians lined up behind a different strategy, one based on Calhoun’s substantive-due-process insistence that slavery should be legal in all US territories. Their choice determined Ben Slaughter’s fate, and Richard’s as well. BY 1853, WHEN FRANKLIN Pierce took office as the fourteenth president, South Carolina native James Gadsden had been promoting the idea of a transcontinental railroad from New Orleans to Los Angeles for five years. This line would spread slaveholding along its path, Gadsden hoped, for he believed that “Negro slavery, under educated and Intelligent masters,” has always “been the Pioneers and basis of the civilization of Savage countries,” and also that “without an enduring & well regulated labor the agriculture of the Pacific will never be developed.”

The bodies of the two African Americans executed with him—South Carolina fugitive Shields Green and freeman John Copeland—were taken by medical students and used as dissection cadavers.78 For seventy years, southern and northern economic and political elites—and many average white citizens—had cooperated to extract profit and power from the forced movement and exploitation of enslaved people’s bodies and minds. Always, the proslavery forces had made the rest of the United States choose between profitable expansion of the slave country or economic slowdown. Between slavery and disunion. Between supporting a party turned into a colonized host for viral proslavery dogma, or defeat in national elections. Between bills for expanding slavery into Kansas, or passing up the opportunity to build a transcontinental railroad. John Brown and his band of futile revolutionaries signaled that the game was changing. The clarity of Lincoln’s arguments had also raised the warning, but he at least had lost in 1858, and perhaps northerners would once more flinch from containing the expansion of slavery in 1860. But somehow, in losing, Dangerfield Newby, Shields Green, John Copeland, and John Brown had won. For now southerners believed they had to choose: run the risks created by making good on the threat to leave the Union, or remain in the Union and risk another Harpers Ferry.


pages: 293 words: 90,714

Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, car-free, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Enrique Peñalosa, functional fixedness, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, out of africa, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, sharing economy, smart cities, starchitect, transcontinental railway, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

Two desire lines, straight as arrows carved through the snow. It snowed again the next night and there I was, like a puppy dog in the window, watching the desire lines form in exactly the same places. A modern city would take note and plan accordingly based on these lines. Another example is in the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal. There has been a railway here since 1876, part of the transcontinental railway that united Canada. Nowadays, there are densely populated neighborhoods on both sides of the tracks. The Canadian Pacific Railway has been reluctant to hear the calls from the citizens and the Borough of Le Plateau for level crossings. They are content with people having to make massive detours to get across the divide. There are a number of obvious locations for desire lines, and the citizens continue to insist on getting access.


pages: 319 words: 90,965

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Vannevar Bush

In the three decades after the Civil War, America would use its abundant natural resources to become the biggest manufacturer in the world. It needed skilled people, and colleges seemed like natural places to train them. The universities created in the Morrill spirit would eventually become some of the nation’s largest and most productive institutions of higher learning. Some of their leaders were openly disdainful of the older colleges. In California, the robber baron Leland Stanford used a fortune made building the transcontinental railroad with exploited Chinese workers to found a university in the memory of his dead son. David Starr Jordan, the first president of Stanford, declared that colleges should not prepare students “for a holiness class which is rendered unclean by material concerns.” At the University of Nebraska, the chancellor had little use for “institutions that seem to love scholarship and erudition for their own sakes; who make these ends and not means; who hug themselves with joy because they are not as other men, and especially are not as this practical fellow.”


pages: 336 words: 92,056

The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra

Thirteen passengers were killed and scores more injured. The near instant communication of telegraphs only made the problem more confusing. Bankers in New York consulted schedules for banks in Pittsburgh while corporate headquarters for large railroads grew awash in time schedules as their lines expanded westward. One of the most dramatic illustrations on record occurred when the two ends of the transcontinental railroad were joined at Promontory Point, Utah, in 1869. Leland Stanford, cofounder of the Central Pacific Railroad, was supposed to pound in the last spike, which was wired to send a telegraph signal to both coasts. At the very least, it was a neat publicity trick. However, Stanford missed the spike, and a nearby telegraph operator keyed in a single word “Done.” Though the announcement was less dramatic, it got the point across from coast to coast.


pages: 420 words: 98,309

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson

Ayatollah Khomeini, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, false memory syndrome, fear of failure, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, medical malpractice, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, placebo effect, psychological pricing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, telemarketer, the scientific method, trade route, transcontinental railway, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

For example, in the nineteenth-century American West, Chinese immigrants were hired to work in the gold mines, potentially taking jobs from white laborers. The white-run newspapers fomented prejudice against them, describing the Chinese as "depraved and vicious," "gross gluttons," "bloodthirsty and inhuman." Yet only a decade later, when the Chinese were willing to accept the dangerous, arduous work of building the transcontinental railroad—work that white laborers were unwilling to undertake—public prejudice toward them subsided, replaced by the opinion that the Chinese were sober, industrious, and law-abiding. "They are equal to the best white men," said the railroad tycoon Charles Crocker. "They are very trusty, very intelligent and they live up to their contracts." After the completion of the railroad, jobs again became scarce, and the end of the Civil War brought an influx of war veterans into an already tight job market.


The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky

clean water, colonial rule, East Village, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce

The New Yorkers were not accustomed to such stringent consumer protection and the American agent argued that the oysters had spent a little time in the Great South Bay and they had thought that this was all that was required to label them Bluepoints. That the Americans don’t know any better is always an argument of some currency in England, and the charges were dropped. New York’s oyster markets were also supplying the nation. After the rail link was established from Atlantic to Pacific, the transcontinental railroad, a project passed by Congress during the war but not completed until 1869, New York had the continent for a market. This was true not only for all the goods brought into New York’s port from Europe and other points in the world, but also for local oysters. Every Christmas, thousands of barrels of oysters labeled Saddle Rock or Bluepoint, the best marketing names, were shipped to Denver, San Francisco, and other Western cities.


pages: 756 words: 228,797

Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American ideology, anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, greed is good, laissez-faire capitalism, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, New Journalism, open borders, price stability, profit motive, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, wage slave, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, young professional

People seem eerily resigned to the economic collapse all this forebodes. As an expression of hopelessness, people ask one another, with a shrug, “Who is John Galt?” Where the question came from and what it means are a matter of indifference to those who ask it. Amid the impending crisis, the novel’s high-spirited heroine, Dagny Taggart, strives to save her family’s great ancestral railroad, the New York—based Taggart Transcontinental Railroad. She is the vice-president of operations; her peevish, whining older brother James Taggart is nominally the president. While Dagny tries to keep thousands of miles of railroad track repaired with pieces of scrap metal and stretches the capacity of years-old diesel engines, James ingratiates himself with a clique of high-powered Washington officials, who bestow favors in return. He is a kind of inverse rendering of Peter Keating: having been born to money and position, he attempts to acquire self-esteem by giving them away.

It suggests a limited understanding of American jurisprudence, notwithstanding the teaching of Paterson, and, perhaps, a trail of ideological crumbs from her insurrectionary homeland. Before leaving Washington, she tried to see J. Edgar Hoover, who turned her down. What she wanted from him is not known. En route to California, she and O’Connor stopped for a few days in New York, where she focused on collecting background material for the railroad scenes in Atlas Shrugged. She toured Grand Central Terminal (the inspiration for the Taggart Transcontinental Railroad Terminal) and interviewed half a dozen executives of the New York Central Railroad, including the male vice-president in charge of operations, the real-life equivalent of Dagny Taggart. She showed Archibald Ogden the first six chapters of the novel and met with editors of Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, and Life, presumably about assignments. She finally met Rose Wilder Lane, and she and O’Connor treated Marna Papurt, then twenty years old and back in Rand’s good graces, to an expensive dinner at the Essex House, where the O’Connors were staying.


pages: 325 words: 99,983

Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language by Robert McCrum

Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, invention of movable type, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, Norman Mailer, Parag Khanna, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

In world affairs, the United States was a remote, apparently unimportant, spectator; and in British consciousness, America was also distant. Not until 1912 did Whitaker’s Almanack place its data on the United States ahead of information about ‘Foreign Countries’. Economically speaking, however, America was becoming the dominant partner. Between 1860 and 1914, thanks to the completion of the great transcontinental railroads, America’s imports had increased fivefold, and its exports sevenfold, and the New York Stock Exchange was booming. Moreover, there was a reckoning on the horizon. In the making of the world’s English, it is impossible to overestimate the consequences of the four years that were about to unfold in the fields of France, a truly international conflict, the First World War. 3 When war broke out in the summer of 1914 the common language and culture of Europe was either German, or French.


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, G4S, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

Growing Expectations of Realizing Utopia Chapter 6 Utopia Reconsidered The Growing Retreat from Space Exploration and Other Megaprojects Nothing is more indicative of the fading of scientific and technological utopian fantasies from the sensibilities of ordinary Americans (and most other people) than the relatively muted response on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first moon landing of 1969. In 1994 there was hardly the euphoria that had characterized similar major anniversary celebrations involving New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge, the completion of the first transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah, the first coast-to-coast telephone hookup, or the first Ford Motor Model T automobile (though the 2007 Model T centennial was severely reduced from original plans because of the threat of bankruptcy facing Ford Motor Company and, for that matter, the possible collapse of the entire American auto industry). By 1994 it had become painfully clear to most people that, contrary to centuries of utopian dreams, the moon landing had not changed the world.


Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (And What We Can Do About It) by William Poundstone

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, business cycle, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, global village, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, manufacturing employment, Nash equilibrium, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, the map is not the territory, Thomas Bayes, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Y2K

Harold Hotelling, a statistician in the economics department, was able to offer Arrow a fellowship on the condition that he switch his major to economics. Hotelling's interests were diverse. In 1929 he proposed a famous riddle of economics, one that is equally important to political theory. There are two "places of business" located "along a line ... which may be Main Street in a town or a transcontinental railroad," Hotelling wrote. Or, as it's often explained today, the places of business are two ice-cream stands on a crowded summer beach. Where should each stand be located in order to get the most business? The beach is, say, a thousand yards long, running left to right. The only difference between one stand and the other is location. Beachgoers will naturally favor whichever stand is closest.


Rough Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area by Nick Edwards, Mark Ellwood

1960s counterculture, airport security, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, period drama, pez dispenser, Port of Oakland, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, transcontinental railway, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, young professional

As it grows, its diversity increases, adding Taiwanese,Vietnamese, Korean,Thai, and Laotian families, with the cultural fusion most evident in its grocery markets, where alongside traditional Chinese produce, you’ll find Italian basil, Mexican kohlrabi bulbs, and uniquely Southeast Asian fruits like the pungent durian. The neighborhood has its roots in the mostly Cantonese laborers who migrated to the area after the completion of the transcontinental railroad, as well as the arrival of Chinese sailors keen to benefit from the Gold Rush. The city didn’t extend much of a welcome to Chinese immigrants, however, and they were met by a tide of vicious racial attacks. Shockingly, such attacks were 63 Down town San F ranc i s c o | Chinatown 64 officially ratified under the unapologetically racist 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the only law ever in America aimed at a single ethnic group.

Speculation was rampant, and the value of shares could rise or fall by a factor of ten, depending on the day’s rumors and forecasts; Mark Twain got his literary start publicizing, for a fee, various new “discoveries” in his employers’ mines. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were made and lost in a day’s trading, and the cagier players, like James Flood and James Fair, made millions. While the Comstock silver enabled many San Franciscans to enjoy an unsurpassed prosperity throughout the 1860s, few people gave much thought to the decade’s other major development, the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869 using imported Chinese laborers. Originally set up in Sacramento to build the western link, the Central Pacific and later Southern Pacific railroad soon expanded to cover most of the West, ensnaring San Francisco in its web. Wholly owned by the so-called Big Four – Charles Crocker, Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Leland Stanford – the Southern Pacific “octopus,” as it was caricatured in the popular press, exercised an essential monopoly over transportation in the Bay Area.


pages: 941 words: 237,152

USA's Best Trips by Sara Benson

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, if you build it, they will come, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, McMansion, mega-rich, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, the High Line, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Do Canyon View Information Plaza The primary visitors center and South Rim’s transportation hub. bookstore 928-638-7145, visitors center 928-638-7644; Grand Canyon Village, South Rim; 8am-7pm, with seasonal variations; Grand Canyon National Park Admission includes North and South Rims, most of the interior canyon and remote Toroweap/Tuweep Overlook. 928-638-7888; www.nps.gov/grca; 7-day pass individual/vehicle $12/25; South Rim year-round, North Rim mid-May–mid-Oct; Museum of Northern Arizona Excellent overview of regional culture, history and geology. 928-774-5213; www.musnaz.org; 3101 N Fort Valley Rd, Flagstaff; adult/child/under 7yr $7/4/free; 9am-5pm; Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments Ancient puebloan site within miles of AD 1040 eruption. 928-526-0502, 928-679-2365; www.nps.gov/sucr, www.nps.gov/wupa; 6400 N Hwy 89; 7-day pass adult/under 16yr $5/free; 9am-5pm; Eat Arizona Room Antler chandeliers and picture windows. 928-638-2631; Grand Canyon Village, South Rim; mains $7-15; 11am-3pm, 4:30-10pm, with seasonal variations; Cameron Trading Post Eating, shopping, handsome accommodations and a garden courtyard. 928-679-2231; 466 Hwy 89; mains $8-13 6am-10pm May-Aug, 7am-9pm Sep-Apr; Jacob Lake Inn Just about everyone stumbles out of their car to stretch their cramped bodies. 928-643-7232; Hwy 67, Jacob Lake; mains $6-15; 6:30am-9pm; SLEEP Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins Simple historic lodge rooms and rim-side cabins. reservations up to 13 months in advance 888-297-2757, same-day 928-638-2631; www.grandcanyonlodge.com; Grand Canyon Village, South Rim; r $79-90, cabins $111-159, ste $138-333; El Tovar Coveted suites with spacious patios and views. reservations up to 13 months in advance 888-297-2757, same-day 928-638-2631; www.grandcanyonlodges.com; Grand Canyon Village, South Rim; r $174-268, ste $321-426; Grand Canyon Lodge Western cabins feature gas fireplaces and porches; four rim-side jewels boast full-canyon views. reservations up to 12 months in advance 877-386-4383, same-day 928-638-2611; www.grandcanyonforever.com; North Rim; r $112, cabins $116-170; mid-May–mid-Oct: Little America Hotel Luxury accommodation behind a roadside motel veneer. 928-779-2741; www.littleamerica.com/flagstaff; 2515 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff; r $90-180, ste $200-350; USEFUL WEBSITES www.kaibab.org www.flagstaffarizona.org * * * * * * LINK YOUR TRIP www.lonelyplanet.com/trip-planner TRIP 1 Route 66: Motoring the Mother Road 76 Southwest by Train 79 Written in Stone: Utah’s National Parks * * * Return to beginning of chapter TRIP 76 Southwest by Train * * * WHY GO Stare out your window at the plaintive desert of New Mexico and Arizona, stroll downtown Santa Fe and Flagstaff, bed down in historic hotels, and choo-choo up to the canyon on a vintage train. In an age of rising fuel costs and city sprawl, riding the rails can be easy and economical. * * * Following the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, travelers rode steam trains to the Wild West. Stories of Kit Carson, photographs by Edward Curtis and paintings by Thomas Moran fueled the imagination, and Americans eagerly voyaged across the country to see the mountains and the canyons. They were, after all, young America’s cathedrals, billed as grander than the Swiss Alps and more stunning than the Sistine Chapel. While today the interstates, fast-food joints and ubiquitous chain motels give easy access to the West, they take something away as well.

Catch folk singer Bill Hearne, a Santa Fe institution, at the bar on Wednesday nights. 505-982-5511; www.lafondasantafe.com; 100 E San Francisco, Santa Fe, NM; r $230-599; The Lodge Adobe-style roadside motel with updated rooms and friendly service. 877-563-4366; www.thelodgeonroute66.com; 200 E Route 66, Williams, AZ; r & ste $90-200; Macy’s European Coffee House Decidedly crunchy coffee shop half a block from the train depot. 928-774-2243; 14S Beaver St, Flagstaff, AZ; 6am-10pm, kitchen closes at 4pm; Weatherford Hotel Serving travelers to the Grand Canyon since 1900. Look for the 2nd-floor porch. 928-779-1919; www.weatherfordhotel.com; 23 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, AZ; r $60-175; USEFUL WEBSITES www.flagstaffarizona.org www.santafe.org SUGGESTED READS • Inventing the Southwest: The Fred Harvey Company and Native American Art, Kathleen Howard • Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Build the Transcontinental Railroad 1863–1869, Stephen Ambrose LINK YOUR TRIP TRIP 1 Route 66: Motoring the Mother Road 75 Week in the Grand Canyon 77 Santa Fe Arts Amble * * * Return to beginning of chapter TRIP 77 Santa Fe Arts Amble * * * WHY GO It’s not just carved howling coyotes and neon desert landscapes at this high-country hot spot of American art. Traditional struts alongside modern, and intricate Native American pottery, jewelry and textiles share the stage with alternative performance art, world-renowned opera and a vibrant literary scene that pushes Santa Fe outside the box of regional art


pages: 787 words: 249,157

Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster by Allan J McDonald, James R. Hansen

Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, transcontinental railway

With Jerry Mason eager to return to Utah as soon as possible to assess the damage personally and appoint an incident investigation team, our meeting with Lucas was cut short. We returned to the airport immediately and climbed aboard the company's twin-engine jet. The sun was setting by the time we arrived back at our plant site, located in a remote area at the north end of the Great Salt Lake just a few miles from Promontory Point, the historic site where the Golden Spike was driven in 1869 in commemoration of the completion of America's first transcontinental railroad. In the company jet, we made several low-level passes over the burned-out casting pit before landing on our short landing strip at the northwest end of the plant site. It was the first time in memory that the company jet had been allowed to land at the plant site, due to the short length of the runway. The company owned several smaller propeller planes that landed at the plant, but never the company jet.

The huge locomotives with these two large railcars carrying over 450 tons of rocket motors hardly slowed down, literally flattening the automobile and instantly killing the car's two occupants, although the train didn't derail or suffer any significant damage. It wasn't the only train incident. Because the shipment of our segments was such a significant event to the local railroad community back in Utah, the site of the completion of this nation's first transcontinental railroad, the Union Pacific Railroad hooked up one of their old historic dining and club cars to accommodate the Thiokol people accompanying the segments to KSC. During the train's journey through the Deep South, two young renegades used the moving train for target practice. With their hunting rifles, they shot at the large yellow fiberglass railcar covers that were placed over the segments, but the bullets ended up coming through the glass windows of the dining car.


pages: 1,540 words: 400,759

Fodor's California 2014 by Fodor's

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, California gold rush, car-free, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donner party, Downton Abbey, East Village, El Camino Real, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, Kickstarter, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Near what was the terminus of the transcontinental and Sacramento Valley railroads, this 100,000-square-foot museum has 21 locomotives and railroad cars on display along with dozens of other exhibits. You can walk through a post-office car and peer into cubbyholes and canvas mailbags, enter a sleeping car that simulates the swaying on the roadbed and the flashing lights of a passing town at night, or glimpse inside the first-class dining car. The room containing the gold “Last Spike,” one of two cast in 1869 to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad, is quietly compelling. Kids have lots of fun at this museum, especially in the play area upstairs. TIP Don’t miss the astounding exhibit of 1,000 vintage toy trains. | 125 I St., at 2nd St., Old Sacramento | 95814 | 916/445–6645 | www.csrmf.org | $10 | Daily 10–5. Capitol. The lacy plasterwork of the Capitol’s 120-foot-high rotunda has the complexity and colors of a Fabergé egg.

. | 96146 | 530/581–7255, 800/403–0206. Truckee 13 miles northwest of Kings Beach, 14 miles north of Tahoe City. Formerly a decrepit railroad town in the mountains, Truckee is now the trendy first stop for many Tahoe visitors. The town was officially established around 1863, and by 1868 it had gone from a stagecoach station to a major stopover for trains bound for the Pacific via the new transcontinental railroad. Freight trains and Amtrak’s California Zephyr still stop every day at the depot right in the middle of town. Stop inside the depot for a walking-tour map of historic Truckee. Across from the station, where Old West facades line the main drag, you’ll find galleries, gift shops, boutiques, old-fashioned diners, and several remarkably good restaurants. Look for outlet stores, strip malls, and discount skiwear shops along Donner Pass Road, north of the freeway.

Greens fees: $220/$240 | Facilities: Driving range, putting green, pitching area, golf carts, pull carts, caddies, rental clubs, pro shop, golf lessons, restaurant, bar. Reno 32 miles east of Truckee, 38 miles northeast of Incline Village. Established in 1859 as a trading station at a bridge over the Truckee River, Reno grew along with the silver mines of nearby Virginia City and the transcontinental railroad that chugged through town. Train officials named it in 1868, but gambling—legalized in 1931—put Reno on the map. This is still a gambling town, with most of the casinos crowded into five square blocks downtown, but a thriving university scene and outdoor activities also attract tourists. Parts of downtown are sketchy, but things are changing. Several defunct casinos are being converted into condominiums, and the riverfront is being reconceived.


pages: 319 words: 105,949

Skyfaring: A Journey With a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker

Airbus A320, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, computer age, dark matter, digital map, Edmond Halley, Joan Didion, John Harrison: Longitude, Louis Blériot, Maui Hawaii, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, the built environment, transcontinental railway, Year of Magical Thinking

A senior colleague who had come to airline flying from a career in the Royal Navy taught me how to make use of the constellation to determine our course, how not to be deceived by the False Cross nearby, which is part of the constellation Vela, meaning sails, a pleasing name for an assemblage of light that we see from our latter-day ship. I like to check the plane’s digital compass against the Southern Cross and to consider which I trust more, the near-perfect reliability of the airplane systems or my own imperfect readings of an older, astronomical arbiter. Once I read some letters written by Mark Hopkins, who was partly responsible for the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. He wrote these letters on a ship sailing from New York to San Francisco, all around South America, via Cape Horn, on the sort of sea journey his railroad would relegate to history. Transfixed by the ocean, he wrote to his brother that if he had had such an experience of the sea when he was younger, he might have devoted himself to nautical adventures rather than the “pursuits on land” that would bring him his fame and fortune.


Lonely Planet's Best of USA by Lonely Planet

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, mass immigration, obamacare, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, Works Progress Administration

Spofford Alley As sunset falls on sociable Spofford Alley Map Google Map (g1, 15, 30, 45), you’ll hear clicking mah-jong tiles and a Chinese orchestra warming up. But generations ago, you might have overheard Sun Yat-sen and his conspirators at number 36 plotting the 1911 overthrow of China’s last dynasty. Find out More Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the Gold Rush, transcontinental railroad construction or Beat heyday at the Chinese Historical Society of America Map Google Map (CHSA; Map; %415-391-1188; www.chsa.org; 965 Clay St; hnoon-5pm Tue-Fri, 11am-4pm Sat; g1, 8, 30, 45, jCalifornia St, Powell-Mason, Mason-Hyde) F. This 1932 landmark was built as Chinatown’s YWCA by Julia Morgan (chief architect of Hearst Castle). Exhibits reveal once-popular views of Chinatown, including the sensationalist opium den exhibit at San Francisco’s 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo, inviting fairgoers to ‘Go Slumming’ in Chinatown.


pages: 450 words: 113,173

The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, computer age, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, desegregation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, George Gilder, global value chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, pre–internet, profit motive, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

Civil rights transformed the country not just constitutionally but also culturally and demographically. In ways few people anticipated, it proved to be the mightiest instrument of domestic enforcement the country had ever seen. It can fairly be described as the largest undertaking of any kind in American history. Costing trillions upon trillions of dollars and spanning half a century, it rivals, in terms of energy invested, the peopling of the West, the building of transcontinental railways and highways, the maintenance of a Pax Americana for half a century after World War II, or, for that matter, any of the wars the country has fought, foreign or civil. On top of those conflicts, the United States has had two massive domestic policy programs that mobilized public resources and sentiments so thoroughly that they were presented to the public as what the philosopher and psychologist William James called a “moral equivalent of war”: the War on Poverty in the 1960s and the War on Drugs in the 1980s and ’90s.


pages: 383 words: 118,458

The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

Anton Chekhov, British Empire, Khyber Pass, means of production, Occam's razor, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, working poor

That goes to Bangkok, no? Then somewhere, somewhere and somewhere - maybe India? - then Turkey. There is a railway in Turkey.' He was certain Turkey was just over the hill, and the only difficulty he envisaged - indeed, it seemed a characteristic of the South Vietnamese grasp of political geography - was getting Loc Ninh out of the hands of the Viet Cong and laying track through the swamps of Cambodia. His transcontinental railway vision, taking in eight vast countries, had a single snag: evicting the enemy from this small local border town. For the Vietnamese citizen the rest of the world is simple and peaceful; he has the egoism of a sick man, who believes he is the only unlucky sufferer in a healthy world. The stationmaster said, 'Sometimes we get ambushed here. A few weeks ago some four people were killed by rifle fire.'


pages: 379 words: 113,656

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age by Duncan J. Watts

Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business process, corporate governance, Drosophila, Erdős number, experimental subject, fixed income, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, industrial cluster, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Milgram experiment, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Murray Gell-Mann, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, peer-to-peer, rolodex, Ronald Coase, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, Vilfredo Pareto, Y2K

You might, however, have suspected that such widespread hallucinations of illusionary value—not just the late 1990s infatuation with technology, but the Texas savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, the crash of October 1987, the Mexican peso crises, and the bubble economies of Japan and then later Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia—are a relatively recent feature of an increasingly rugged and treacherous financial landscape. Surely in the days before automatic trading systems, round-the-clock markets, and frictionless international capital flows—before even telephones, telegraphs, or transcontinental railways—the rapid proliferation of unfounded belief, and the ready capital to back it, would have been impossible, at least on a large scale. Not so—Extraordinary Popular Delusions was published in 1841, and by that year Mackay’s subject was already two centuries old. TULIP ECONOMICS FINANCIAL CRISES, AS I SOON LEARNED FROM ANDY, ARE AT LEAST as old as the Roman Empire. But the first example of modern times, and one of the titillating stories that Mackay relates, is known as the Dutch Tulip Bubble.


pages: 515 words: 117,501

Miracle Cure by William Rosen

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, biofilm, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, creative destruction, demographic transition, discovery of penicillin, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, functional fixedness, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, Haber-Bosch Process, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, New Journalism, obamacare, out of africa, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, stem cell, transcontinental railway, working poor

It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of this. A mediocre company—measured by profitability or growth—without an OSRD contract was transformed into one of the most profitable simply by winning the CMR sweepstakes. It was equivalent to giving the winners a two-decade head start on the rest of an entire industry. The only comparable events in American economic history were the deals that built the transcontinental railroad and allocated the radio broadcast spectrum. The penicillin project would prove a game changer for companies like Merck and especially Pfizer, which staked its future on penicillin. When Jasper Kane, who had represented Pfizer at the October 1941 meeting of the OSRD, brought his plan for fermenting penicillin in the same sort of deep tanks the company used for producing citric acid to his boss, Pfizer president John L.


pages: 349 words: 112,333

The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading

Frederick Winslow Taylor, glass ceiling, joint-stock company, new economy, shareholder value, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game

In Cheyenne, Wyoming, an aptly named nineteen-year-old called Benjamin Marks hit upon the innovation that would turn the short cons of the nineteenth century, all those green goods and goldbricks, into the underworld corporations, what might be called the con conglomerates, of the twentieth century. Marks, who was born in Waukegan, Illinois, showed an early aptitude for deception by getting himself enrolled in the Union army at the age of thirteen, serving as a dispatch bearer. When the war ended, he went west, landing in Cheyenne in 1867 at the same time that the railroad arrived. The Union Pacific, in its slow dash to complete the transcontinental railroad, had reached the summit of the Black Hills that winter and was forced to wait, gathering men and materials, until construction could resume in April. More than ten thousand people massed in the brand-new town. General Grenville Dodge, the chief engineer of the Union Pacific and the man who platted the city, seemed chagrined at what he’d wrought, calling Cheyenne “the greatest gambling place ever established on the plains” and “full of desperate characters.”


pages: 399 words: 114,787

Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction by David Enrich

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-globalists, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, buy low sell high, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, East Village, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, forensic accounting, high net worth, housing crisis, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Jeffrey Epstein, London Interbank Offered Rate, Lyft, Mikhail Gorbachev, NetJets, obamacare, offshore financial centre, post-materialism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, yield curve

He soon achieved fame and fortune—his initial investments in railroads paid off handsomely—and bought a brick mansion that stretched a full block along New York’s Madison Avenue, its interior decorated in grand Renaissance style and its mahogany floors inlaid with mother-of-pearl.* It was about a quarter of a mile away from the future Trump Tower, where another rich man, needing to prove himself to the world, would live in comparable gaudiness. In September 1883, the forty-five-year-old Villard had journeyed to southwestern Montana to mark the completion of his company’s Northern Pacific Railway, a key segment of the transcontinental railroad. Always the self-publicist, he arranged for photographers to capture him swinging a large hammer to drive in the ceremonial last spike, then mounting a shiny black locomotive, festooned in American flags, like a big-game hunter standing atop his conquered prey. The audience—including a German banker named Georg von Siemens—cheered. Yet as Villard celebrated for the crowd and cameras in Gold Creek, his overextended company was unraveling financially, crushed by a massive and unsustainable load of debt.


pages: 476 words: 129,209

The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism by John U. Bacon

British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, discovery of penicillin, housing crisis, index card, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, transcontinental railway, yellow journalism

The crew did not attempt to identify the victims, but one casualty they would never forget: a nineteen-month-old boy floating face-up, his arms folded across his chest. “I honestly hope I shall never have to come on another expedition like this,” crewman Francis Dyke said. “The doctor and I are sleeping in the middle of fourteen coffins.” St. John’s, Newfoundland, is closer to the Titanic site than Halifax, but thanks to Canada’s transcontinental railway, created by Halifax’s Sandford Fleming, Halifax’s North Street Station could access the rest of the continent within two days. Because time was of the essence when dealing with decomposing bodies, Halifax became the recovery’s base of operations. After thirteen days at sea, the Mackay-Bennett approached Halifax on April 30, 1912, eighteen days after Titanic went down. The announcement went out: “The death ship will arrive at noon.”


pages: 399 words: 120,226

Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas by John S. Burnett

British Empire, cable laying ship, Dava Sobel, defense in depth, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, low earth orbit, Malacca Straits, North Sea oil, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

This is as close to the old Wild West as it gets. Brian and the other hired guns are the guys who protect the wagon train, the ones who ride shotgun on a stagecoach through ambush country. This is no fantasy. Perhaps armed guards never really did ride up on the buck-board of stagecoaches—I only saw it in the movies—but this team of commandos is their modern-day counterpart. As the tracks of the transcontinental railroad extended slowly, mile after mile, through the untamed hostile territory of the American West, so, too, is the communications cable being laid—just as slowly, mile after mile—along the wild coastline of West Africa. Moreover, like the wagon train, stagecoach, or railroad, the cable ship and its support vessels can expect to be attacked. And they are. Regularly. By the villagers on the coast who see the slow-moving cable ships as rich pickings.


pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise

He made his living for many years as a railroad lawyer and appears to have absorbed something of the fascination with machines, and with steam, of the engineers with whom he worked. In his first public speech, in 1832, he spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the need for navigable rivers and canals to accommodate steamboats. In the middle of the Civil War, he signed, on July 1, 1862, the Pacific Railway Act, the authorizing legislation for what would become America’s transcontinental railroad. Even more revealing, in 1859, after his loss in the Illinois senatorial race against Stephen Douglas, he was much in demand for a speech entitled “Discoveries, Inventions, and Improvements” that he gave at agricultural fairs, schools, and self-improvement societies. The speech—decidedly not one of Lincoln’s best—nonetheless revealed an enthusiasm for mechanical innovation that resonates powerfully even today.


pages: 386 words: 122,595

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) by Charles Wheelan

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Malacca Straits, market bubble, microcredit, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, open economy, presumed consent, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the rule of 72, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

Yet the basic ideas underlying the costs and benefits of globalization are simple and straightforward. Indeed, no modern issue has elicited so much sloppy thinking. The case for international trade is built on the most basic ideas in economics. Trade makes us richer. Trade has the distinction of being one of the most important ideas in economics and also one of the least intuitive. Abraham Lincoln was once advised to buy cheap iron rails from Britain to finish the transcontinental railroad. He replied, “It seems to me that if we buy the rails from England, then we’ve got the rails and they’ve got the money. But if we build the rails here, we’ve got our rails and we’ve got our money.”4 To understand the benefits of trade, we must find the fallacy in Mr. Lincoln’s economics. Let me paraphrase his point and see if the logical flaw becomes clear: If I buy meat from the butcher, then I get the meat and he gets my money.


The Future of Technology by Tom Standage

air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, creative destruction, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, Marc Andreessen, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

Nobody knows; but if it does, says Google’s Eric Schmidt, high-tech will lose its innovative spark and, just like other sectors, turn to rent-seeking. 35 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY Déjà vu all over again If history is any guide, the IT industry’s future will be about services and customer power ou would expect eric schmidt, one of Silicon Valley’s leading lights, to have an oversized inner geek. But these days, he sounds more like a closet historian. He enjoys talking, for instance, about how America’s transcontinental railroad in the 1860s was built on debt, a bubble and scandals. Another favourite topic is the laying of the first transatlantic cable in that period, a seemingly impossible mission. To Mr Schmidt, reading and thinking about history is a kind of redemption, for himself as well as for the high-tech industry: “We believed that the bubble would never end. We were wound up in a state of hubris.” But of course, he says, it was déjà vu all over again: “People in high-tech didn’t take any history classes.”


To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland's Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 by T M Devine

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, deindustrialization, deskilling, full employment, ghettoisation, housing crisis, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, land tenure, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, railway mania, Red Clydeside, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Scramble for Africa, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce

In return, the primary producers acquired ships, locomotives, bridges and railroads which then went to build the infrastructure in the New World for yet further expansion in global trade. The entire system was lubricated by the revolution in transportation and the flow of information: improvements in the design and speed of sailing ships; the arrival of the ocean-going steamships; the crucial invention of the telegraph, at a stroke providing instant commercial intelligence; and the construction of transcontinental railways, such as the Canadian–Pacific. These unlocked the production potential of vast territories, from the prairies of North America to the plains of India, while the opening of the Suez Canal transformed the connections with Asia and the East. In the centre of all this, like the proverbial spider in the web, was Britain, as the main entrepôt for world trade and finance.13 At the same time, the system of tariffs, regulations and controls which had been at the heart of the old imperial system in the eighteenth century were all swept away by the 1850s.


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American ideology, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, God and Mammon, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, jobless men, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

They now looked to the national government for help: credit, subsidies, flood control projects. The United States in 1865 had spent $103,294,501 on public works, but the South received only $9,469,363. For instance, while Ohio got over a million dollars, Kentucky, her neighbor south of the river, got $25,000. While Maine got $3 million, Mississippi got $136,000. While $83 million had been given to subsidize the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, thus creating a transcontinental railroad through the North, there was no such subsidy for the South. So one of the things the South looked for was federal aid to the Texas and Pacific Railroad. Woodward says: “By means of appropriations, subsidies, grants, and bonds such as Congress had so lavishly showered upon capitalist enterprise in the North, the South might yet mend its fortunes—or at any rate the fortunes of a privileged elite.”

Most of the fortune building was done legally, with the collaboration of the government and the courts. Sometimes the collaboration had to be paid for. Thomas Edison promised New Jersey politicians $1,000 each in return for favorable legislation. Daniel Drew and Jay Gould spent $1 million to bribe the New York legislature to legalize their issue of $8 million in “watered stock” (stock not representing real value) on the Erie Railroad. The first transcontinental railroad was built with blood, sweat, politics and thievery, out of the meeting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. The Central Pacific started on the West Coast going east; it spent $200,000 in Washington on bribes to get 9 million acres of free land and $24 million in bonds, and paid $79 million, an overpayment of $36 million, to a construction company which really was its own.


pages: 400 words: 129,841

Capitalism: the unknown ideal by Ayn Rand

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, East Village, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, profit motive, the market place, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, War on Poverty, yellow journalism

One of the statists’ arguments in favor of government controls is the notion that American railroads were built mainly through the financial help of the government and would have been impossible without it. Actually, government help to the railroads amounted to ten percent of the cost of all the railroads in the country—and the consequences of this help have been disastrous to the railroads. I quote from The Story of American Railroads by Stewart H. Holbrook: In a little more than two decades, three transcontinental railroads were built with government help. All three wound up in bankruptcy courts. And thus, when James Jerome Hill said he was going to build a line from the Great Lakes to Puget Sound, without government cash or land grant, even his close friends thought him mad. But his Great Northern arrived at Puget Sound without a penny of federal help, nor did it fail. It was an achievement to shame the much-touted construction of the Erie Canal.36 The degree of government help received by any one railroad stood in direct proportion to that railroad’s troubles and failures.


pages: 666 words: 131,148

Frommer's Seattle 2010 by Karl Samson

airport security, British Empire, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, haute cuisine, place-making, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, white picket fence

Summer Thurs–Mon noon–8:30pm; call for hours other months. 2 Port Townsend: A Restored Victorian Seaport Named by English explorer Capt. George Vancouver in 1792, Port Townsend did not attract its first settlers until 1851. By the 1880s, however, the town had become a major shipping port and was expected to grow into one of the most important cities on the West Coast. Port Townsend residents felt that their city was the logical end of the line for the transcontinental railroad that was pushing westward in the 1880s, and based on the certainty of a railroad connection, real-estate speculation and development boomed. Merchants and investors erected mercantile palaces along Water Street and elaborate Victorian homes on the bluff above the wharf district. Unfortunately, the railroad never arrived. Tacoma got the rails, and Port Townsend got the shaft. With its importance as a shipping port usurped by Seattle and Tacoma, Port Townsend slipped into quiet obscurity.


Frommer's Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs by Eric Peterson

airport security, Columbine, glass ceiling, life extension, Maui Hawaii, Ronald Reagan, Skype, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, young professional

Their biggest triumph was the destruction of the northeast Colorado town of Julesburg in 1865, but the cavalry, bolstered by returning Civil War veterans, managed to force the two tribes onto reservations in Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma—a barren area that whites thought they would never want. Also in 1865, a smelter was built in Black Hawk, just west of Denver, setting the stage for the large-scale spread of mining throughout Colorado. When the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, the Union Pacific went through Cheyenne, Wyoming, 100 miles north of Denver; 4 years later the Kansas City– Denver Railroad linked the line to Denver. Colorado politicians had begun pressing for statehood during the Civil War, but it wasn’t until August 1, 1876, that Colorado became the 38th state. Because it gained statehood less than a month after the 100th birthday of the United States, ■ ■ ■ 1879 Milk Creek Massacre by Ute warriors leads to tribe’s removal to reservations. 1890 Sherman Silver Purchase Act boosts price of silver.


pages: 411 words: 136,413

The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Peter Schwartz

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, cuban missile crisis, haute cuisine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, source of truth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, War on Poverty

(This is one of the reasons why science perishes under dictatorships, though technology may survive for a short while.) It is said that without the “unlimited” resources of the government, such an enormous project would not have been undertaken. No, it would not have been—at this time. But it would have been, when the economy was ready for it. There is a precedent for this situation. The first transcontinental railroad of the United States was built by order of the government, on government subsidies. It was hailed as a great achievement (which, in some respects, it was). But it caused economic dislocations and political evils, for the consequences of which we are paying to this day in many forms. If the government deserves any credit for the space program, it is only to the extent that it did not act as a government, i.e., did not use coercion in regard to its participants (which it used in regard to its backers, i.e., the taxpayers).


Frommer's California 2009 by Matthew Poole, Harry Basch, Mark Hiss, Erika Lenkert

airport security, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Columbine, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, European colonialism, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, Joan Didion, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, post-work, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

., and Lake M erritt), City H all, the O akland Museum, Jack London Square, and several other sights. T H E S A N F R A N C I S CO B AY A R E A Although it’s less than a doz en miles from San Francisco, Oakland is worlds apar t from its sister city acr oss the bay. Originally little mor e than a cluster of ranches and farms, Oakland exploded in siz e and stature practically overnight, when the last mile of transcontinental railroad track was laid down. Major shipping ports soon followed and, to this day, Oakland remains one of the busiest industrial por ts on the West Coast. The price for economic success, ho wever, is O akland’s lowbrow reputation as a pr edominantly working-class city, forever in San Francisco’s chic shadow. However, as The City by the Bay has become cr owded and expensive in the past fe w years, Oakland has experienced a rush of new residents and businesses.

These blocks contain more than 100 r estored buildings (California ’s largest r estoration pr oject), including restaurants and shops. Although the area has cobblestone streets, wooden sidewalks, and authentic Gold Rush–era architecture, the high concentration of T-shirt shops and other gimmicky stor es has turned it into a sor t of historical amusement par k. Nonetheless, there are interesting things to see, such as wher e the Pony Express ended and the transcontinental railroad—and the Republican Party—began. The California State Railroad Museum (see below) is loved by railroad buffs, and the Sacramento Jazz Festival, mostly Dixieland, draws more than 100 bands from around the world for 4 days of madness over 351 Kids Where the Wild Things Are The Main Attractions California Sta te C apitol Closely r esembling a scale model of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the beautiful, domed California state capitol was built in 1869 and r enovated in 1976.

Amenities: Restaurant; bar. In room: A/C, hair dryer, no phone. Sutter Creek The self-proclaimed “nicest little to wn in the M other Lode,” Sutter Creek was named after sawmill o wner John Sutter, employer of J ames Marshall (whose disco very of gold triggered the 1849 G old R ush). Railr oad bar on Leland S tanford made his for tune at Sutter Creek’s Lincoln Mine and then invested his millions to build the transcontinental railroad and fund his successful California gubernatorial campaign. The town is a charmer, lined with beautiful 19th-century buildings in pristine condition, including Downs Mansion, the former home of the for eman at S tanford’s mine (now a priv ate r esidence on S panish S t., acr oss fr om the I mmaculate Conception Church), and the landmar k Knight’s Foundry, 81 Eureka St., off M ain Street, the last water-powered foundry and machine shop in the nation.


pages: 516 words: 159,734

War Without Mercy: PACIFIC WAR by John Dower

anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, European colonialism, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Scientific racism, South China Sea, Torches of Freedom, transcontinental railway

Women, criminals, the poor and dispossessed, and despised nationalities in general could be and were all relegated to subordinate status under this theorizing–and it was exactly this sort of pseudoscientific dogma that Franz Boas and his disciples sought to repudiate with their great emphasis on culture, enculturation, and socialization.7 In the United States, attitudes nurtured in the harshness of slavery and Indian fighting, reinforced by the new scientific racism, also shaped perceptions of another group of Asians in the latter half of the nineteenth century: the Chinese, whom many Americans first encountered as immigrants brought over to help build the transcontinental railway. The writer Robert Louis Stevenson, traveling that same railway in the 1890s, offered a moving picture of how white people now grouped the Chinese with the unfortunate remnants of the Indian tribes. His fellow Caucasian passengers, Stevenson recorded, treated the Native Americans and Chinese almost identically as “despised races.” They never really looked at the Chinese, listened to them, or thought about them, “but hated them a priori.… They declared them to be hideous vermin, and affected a kind of choking in the throat when they beheld them.”8 Could there not be a rational explanation for this apart from plain racism–a class explanation, for example?


The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux

anti-communist, Atahualpa, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Francisco Pizarro, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway

'Old travellers know how soon the individuality of a country is lost when once the tide of foreign travel is turned through its towns or its by-ways,' writes William T. Brigham in hisGuatemala. (I think he is the same William Brigham who nearly electrocuted himself in Hawaii when he touched a wooden stick which a native magician had loaded with some high voltage mumbo-jumbo.) Brigham soon makes his fears particular: 'When the Northern Railroad extends through Guatemala, when the Transcontinental Railway traverses the plains of Honduras, and the Nicaraguan Canal unites the Atlantic and the Pacific, the charm will be broken, the mulepath and the mozo de cargo (carrier of bundles) will be supplanted, and a journey across Central America become almost as dull as a journey from Chicago to Cheyenne.' How wrong he was. Chiapas had been arid - a stony exposed landscape that looked as if it had yet to be possessed by man.


pages: 665 words: 146,542

Money: 5,000 Years of Debt and Power by Michel Aglietta

bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, German hyperinflation, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, margin call, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shock, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, secular stagnation, seigniorage, shareholder value, special drawing rights, special economic zone, stochastic process, the payments system, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, Washington Consensus

This disconnection between the issuance of money and the seasonal agricultural cycle intensified the monetary conflict between the states of the West and the Midwest, who demanded elastic banking credit, and the financial interests of the East, who emphasised the need for sound money. After winning the war and establishing themselves in power, the Republicans were entirely won over to the cause of the now-booming industrial capitalism. In an age of transcontinental railways, the Republicans wanted to promote heavy industry, oil exploration and steelmaking. They considered it necessary to reduce the war debt in order to channel savings towards the accumulation of industrial capital. Seeking to re-establish confidence in money, the Republican majority in Congress decided to redeem greenbacks at face value, with the 1875 Resumption Act. Greenbacks remained a fiat money until 1879.


pages: 564 words: 153,720

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast

business climate, business cycle, commoditize, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Honoré de Balzac, land reform, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, open economy, out of africa, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, The Great Good Place, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, women in the workforce

Yet within a few years, under the co-direction of clerk and subsequent partner George Huntington Hartford, it was christened the Great American Tea Company, specializing in tea, with over a dozen stores in Manhattan. Soon they added coffee. Gilman and Hartford eliminated middlemen, buying coffee and tea on the docks straight off the clipper ships. In 1869 the Great American Tea Company became the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, ostensibly in honor of the completion of the transcontinental railroad that year. It also signaled the company’s plans for expansion beyond the East Coast of the United States. In 1871, in the aftermath of the Chicago Fire, the company sent staff and food, staying to open stores in the Midwest. In 1878 Hartford officially took over the operation, while Gilman retired. Hartford expanded, supervising over two hundred stores by 1901, in addition to sending over 5,000 peddlers in standardized red-and-black A & P wagons to deliver directly to the home.


pages: 586 words: 159,901

Wall Street: How It Works And for Whom by Doug Henwood

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, central bank independence, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labor-force participation, late capitalism, law of one price, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, London Interbank Offered Rate, Louis Bachelier, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, publication bias, Ralph Nader, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, shareholder value, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

But it has come to dominate the capitalist world-picture. Money, "the god among commodities," becomes the principal object of greed — greed in its most general form, for wealth itself, rather than more specific obsessions, "for clothes, weapons, jewels, women, wine, etc."^° Certainly 19th century magnates loved their money, but they also took pride in the physical capital they owned — steel mills and transcontinental railroads. Such obsessions now seem quaint; modern tycoons love their portfolios most of all. Interest-bearing capital, Marx (1971, pp. 454-539) wrote, is the most fetishistic form of all, capital par excellence, with profit (interest) appearing with no more than the mere passage of time, with no apparent engagement with production: money-bearing becomes characteristic of capital "just as growth is characteristic of trees."


pages: 499 words: 152,156

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

conceptual framework, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Gini coefficient, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, land reform, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mohammed Bouazizi, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rolodex, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, transcontinental railway, Washington Consensus, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

In most countries, the long-term effects of kleptocracy are easy to predict: economists calculate that for every point that a nation’s corruption rises on a scale of one to ten, its economic growth drops by 1 percent. (Think Haiti under François Duvalier or Zaire under Mobutu.) But the exceptions are important. In Japan and Korea, corruption accompanied each nation’s rise, not its collapse. There is no more conspicuous case than the United States. When promoters of the first transcontinental railroad were found to have secretly paid themselves to build it—the 1872 scandal known as Crédit Mobilier—the scale of plunder was described by the press as “the most damaging exhibition of official and private villainy and corruption ever laid bare to the gaze of the world.” Between 1866 and 1873 the country put down thirty-five thousand miles of track, minting enormous fortunes but also, as Mark Twain put it, displaying “shameful corruption.”


pages: 522 words: 150,592

Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester

British Empire, cable laying ship, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, friendly fire, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Isaac Newton, Louis Blériot, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, supervolcano, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, undersea cable

They did so especially in Victorian and Edwardian times, a period of both British and American history when the stupendously difficult often seemed unusually possible; this was a time when unraveling the immensity of an ocean looked only marginally more difficult than, say, the cataloging of all the earth’s creatures, or the corralling between hard book covers of all the words of the English language, or the building of a transcontinental railroad, or the construction of a canal between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Fame in the early days belonged to the explorers, those hunting for land and territory and tangible acquisitions, rather than to students of the ocean itself. Bold adventurers like James Cook, Sir John Ross, the Comte de la Pérouse, Robert Fitzroy, and the Chevalier de Bougainville are still remembered and memorialized in capes and straits and islands around the world—while the very earliest true oceanographers have largely faded from memory.


pages: 459 words: 144,009

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, interchangeable parts, invention of writing, Jeff Bezos, medical malpractice, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-work, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Spirit Level, traffic fines, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Insofar as we Americans think of Indonesia at all, our image is of a developing country with pleasant tourist attractions, especially the scenery and beaches and Hindu temples of Bali, the world’s richest coral reefs and best scuba diving and snorkeling, and beautiful batik textiles. My first trip to Indonesia was in 1979, when I began my visit by staying in a hotel whose lobby walls were decorated with paintings telling the story of Indonesian history. In the United States a similar exhibit might display paintings of the American Revolution, the Civil War, the California gold rush, the transcontinental railroads, and other such subjects from 150 to 250 years ago. But in that Indonesian hotel lobby, all of the paintings showed events of just the previous 35 years. The event that was the subject of most paintings was termed the 1965 Communist Revolt. Paintings, and explanatory text below them, vividly depicted how communists tortured and killed seven generals; and how one of the generals that the communists tried to kill managed to escape from his house over a wall, but his five-year-old daughter was shot by accident and died a few days later.


Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs, Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr.

Alistair Cooke, American ideology, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, declining real wages, endowment effect, fiat currency, fixed income, full employment, hiring and firing, income per capita, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

Under these dynamic conditions, to adopt new ways of life and new kinds of production was the road to wealth-or, for the less fortunate, at least an avenue of survival. The era also witnessed the rise of many giant corporations and the emergence of the "trust question" as a major political issue. The interregional railroads, appearing on the American scene at mid-century, were the first giant enterprises. After the Civil War several transcontinental railroads, all but the Great Northern the beneficiaries of federal land grants, were completed. Chastened by scandals connected with the government's subsidization of these enterprises, Congress made no new railroad land grants after 1871, but in the nostrils of many people the odor of something rotten-corruption and special, unwarranted privilege at the expense of the general publiclingered about the land-grant railroads for decades.


pages: 535 words: 151,217

Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester

9 dash line, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Frank Gehry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land tenure, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, Monroe Doctrine, oil shock, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, uranium enrichment

There were six of them, gaslit, plied by gondoliers, and with arch-bridged stretches of freshwater reservoirs that ran along the shoreline, just in from the sea. With more imagination than commercial good sense, perhaps, Kinney placed antique-looking stores along them and then named his creation for the Venice that he had so admired in Italy. The canals were eventually filled in and replaced by roads, but Venice Beach remains. Henry Huntington, nephew of one of the backers of the transcontinental railroad, who was in amiable competition with this same uncle for the laying of rail links within Los Angeles, built his coastal experiment rather more modestly than Kinney, and well to the south. He arranged, presciently, that one of the lines for the red-enameled streetcars of his Pacific Electric railway company would terminate at his stretch of beachfront, bringing customers out of the city and to the ocean.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

.… My regret is that [it] did not become widely known in 1940. It would have changed the history of the subject substantially, I think.” ♦ In standard English, as Russell noted, it is one hundred and eleven thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven. 7 | INFORMATION THEORY (All I’m After Is Just a Mundane Brain) Perhaps coming up with a theory of information and its processing is a bit like building a transcontinental railway. You can start in the east, trying to understand how agents can process anything, and head west. Or you can start in the west, with trying to understand what information is, and then head east. One hopes that these tracks will meet. —Jon Barwise (1986)♦ AT THE HEIGHT OF THE WAR, in early 1943, two like-minded thinkers, Claude Shannon and Alan Turing, met daily at teatime in the Bell Labs cafeteria and said nothing to each other about their work, because it was secret.♦ Both men had become cryptanalysts.


Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain by John Darwin

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, European colonialism, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Kowloon Walled City, land tenure, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, Scientific racism, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing

Physically omnipresent, they were culturally and morally invisible – an imagined exclusion of astonishing power.84 The settlers were also obsessed by an external threat – an invasion by stealth of migrants from Asia. Chinese came to Australia at the time of its gold rush in the early 1850s, and some moved on to New Zealand when gold was found there a decade or so later. Others crossed the Pacific (or came up from California) to British Columbia, first to its gold fields and then, in the 1880s, to work on constructing the Canadian Pacific – the transcontinental railway that was built from both ends and met in the Rockies. Indians were brought to Natal to work in its cane fields as indentured labour. Chinese were brought to the Rand to restart the gold mines after the Anglo–Boer War of 1899–1902. In each of these cases, white settler communities grew more and more hostile. White workers suspected that cheap ‘coloured’ labour would drive down their wages and steal their employment: in times of depression, as in 1890s Australia, this fear rose in a crescendo.


pages: 546 words: 176,169

The Cold War by Robert Cowley

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, friendly fire, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, transcontinental railway

If history is enjoying a resurgence of popularity, one of those chiefly responsible is the late STEPHEN E. AMBROSE. By the time of his death in 2002, Professor Ambrose had written more than thirty books, including multivolume biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon (from which this article was excerpted), as well as such bestsellers as Undaunted Courage, the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition; Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863–1869; and his accounts of the end of World War II in Europe, D-Day, Citizen Soldiers, The Victors, Wild Blue, and Band of Brothers (which was made into a hit television miniseries). Ambrose was founder of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. OF THE MANY CONTROVERSIES that swirl around the American role in the Vietnam War, one of the most contentious centers on the Christmas bombing of Hanoi in December 1972.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

In business and in technology, we often fail to see clearly what is ahead because we are navigating using old maps and sometimes even bad maps—maps that leave out critical details about our environment or perhaps even actively misrepresent it. Most often, in fast-moving fields like science and technology, maps are wrong simply because so much is unknown. Each entrepreneur, each inventor, is also an explorer, trying to make sense of what’s possible, what works and what doesn’t, and how to move forward. Think of the entrepreneurs working to develop the US transcontinental railroad in the mid-nineteenth century. The idea was first proposed in 1832, but it wasn’t even clear that the project was feasible until the 1850s, when the US House of Representatives provided the funding for an extensive series of surveys of the American West, a precursor to any actual construction. Three years of exploration from 1853 to 1855 resulted in the Pacific Railroad Surveys, a twelve-volume collection of data on 400,000 square miles of the American West.


A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century by Witold Rybczynski

California gold rush, City Beautiful movement, clean water, David Brooks, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, New Urbanism, place-making, transcontinental railway, urban planning, urban renewal

There is nothing tropical in the general aspect of the country here and it appears barren except when cultivated, planted & watered.” When they returned to San Francisco, Olmsted sent Rick and Codman on a tour of Santa Cruz and the Napa Valley and himself went to Palo Alto, Stanford’s estate in the Santa Clara Valley. Leland Stanford was a U.S. senator who had been governor of California, but he was best known for pushing to completion the first transcontinental railroad. An impressive, bearlike figure, he had amassed money, power, and land—over eight thousand acres on which he planned to build the university. The first order of business was to decide on a site for the future campus. Palo Alto rose from a flat plain into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Olmsted recommended a hilly spot, imagining a larger and more picturesque version of Lawrenceville in the rolling landscape.


pages: 565 words: 164,405

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

Admiral Zheng, asset allocation, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, call centre, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, domestication of the camel, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, ice-free Arctic, imperial preference, income inequality, intermodal, James Hargreaves, John Harrison: Longitude, Khyber Pass, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Port of Oakland, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, working poor, zero-sum game

With favoring winds it is wafted past the site of the fabulous islands of Atlantis and the Hesperides, makes the periplus of Hanno, and, floating by Ternate and Tidore and the mouth of the Persian Gulf, melts in the tropic gales of the Indian Seas, and is landed in ports of which Alexander only heard the names.36 Refrigerated vehicles began to appear in the 1830s. Photographs taken at Promontory, Utah in 1869, just after the opening of the transcontinental railroad, reveal a long string of the distinctive Union Pacific fruit cars used to carry out-of-season grapes, pears, and peaches to astonished easterners. Other chilled cargoes ranged from cut flowers to sides of beef, and these bounteous luxuries fed consumers' demand for more. By the mid-nineteenth century, a higher tonnage of ice, bound for India, Europe, and around the Horn to the West Coast, was shipped out of Boston harbor than any other product.


pages: 522 words: 162,310

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, Celebration, Florida, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, large denomination, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Snapchat, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, young professional

He writes that “Americans are, among other things, prone to be hustlers,” which “is simply to acknowledge Americans have enjoyed more opportunity to pursue their ambitions, by foul means or fair, than any other people in history.” For a large pool of hustlers to be successful, of course, requires a large population of easy believers. The California Gold Rush accelerated the westward migration of dreamy Americans. Many people had solid reasons to go west. But once there was an industry based on moving Americans west—the transcontinental railroads—a large and continuous stream of travelers and settlers was required to sustain those new entrepreneurial businesses. Which meant that the railroads and their allies needed to sell the settlers fantasies, as the original New World speculators had done to prospective Americans back in the 1600s. Occasional new discoveries of gold and silver could pull the most excitable, but the main lure was land, cheap or even free, and not just to tediously farm.


pages: 532 words: 162,509

The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez

Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, California gold rush, Columbian Exchange, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Jones Act, planetary scale, Right to Buy, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty

This blind spot harks back to the Civil War era. American leaders of the 1850s and 1860s became aware of the phenomenon of Indian slavery only slowly, and Washington’s crackdown on the other slavery occurred by fits and starts. To be sure, federal agents in the West kept sending reports to Washington about Indians held in bondage. But the West was still a world away prior to the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869: months of travel by wagon across the plains or by ship around South America. Easterners readily identified the South’s system of chattel slavery as a major national problem, but they had tremendous difficulty rallying against the West’s kaleidoscopic, shadowy, and ever-changing labor practices concerning Chinese coolies, Mexican peons, and American Indian slaves. And yet the solution had to come from the East, as local, territorial, and state authorities in the West were either implicated in the traffic and exploitation of Indians or unable to act against local and regional elites that were too entrenched and dependent on coerced Native labor.


pages: 7,371 words: 186,208

The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times by Giovanni Arrighi

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial rule, commoditize, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, double entry bookkeeping, European colonialism, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, profit maximization, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, reserve currency, spice trade, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

The main military objective of the government became the wresting of the continent from the native Indian population, following Benjamin Franklin’s long-standing prescription, while legislation passed during or immediately after the civil war promoted the centralization of banking, the protection of domestic industries through a sharp increase in tariffs, the settlement and exploitation of land, the formation of transcontinental railway and telegraph systems, and the inflow of immigrants from Europe (cf. Williams 1969: 185-93). As a result more land was occupied by farmers, cattle-breeders, and speculators in the thirty years that followed the civil war than in the previous three centuries. The ensuing rapid expansion of primary production, in turn, created the supply and demand conditions for the complementary formation of a larger and diversified national industrial apparatus.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Improbably, Stapleton’s new incarnation as the largest “New Urbanist” community in America hints at a solution. Denver isn’t a mountain town so much as a railroad one, resting at the foot of the Rockies where the pioneers ran out of plains. It was a mining town too, a terminus where gold and silver riches collected before heading east by train. It wasn’t an obvious hub. When the Golden Spike linked the Transcontinental Railroad’s tracks in 1869, they bypassed the city completely. The Union Pacific’s president pronounced Denver “too dead to bury,” but desperate boosters sprinted to build a new line connecting them, ensuring its place as capital of the Rockies. This time around, the taxpayers were more skeptical. They greeted the new airport’s aloofness with exasperation instead of relief. Once too close for comfort, it was now too far away.


pages: 603 words: 182,826

Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership by Andro Linklater

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, light touch regulation, market clearing, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, ultimatum game, wage slave, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, working poor

And between the first sailing of the Dunedin and the outbreak of the First World War, 150 million frozen sheep arrived in Britain from New Zealand and Australia, and another seventy million from Argentina. A similar pattern operated inside the territory of the United States. As the railroads provided swifter access to markets in the rapidly growing eastern and midwestern cities, the acreage under cereals in the Western states grew by a 100 percent between 1870 and 1890, and in turn wheat production doubled to half a billion bushels a year. The third transcontinental railroad in the United States, the Northern Pacific, was completed in the year of the Dunedin’s pioneering voyage, adding cereals from the Dakotas as well as Pacific Coast lumber to the supply. Fanning out from Chicago, more railroads connected ranchers and livestock farmers to the Union stockyards where four hundred million animals were slaughtered between 1865 and 1900 to be redistributed as meat to the rest of the country.


pages: 709 words: 191,147

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

A. Roger Ekirch, back-to-the-land, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, Copley Medal, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, full employment, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, land tenure, mass immigration, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

When the ink dried on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Polk had acquired what would become the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, plus portions of Colorado and Wyoming. Democratic president Franklin Pierce added to Polk’s booty in 1854, when he secured the so-called Gadsden Purchase, a strip of land tacked on to the southern edge of the New Mexico Territory. This latest investment had been vigorously urged on by the alluring gamble of building a transcontinental railroad to advance southern cotton interests.6 Intellectual currents were affected by transcontinentalism, as a new idiom captured the public’s imagination. Advancing beyond Jefferson’s concept of a nation with no inherited aristocracy, Americans embraced an imperial destiny grounded in biological determinism. The new imperative held that as much as the Anglo-Saxon American’s racial stock was of superior characteristics, all that was left to do was outbreed all other races.


pages: 1,048 words: 187,324

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, double helix, East Village, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, horn antenna, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jacques de Vaucanson, Kowloon Walled City, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Tunguska event, urban sprawl, Vesna Vulović, white picket fence, wikimedia commons, working poor

(For comparison, the presidential heads at Mount Rushmore are 60 feet (18 m) tall.) WYOMING PhinDeli Town BUFORD Until 2013, PhinDeli was known as Buford. The town sign provided a unique photo opportunity: Planted beside the dusty main road, it read Buford; Pop: 1; Elev: 8000. That one crucial person tallied was Don Sammons, a Vietnam vet who moved to Buford in 1980. Founded in 1866 during the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad, Buford reached a peak population of around 2,000 people. As the rail line moved west, however, so did the workers. When Sammons, his wife, Terry, and son arrived in Buford in 1980 hoping for a quiet life, they got it: The trio comprised the entire population of Buford. In 1992, the family bought the town—consisting of a gas station, convenience store, modular home, garage, and surrounding land—for $155,000.


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

accounting loophole / creative accounting, active measures, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

The financial futures revolution could not have been implemented, as the head of the CME who initiated the process in 1971 (with the help of Milton Friedman) put it, “without the cadre of traders who left the known risks of the cattle, hog and pork belly pits for the unknown dangers of foreign exchange.” Leo Melamed, Leo Melamed on the Markets: Twenty Years of Financial History as Seen by the Man Who Revolutionized the Markets, New York: John Wiley, 1993, p. 43. 17 As Bruce Cumings has put it, “The transcontinental railway symbolized the completion of the national territory—by the 1860s America was a linked continental empire. But distant connections to isolated Western towns and farms, Pony Express mail service, and peripheral mudflats like Los Angeles, do not a national market make. Instead for fifty years (roughly from 1890 to 1940) Americans peopled and filled in the national territory. At the same time that the US became the leading industrial power in the world . . . the dominant tendency was expansion to the coast and exploitation of a vast and relatively new market.”


pages: 613 words: 200,826

Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles by Michael Gross

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Bernie Madoff, California gold rush, clean water, corporate raider, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial independence, Irwin Jacobs, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, oil rush, passive investing, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Right to Buy, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Predators' Ball, transcontinental railway, yellow journalism

Like his subdivision, Preuss has been mostly forgotten; Preuss Road, which honored the doctor, is today the chic shopping street Robertson Boulevard. Los Angeles The railroad changed everything. After May 1869, when a golden spike linking the Central Pacific to the Union Pacific was driven at Promontory Point in Utah, it became possible to travel from New York to Alameda, the terminus of the transcontinental railroad just outside San Francisco. In addition, the Southern Pacific Railroad had been formed to lay rails through California’s interior, and in 1876, the first train from San Francisco reached Los Angeles. It was only a few years more before Pullman cars with service equal to that of the best hotels and restaurants linked the coasts. And a decade later, when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe finished its rail line to the West Coast and began competing with the Southern Pacific, starting fare wars that brought ticket prices from Kansas City as low as $1, Los Angeles experienced a spasm of growth, turning from a poor, isolated pueblo into a new city.


pages: 772 words: 203,182

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler

8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

In the three decades since Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan inaugurated the market revolution, it appears that Britain and the US have joined their ranks.”18 Perhaps the most pronounced example of regulatory capture during nineteenth-century America were the railroads. Shopkeeper Leland Stanford became a rich railroad mogul not by driving spikes but by representing a few California merchants in Washington just as the nascent transcontinental railroad system began to take shape. More than two decades later, in 1887, the Interstate Commerce Commission was established to corral railroad barons like him, who routinely exploited employees with low wages while cheating farmers with collusively high rates. In a lesson for the ages, however, the ICC quickly fell under the sway of those very same railroaders. The pay-to-play politics of the day caused Washington to fill the ICC with railroad attorneys.


pages: 691 words: 203,236

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional

In the 1850s, the ‘elite developmentalist’ wing of the Republican Party emerged as the chief vessel for commercial interests.17 In 1864, the Republican Party enacted legislation permitting imported contract labour and ‘reaffirmed the historic role of the United States as an asylum for the oppressed of all nations’, endorsing a ‘liberal and just immigration policy, which would encourage foreign immigration’.18 After 1849, thousands of Chinese – disproportionately male – entered California during the gold rush. By 1880, they made up over 10 per cent of the population of the golden state. Chinese contract labourers were first recruited in the 1860s, used by railway magnates to construct the transcontinental railroad because they could be paid a third less than white workers. ‘All I want in my business is muscle,’ declared a large employer in California in the 1870s. ‘I don’t care whether it be obtained from a Chinaman or a white man – from a mule or a horse!’19 Southern elites, not least Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forest, called for Chinese immigration to quell black labour demands after the Civil War.20 This neatly delineates the difference between the white nationalism of northern free-soil republicans and the white supremacy of southern slaveholders.


A Terrible Glory by James Donovan

California gold rush, Hernando de Soto, joint-stock company, Monroe Doctrine, transcontinental railway

The few safeguards fortifying the Peace Policy were circumnavigated fairly easily, and even some of the churchmen were unable to resist the lure of easy fortunes.50 By the final years of Grant’s presidency, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was marked by as much scandal as the rest of his administration, and his well-intentioned Peace Policy was completely discredited. Into the early 1870s, the northern plains remained relatively quiet and peaceful. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ turpitude steadily increased the natives’ ire, and starving warriors stepped up their raiding. In addition to the lack of annuities and the poor quality of the rations delivered, two transcontinental railroads, the Union Pacific and the Kansas Pacific, had recently been completed and carried even more emigrants into Indian lands. Even worse, the great buffalo herds were almost gone, scared off by the railroads and then killed off — gradually at first and then more quickly. Sherman and Sheridan’s troops aided the annihilation, visiting the same “total war” of food-supply destruction upon the Plains Indians as they had upon the Confederacy.51 Hide hunters slaughtered more than a million buffalo a year in the early 1870s.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

Like the electronic frontier, the American West wasn’t as unsettled or lawless as Kapor and Barlow understood it to be, but the historical comparison wasn’t entirely off base. Rather than purely a realm of bootstrapping individualists, the West was a world made possible by government intervention—the drawing of boundary lines, the apportionment of land and resources, the removal of native peoples and replacement by American homesteaders, and the heavy subsidy of major infrastructure projects like the transcontinental railroad. See Richard White, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011). 7. Tim Berners-Lee, “Information Management: A Proposal,” March 1989, May 1990, w3.org, https://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html, archived at https://perma.cc/56D4-RJLE. 8. On the critical role of academic communication in shaping the NSFNET and the subsequent commercial Internet, see Juan D.


pages: 717 words: 196,908

The Idea of Decline in Western History by Arthur Herman

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, David Attenborough, European colonialism, George Santayana, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, Joan Didion, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

BROOKS ADAMS: THE LAW OF CIVILIZATION AND DECAY If America’s political changes triggered Henry Adams’s pessimism, its economic changes stirred Brooks Adams to take up the issue of “decline.” Those changes had indeed been cataclysmic. In 1870 America’s farms still produced more wealth than its factories; by 1900 industrial production was three times the value of agriculture. Within ten years of the Civil War, all the major personalities and institutions of the modern industrial age were suddenly in place. The transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, and one year later John D. Rockefeller created Standard Oil Company in the oil fields of western Pennsylvania. The following year J. Pierpont Morgan founded Drexel, Morgan and Company and became the most powerful banker in the world. In 1876 Andrew Carnegie created the prototype of all industrial corporations, United States Steel, Thomas A. Edison opened his lab at Menlo Park and Alexander Graham Bell presented his first working telephone at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.


Colorado by Lonely Planet

big-box store, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Columbine, East Village, haute couture, haute cuisine, Kickstarter, payday loans, Steve Wozniak, trade route, transcontinental railway, young professional

Colter and others such as Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Jim Beckwourth (a free African American) and Thomas Fitzpatrick knew the Rockies backcountry better than any European. Even into the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of emigrants followed the Oregon Trail across the Continental Divide to South Pass, where they split up to reach various destinations. The Mormons came fleeing persecution in New York and the Midwest. In the late 1860s, completion of the Transcontinental Railroad across southern Wyoming slowed the inexorable march of wagon trains. FATE OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS The US governments signed treaties to defuse Native American objections to expanding settlement, and established huge reservations and issued rations to compensate Native Americans for the loss of hunting territory. Under pressure from miners and other emigrants, the federal government continually reduced the reservations’ size and shifted some to less desirable areas.


America in the World by Robert B. Zoellick

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Corn Laws, coronavirus, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hypertext link, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, Paul Samuelson, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, undersea cable, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty

Seward lost this great land deal after Parliament passed the British North America Act of 1867, which created the Canadian Confederation out of the four eastern provinces; London wanted to strengthen the security of the Dominion against the victorious and resentful colossus to the south. The new Confederation thwarted Seward’s move with a better bid: Canada offered to assume British Columbia’s debts and committed to construct a transcontinental railway to bind the Canadian provinces together. Seward had to console himself with the belief that Canada would grow closer to the United States than to Britain over time.55 Seward called the Pacific the “Far West.” In 1867, the United States took possession of Brooks Island, later known as Midway Island, under a law that then senator Seward had advanced in the 1850s. As early as 1868, the U.S.


pages: 389 words: 210,632

Frommer's Oregon by Karl Samson

airport security, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Nurtured on steady rains, such trees as Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, Western red cedar, Port Orford cedar, and hemlock grew tall and straight, sometimes as tall as 300 feet. The first sawmill in the Northwest began operation near presentday Vancouver, Washington, in 1828, and between the 1850s and the 1870s, Northwest sawmills supplied the growing California market as well as a limited foreign market. When the transcontinental railroads arrived in the 1880s, a whole new market opened up, and mills began shipping to the eastern states. Lumber companies developed a cutand-run policy that leveled the forests. By the turn of the century, the government had gained more control over public forests in an attempt to slow the decimation 17 2 LO O K I N G B AC K AT O R E G O N 05_537718-ch02.indd 17 1805, when Lewis and Clark had first passed this way, the Nez Perce tribe (the name means “pierced nose” in French) had been friendly to the white settlers.


pages: 753 words: 233,306

Collapse by Jared Diamond

clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, prisoner's dilemma, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men

All of the Bitterroot Valley's former timber mills have now closed, because so little timber is available from Montana publicly owned timberland, and because the valley's privately owned timberland has already been logged twice. The mills' closing has meant the loss of many high-paying unionized jobs, as well as of traditional Montanan self-image. Elsewhere in Montana, outside the Bitterroot Valley, much private timberland remains, most of it originating from government land grants made in the 1860s to the Great Northern Railroad as an inducement for building a transcontinental railroad. In 1989 that land was spun off from the railroads to a Seattle-based entity called Plum Creek Timber Company, organized for tax purposes as a real estate investment trust (so that its earnings will be taxed at lower rates as capital gains), and now the largest owner of private timberland in Montana and the second-largest one in the U.S. I've read Plum Creek's publications and talked with their director of corporate affairs, Bob Jirsa, who defends Plum Creek's environmental policies and sustainable forestry practices.


The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (Hardback) - Common by Alan Greenspan

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, air freight, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, equity premium, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pets.com, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, reserve currency, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stocks for the long run, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, working-age population, Y2K, zero-sum game

This was largely the case in the United States before World War I. It is difficult for a twenty-first-century American to comprehend the extent to which government was separated from business in those early years. The little corruption that existed drew large newspaper headlines. There were questionable transactions relating to the construction of canals in the early 1800s. Similarly, the building of the transcontinental railroad, with its huge land-grant subsidies, engendered much duplicitous activity, leading to the Union Pacific-Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872. As infrequent as they were, such scandals are what people remember of that period. Despite the heavy involvement of government in business since the 1930s, a number of countries have achieved high ratings for staying free of corruption, even though their civil servants have potentially sellable discretion in fulfilling their regulatory roles.


China: A History by John Keay

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, Deng Xiaoping, imperial preference, invention of movable type, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, Pax Mongolica, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, éminence grise

Moreover, the movement and storage of this agricultural surplus was the only insurance against the ever-present threat of famine and was a strategic necessity for provisioning frontier garrisons and supporting military ventures beyond. The Grand Canal, linking the Yangzi region with its rice surplus to the heavily populated and famine-prone northern plains, thus had a similar effect to the first transcontinental railroads in North America. It made China’s economic integration feasible. Disparities of climate, terrain, produce and demographic distribution were suddenly converted into assets. Granaries – which were less mud-built silos than vast installations, walled and guarded, like oil-storage depots – were strategically located along the canal. Big government-owned grain barges, hauled by manpower wherever sluice and current required, constituted the bulk of the water traffic; a burgeoning private trade in salt, fish, vegetables and manufactured goods made up the rest.


The Rough Guide to New York City by Martin Dunford

Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, buttonwood tree, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Thorp, Exxon Valdez, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, market bubble, Norman Mailer, paper trading, post-work, Saturday Night Live, sustainable-tourism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, Yogi Berra, young professional

Some history The first known Chinese immigrant to New York arrived in 1858, and settled on Mott Street. He was not joined by significant numbers of his countrymen – and they were virtually all men – until the 1870s. By 1880, the Chinese population had risen from just 75 to an estimated 700, and the 1890 census recorded about 12,000 Chinese. Most of these men had previously worked out West on the transcontinental railroad or in gold mines, and few intended to stay in the US.Their idea was simply to make a nest egg, then return to their families and the easy life in China; as a result, the neighborhood around the intersection of Mott and Pell streets became known as the “bachelor society.” Inevitably, money took rather longer to accumulate than expected, and though some men did go back, Chinatown soon became a permanent settlement.


pages: 801 words: 242,104

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men

All of the Bitterroot Valley’s former timber mills have now closed, because so little timber is available from Montana publicly owned timberland, and because the valley’s privately owned timberland has already been logged twice. The mills’ closing has meant the loss of many high-paying unionized jobs, as well as of traditional Montanan self-image. Elsewhere in Montana, outside the Bitterroot Valley, much private timberland remains, most of it originating from government land grants made in the 1860s to the Northern Pacific Railroad as an inducement for building a transcontinental railroad. In 1989 that land was spun off from the railroads to a Seattle-based entity called Plum Creek Timber Company, organized for tax purposes as a real estate investment trust (so that its earnings will be taxed at lower rates as capital gains), and now the largest owner of private timberland in Montana and the second-largest one in the U.S. I’ve read Plum Creek’s publications and talked with their director of corporate affairs, Bob Jirsa, who defends Plum Creek’s environmental policies and sustainable forestry practices.


pages: 898 words: 253,177

Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, clean water, Golden Gate Park, hacker house, jitney, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

With oranges going for $2 apiece at the mines, and a plate of fresh oysters for $20 or more, it was a bonanza for all concerned. In 1848, the population of San Francisco was eight hundred; three years later, thirty-five thousand people lived there. In 1853 the population went past fifty thousand and San Francisco became one of the twenty largest cities in the United States. By 1869, San Francisco possessed one of the busiest ports in the world, a huge fishing fleet, and the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad. It teemed with mansions, restaurants, hotels, theaters, and whorehouses. In finance it was the rival of New York, in culture the rival of Boston; in spirit it had no competitor. Los Angeles, meanwhile, remained a torpid, suppurating, stunted little slum. It was too far from the gold fields to receive many fortune seekers on their way in or to detach them from their fortunes on the way out.


pages: 850 words: 254,117

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

affirmative action, air freight, airline deregulation, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, barriers to entry, big-box store, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, cross-subsidies, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversified portfolio, European colonialism, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, inventory management, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, late fees, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, payday loans, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty

For most of its history, the United States has been a debtor nation—and has likewise had the highest standard of living in the world for most of its history. One of the things that helped develop the American economy and changed the United States from a small agricultural nation to an industrial giant was an inflow of capital from Western Europe in general and from Britain in particular. These vast resources enabled the United States to build canals, factories and transcontinental railroads to tie the country together economically. As of the 1890s, for example, foreign investors owned about one-fifth of the stock of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, more than one-third of the stock of the New York Central, more than half the stock of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and nearly two-thirds of the stock of the Illinois Central.{803} Even today, when American multinational corporations own vast amounts of assets in other countries, foreigners have owned more assets in the United States than Americans owned abroad for more than a quarter of a century, beginning in 1986.


pages: 782 words: 245,875

The Power Makers by Maury Klein

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, animal electricity, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, British Empire, business climate, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, margin call, Menlo Park, price stability, railway mania, Right to Buy, the scientific method, trade route, transcontinental railway, working poor

Trains that once took days to travel a given route covered the same distance in a single day with the help of telegraphic dispatching. Once the railroads realized the advantages offered by the new technology, telegraph wires were strung alongside railroad tracks and moved west with or sometimes ahead of the lines under construction. A federal subsidy underwrote completion of the first telegraph line to California in October 1861, nearly eight years ahead of the first transcontinental railroad. In 1866 most of the disparate telegraph companies combined into one giant firm, Western Union, through a process that foreshadowed the pattern of local and regional railroads merging into large systems. The telegraph changed the way Americans did business. Transactions that once took weeks or even months by letter could be completed in days or even hours by parties located in distant cities.


pages: 1,042 words: 273,092

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

access to a mobile phone, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, Columbian Exchange, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, drone strike, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Isaac Newton, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, South China Sea, spice trade, statistical model, Stuxnet, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, wealth creators, WikiLeaks, yield management, Yom Kippur War

This giant sum, partly to be paid in advance, gives Beijing the energy security it craves, while more than justifying the estimated $22 billion cost of a new pipeline, and providing Moscow freedom and additional confidence in how it deals with its neighbours and its rivals. It is no surprise then that China was the only member of the UN Security Council not to rebuke Russia for its actions during the Ukraine crisis of 2014; the cold reality of mutually beneficial trade is far more compelling than the political brinkmanship of the west. Transport links as well as pipelines have expanded dramatically in the last three decades. Major investment in transcontinental railway lines has already opened up freight routes along the 7,000-mile Yuxinou International Railway that runs from China to a major distribution centre near Duisburg in Germany – visited by President Xi Jinping in person in 2014. Trains half a mile long have started carrying millions of laptops, shoes, clothes and other non-perishable items in one direction and electronics, car parts and medical equipment in the other on a journey that takes sixteen days – considerably faster than the sea route from China’s Pacific ports.


Cuba Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Bartolomé de las Casas, battle of ideas, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, cuban missile crisis, G4S, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Kickstarter, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, urban planning

Its opening came little more than a decade after Britain’s Stockton and Darlington railway (the world’s first), and it was soon followed by an 80km line from Camagüey to the port of Nuevitas on Cuba’s north coast. By 1848 tramways were crisscrossing the streets of Havana, before any European city outside of Paris. Until the beginning of the 20th century, 80% of Cuban railways were associated with the sugar industry. It wasn’t until 1902 that the west–east passenger network was joined for the first time by US-Canadian railway magnate William Van Horne (builder of the first Canadian transcontinental railway), creating a line that stretched 1100km from Guane in Pinar del Río province to Guantánamo in the east. After the Revolution and the US trade embargo that ensued, Cuba’s once ground-breaking rail network struggled to find new rolling stock and fuel. Most of what you see today is borrowed from ‘friendly’ countries such as Britain, Canada, Mexico and, more recently, China. Cuba’s only vaguely reliable train, the Tren Francés , which runs every three days between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, uses secondhand coaches from the Trans-Europe Express (Paris–Amsterdam) that were shipped to Cuba in 2001.


The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830–1970 by John Darwin

anti-communist, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, cognitive bias, colonial rule, Corn Laws, European colonialism, floating exchange rates, full employment, imperial preference, Joseph Schumpeter, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, labour mobility, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, railway mania, reserve currency, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Scientific racism, South China Sea, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, undersea cable

Earl Grey, The Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell's Administration [1853] (repr. New York, 1971), pp. 34–5. 3. See J. Mouat, ‘Situating Vancouver Island in the British World, 1846–49’, BC Studies, 145 (2005), 25. 4. Thus the powerful voice of the railway promoter Edward Watkin in 1861 proclaimed Canada's future as ‘a great British nation…extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific’. A. A. Den Otter, The Philosophy of Railways: The Transcontinental Railway Ideal in British North America (Toronto, 1997), p. 113. 5. An idea most fully developed in J. A. Froude, Oceana (1887). 6. That it sold 80,000 copies in its first three years may be an indication of this. See J. Parry, The Politics of Patriotism: English Liberalism, National Identity and Europe, 1830–1886 (Cambridge, 2006), p. 342. 7. There were several variants to describe Canada's links with Britain: this was the commonest. 8.


pages: 1,106 words: 335,322

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, endowment effect, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, God and Mammon, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, New Journalism, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence, yellow journalism

The war markedly accelerated the timetable of economic development, promoting the growth of factories, mills, and railroads. By stimulating technological innovation and standardized products, it ushered in a more regimented economy. The world of small farmers and businessmen began to fade, upstaged by a gargantuan new world of mass consumption and production. As railroad expansion gained momentum, populating the West and culminating in completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869, it spawned an accompanying mania in land deals, stock promotions, and mining developments. People rushed to exploit millions of acres of natural resources that could be economically brought to market for the first time. In short, by the end of the Civil War, the preconditions existed for an industrial economy of spectacular new proportions. Before the war, the federal government had only twenty thousand employees and shied away from attempts to regulate business.


Eastern USA by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, jitney, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mason jar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Mummers Museum MUSEUM ( 215-336-3050; www.mummersmuseum.com; 1100 S 2nd St; adult/child $3.50/2.50; 9:30am-4:30pm Wed, Fri & Sat, to 9:30pm Thu) Celebrating the tradition of disguise and masquerade. It has an integral role in the famed Mummers Parade, which takes place here every New Year’s Day. CHINATOWN & AROUND The fourth-largest Chinatown in the USA, Philly’s version has existed since the 1860s. Chinese immigrants who built America’s transcontinental railroads started out west and worked their way here. Today’s Chinatown remains a center for immigrants, though now many of the neighborhood’s residents come from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in addition to every province in China. Though it does hold a few residents, the tone of Chinatown is thoroughly commercial. African American Museum in Philadelphia MUSEUM ( 215-574-0380; www.aampmuseum.org; 701 Arch St; adult/child $10/8; 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, from noon Sun) Housed in a foreboding concrete building, it contains excellent collections on African American history and culture.


Central America by Carolyn McCarthy, Greg Benchwick, Joshua Samuel Brown, Alex Egerton, Matthew Firestone, Kevin Raub, Tom Spurling, Lucas Vidgen

airport security, Bartolomé de las Casas, California gold rush, call centre, centre right, clean water, cognitive dissonance, currency manipulation / currency intervention, digital map, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, failed state, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Joan Didion, land reform, liberation theology, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, Monroe Doctrine, Ronald Reagan, Skype, sustainable-tourism, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

COLÓN pop 45,000 With its colonial grandeur crumbling and its neighborhoods marginalized, historical Colón is sadly the city that Panama forgot, in spite of vigorous renovations underway in isolated sectors to court Caribbean cruise ships. Prior to 1869, the railroad connecting Panama City and Colón was the only rapid transit across the continental western hemisphere. However, the establishment of the US transcontinental railroad put Colón out of business almost overnight. The last whiff of prosperity was seen during the construction of the Panama Canal. In an attempt to revive the city, the Zona Libre (Free Zone) was created on the edge of Colón in 1948. Today, it’s the largest free-trade zone in the Americas. Unfortunately, none of the US$10 billion in annual commercial turnover seems to get beyond the compound’s walls and the Zona Libre exists as an island of materialism floating in a sea of unemployment, poverty and crime.


pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, yellow journalism, zero-coupon bond

A gangly teenager, Sidney went west to Omaha, Nebraska, to join his maternal grandfather George Homan in his livery-stable business.3 The year was 1867; Omaha a settlement consisting mainly of a collection of wooden shacks. Since its days as a trail-outfitting center for westbound prospectors during the Gold Rush, Omaha supplied the staples to pioneers—gambling, women, and booze.4 But with the end of the Civil War, it was about to be transformed. A grand transcontinental railroad would link the coasts of the newly reunited states for the first time, and Abraham Lincoln himself decreed that Omaha would be the railroad’s headquarters. The coming of the Union Pacific filled the town with a bustling commercial spirit, as well as a sense of destiny. Nonetheless, the place retained its reputation as the Sodom of a pious state,5 and a well-known “rogue’s rookery.” After working at the livery stable, Sidney left to open the first grocery store in a town with no paved streets.


pages: 2,323 words: 550,739

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, Updated Ed. by Patricia Schultz

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bretton Woods, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, estate planning, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

Fowl aren’t the only emigrants to make use of the Platte River. Although pioneers quipped it was “too thick to drink, but too thin to plow,” 400,000 people between 1840 and the 1860s found its combination of water, hard riverbanks, and nearly flat terrain made a natural “highway” for travel along the Oregon Trail, California Trail, and Mormon Trail, along with the Pony Express, the overland stage route, and the transcontinental railroad. The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument brings the experience to life with narrated dioramas, moving lights, and thunder—kitschy but fascinating exhibits that show how our predecessors piled all their belongings into wagons and handcarts and walked across the country following that most powerful of instincts—hope. WHERE: 100 miles west of Lincoln. NEBRASKA NATURE & VISITOR CENTER: Grand Island.