By Andy Serwer, David Allison, Peter Liebhold, Nancy Davis, Kathleen G. Franz
What does it suggest to be an American? What are American principles and values? American Enterprise, the better half ebook to a huge exhibition on the Smithsonian’s nationwide Museum of yank background, goals to respond to those questions about the yank event via an exploration of its financial and advertisement heritage. It argues that by means of taking a look at the intersection of capitalism and democracy, we will see the place we as a country have come from and the place we'd be getting into the future.
Richly illustrated with photographs of gadgets from the museum’s collections, American company includes a 1794 greenback coin, Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 mobilephone, a brass money sign up from Marshall Fields, Sam Walton’s cap, and plenty of different items and companies that experience formed American tradition. historic and modern ads also are featured, emphasizing the evolution of the connection among manufacturers and shoppers through the years. Interspersed within the ancient narrative are essays from today’s leaders—including Sheila Bair, Adam Davidson, invoice Ford, Sally Greenberg, Fisk Johnson, Hank Paulson, Richard Trumka, and Pat Woertz—that pose provocative questions on the kingdom of up to date American enterprise and society. American Enterprise is a multi-faceted survey of the nation’s enterprise historical past and corresponding social results that's basic to an realizing of the lives of the yank humans, the historical past of the U.S., and the nation’s function in international affairs.
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Extra info for American Enterprise: A History of Business in America
Introduction AUGUST 15, 1786. George Washington, fifty-four years old, recently retired as commanding general of the United States Army, has returned to living as a gentleman farmer at Mount Vernon, his bounteous estate along the banks of the Potomac River. He is writing to his protégé and comrade in arms, the Marquis de Lafayette, now living in France. The topic: how the fledgling United States will manage relations with European powers. Great Britain, Washington believes, is foolishly complacent in its belief that the new nation will remain dependent on it.
American business had to become global to succeed, with production as well as sales distributed in locations around the world. Moreover, American consumers demanded access to goods from other countries when they were cheaper or more desirable. Innovations in transportation and information technology, along with the growth of multinational corporations, fostered new forms of international business development and cooperation. Companies that did not adapt to the new global marketplace struggled or failed.
Great Britain, Washington believes, is foolishly complacent in its belief that the new nation will remain dependent on it. He says, “However unimportant America may be considered at present, and however Britain may affect to despise her trade, there will assuredly come a day, when this country will have some weight in the scale of empires” (Fitzpatrick 1938, 518–521). In Washington’s eyes, that “weight” should come through expanded commerce, not military power. ” Like most of the founders of the United States, Washington was at heart a businessman—not an aristocrat or even a warrior.