By Alfred D. Chandler Jr.
The function of large-scale enterprise enterprisebig company and its managersduring the adolescence of recent capitalism (from the 1850s till the Twenties) is delineated during this pathmarking publication. Alfred Chandler, Jr., the celebrated enterprise historian, units forth the explanations for the dominance of massive enterprise in American transportation, communications, and the critical sectors of creation and distribution.
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Additional info for The Visible Hand: Managerial Revolution in American Business
They were soon joined by young men, many of them New Englanders, who began their business life in this trade. New Englanders also went to the south. There they and local merchants in the cotton ports and in the new towns in the interior-Columbia, Augusta, Macon, Montgomery, Jackson, and Natchez-became factors for planters who had recently cleared the land in the rich black belt of Alabama and Georgia and the bottom lands along the Mississippi River. " In the census of I 840, 381 commission houses and only 24 commercial houses were listed as engaged in foreign trade in Louisiana where commodities completely dominated.
These enterprises continued to be operated by individuals and partnerships but not by corporatIons. In the colonial period, the only common carriers (that is, enterprises specializing wholly in transporting goods and passengers, with services available to any user) were a small number of ferries, stagecoaches, and wagon lines. The stagecoaches, carrying passengers and mail, but very little freight, ran on the most informal schedules. The wagon lines were even more unscheduled. Teamsters, usually located in country towns, picked up loads from storekeepers and brought them to the larger ports.
The credit system, a complex one, relied on traditional instruments: the promissory note and the bill of exchange. Planters, factors, or river or coastal port merchants were rarely paid in cash but in promissory notes or bills of exchange payable in 60, 90, or even 120 days at 7 or 8 percent interest. If the advance was given before the delivery of the crop, it was made in the form of a promissory note, which was often renewed if it became due before the actual sale was transacted. If the payment was made at the time of delivery, it was made in the form of a bill of exchange, drawn on the house providing the credit.
The Visible Hand: Managerial Revolution in American Business by Alfred D. Chandler Jr.