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Lincoln was making money as a lawyer from railroads well before he went into politics. It was highly convenient that the Civil War, the gold and silver of the west and the desire to add California as a state emerged when they did. I don't know if it even occurred to Lincoln that fewer railroads might have avoided the grotesque financial and operational problems that emerged, let alone the financial disasters that resulted from frequent railroad bankruptcies. And Lincoln did not live to see the worst of the worst. But the railroads were allowed to set the template for other large corporations when dealing with the government.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 01:46:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The above is well set out in Richard White's monumental 'Railroaded - The Trans-continentals and the Making of Modern America' Norton.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 01:50:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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