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J. P. Morgan and Linda Chavez in American History Essay

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Updated: Jan 25th, 2022

The significance of people with vivid personality for a certain historical period is beyond exception. The social activists, influential businesspersons, and famous politicians actively construct the social relations. The American history of the XIX – XX centuries includes many characters whose activity asserted significant influence over events of American life. The present paper aims at comparing and contrasting of J.P. Morgan and Linda Chavez along with their influence on American history.

John Pierpont Morgan was born in 1837 in a family of a famous banker. His father Junius Morgan intended to give a broad education to his sun. Pierpont changed several schools due to his father’s intention. Because of the rheumatic fever, Pierpont had to interrupt his education for a while to be recreated at the Azores. He studied at schools in Britain and Switzerland improving his French along with the improving his German. During his early career, Pierpont worked at the banking institutions of his father and partners such as the Peabody, Morgan &Co. in London and the Duncan, Sherman & Company in New York. Morgan did not participate in Civil War in America. After his mentor Antony Drexler’s death in 1895, Morgan established J.P. Morgan &Co. During those years, Morgan managed to reorganize several businesses making them profitable. His method named “Morganization” became famous in the bank sphere. In 1895, Morgan together with Rothschilds helped to supply the Federal Treasury with gold. In 1896, Morgan became a sponsor and a co-owner of The New York Times. Since that period, the newspaper provides the standards of American journalism. In 1900, Morgan established the U.S. Steel Corporation that became the most capitalized company in the world. Due to the more effective distribution and reduced expenses, the U.S. Steel Corp. started to enter in European markets. Its aggressive policy in achieving the international markets made this company the initiator of the process called the “globalization” now. Skrabec in his book depicted that Morgan played a key role in solving the financial crisis in 1907 named the Panic (135). Up to 1912 J.P. Morgan & Co together with the Federal Bank of New York concentrated huge financial resources equal to the overall cost of 22 States. However, Morgan not always was successful in investment. Such failed projects as the Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower, the London Subways and the International Mercantile Marine yielded losses to Morgan. Whatever his critics might say, Morgan was a great banking financier. Within the period of 1890-1913 J.P. Morgan & Co. established 42 corporations. Morgan did not like publicity. One of the reasons was the disease rosacea from which he suffered all his life. When Morgan died in 1913, the stock market stopped its work for several hours in order to pay tribute to his memory.

Linda Low Chavez was born in 1947. Her family lived in Albuquerque. Her father was Hispanic by origin. He was a house painter that time while participating in World War II as a tail gunner. Her mother was Irish of ancestry. Linda graduated from the University of Colorado in 1970. Being a Catholic, she decided to be converted for Judaism in 1967 before her marriage to Christopher Gersten. In 1975, Linda joined the American Federation of Teachers to hold their editor position. Working together with Al Shanker, the president of the AFT, Linda absorbed Shanker’s ideas about trade unions movement. Chavez left the AFT in 1983 being against the policy of the organization that was provided after Shanker’s departure. During the period of 1985 – 1992, she held several positions in the White House administrations of presidents Ronal Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In 1992, Linda Chavez was working for the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Since 1993, Linda was studying rape and sexual slavery as a Special Reporter of the U.N. In 1998, her report “Contemporary Forms of Slavery” about so-called comfort women in Japan was published. In 2001, President Bush proposed Chavez to take up the post of Secretary of Labor in his government. However, she had to withdraw this nominee because of the scandal regarding her former employee, who was an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. In 1986, Chavez participated in elections to Maryland Senate. Her opponent was Democrat and a radical lesbian Barbara Mikulski. Chavez lost the elections finally. Since 1990, Chavez worked as a columnist arising topics related to women and gender. Her first book Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation was published in 1991. It was dedicated to the Hispanic minority in the United States. Nowadays Chavez is a famous columnist. She often appears in different talk shows. Linda Chavez is a co-founder of several non-profit foundations such as the Center of Equal Opportunity (Chavez), the Institute of Religious Values and the Stop Union Political Abuse.

Comparing two personalities from the present and past America, their impact on the society should be considered. In the case of Morgan and Chavez, this aspect is especially important because only the social sphere can demonstrate their possible similarities. As for the rest, both characters are too much different. The period of J.P. Morgan’s activity belongs to the second part of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. The second Industrial Revolution, the Civil War in America and the Panic of 1907 constitute the background of Morgan’s active life. Linda Chavez began her activity in the 1970s. Morgan belonged to the richest families of those days while Chavez was born in a labor family. The huge difference in wealth and heritage determined the course of life journeys of both characters. Having inherited the significant financial structures of his ancestors, Morgan could hardly select some other playground than banking. Chavez was free to choose her profession. Both persons were engaged in political affairs, but their participation differs significantly. Linda Chavez can be defined as a governmental official because she held several positions in the U.S. government. Unlike her, Morgan mostly spoke in a personal capacity. In the meantime, the effect of Morgan’s activity in political affairs was considerably larger. Due to his financial empire’s abilities, Morgan had significant influence not only on American Government, but also on European ones. His contributions to Federal Banking structures helped to save the Federal Treasure and to solve the Panic. The citizenship of Linda Chavez was clear and positive been represented by her labor unions’ activity. Morgan created a huge corporative business that provided millions of people with job. Supposing both characters could live in the same period, they most probably could belong to opposite parties. Linda Chavez appreciated the labor unions’ movement, while Morgan was one of the biggest labor exploiters. However, Morgan’s inclination to effectiveness and modernization significantly supported the development of American business and industry. Both persons contributed to philanthropy. The Metropolitan Museum of Art received many collections of art objects and books from Morgan. Besides, he was an almsgiver of the American Museum of Natural History and the Harvard University. Linda Chavez established several non-profit organizations and political action comities together with her husband. All of them are dedicated to the social advocacy.

Embracing both characters of the present research, their differences seem to prevail over their similarities. Almost all aspects of the comparison differ significantly. Gender, historical period, social status, wealth, impact on the ambient world, political preferences and many other characteristics of both personalities are different and sometimes opposite. The relative coincidence of the characters could be perhaps noticed in the sphere of philanthropy and non-profit activities. The only strict similarity of J.P. Morgan and Linda Chavez refers to their significance for American history of the twentieth century.

Works Cited

Chavez, Linda. “CEO need your help”. Center for Equal Opportunities. Web. 2015.

Skrabec, Quentin R. The 100 most significant events in American business. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Print.

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