The United States of the early to mid-1900s has some striking parallels with the India of today. It was around this time that America began its journey towards becoming the world’s largest economy.The biggest factors that propelled the growth and transformation of the US were technology, natural resources, manufacturing and private enterprise; a few men who dreamt big helped create the modern America. Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, J P Morgan and Henry Ford with their entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach built businesses that helped make the transition to the modern industrial era. They laid the foundations of the American steel industry, oil and gas, natural resources and mining, manufacturing, finance and infrastructure building including roads, rail and ports.
All the five men were also great philanthropists who donated most of their wealth for the larger benefit of society. These were used to set up large universities, hospitals, museums, art and culture centres, libraries and charities. The universities also contributed as powerful research centres and acted as think tanks in areas of technology, material and space research, liberal arts and political science. Moreover, they helped develop political, business and other leaders. These created large employment opportunities and also spawned entrepreneurship.From a societal perspective, there were issues similar to India; poverty, environmental challenges, corruption and crime. It took a set of progressive presidents from Roosevelt to Eisenhower to put in place policies that encouraged private entrepreneurship, better governance, government spending and social security. This led to the gradual rise of the American superpower.