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Steam CityRailroads, Urban Space, and Corporate Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Baltimore$
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David Schley

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226720258

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226720395.001.0001

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Privatizing the B&O

Privatizing the B&O

(p.132) 6 Privatizing the B&O
Steam City
David Schley
University of Chicago Press

Long-simmering conflicts between the B&O’s private investors, the municipal government, and the urban public came to a head in the 1850s. In 1853, private stockholders began pushing for high dividends, low rates on traffic through Baltimore, and stockholder control of the company. This pivotal chapter documents the conscious efforts by a contingent within the company to redefine the B&O as a private enterprise operating on a national scale, beyond the scope of municipal regulation. In making this case, stockholders articulated new ideas about the nature of corporations and capitalism that would later gain widespread currency.

Keywords:   corporations, privatization, railroads, dividends, labor, strikes, John W. Garrett, rate discrimination, regulation, Know-Nothings

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