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The Men Who Built America

Where to Watch The Men Who Built America

The New Machine
A young engineer named Henry Ford devises the plan for a gas-powered car. McKinley is assassinated and his VP Theodore Roosevelt takes office and quickly passes a series of regulations increasing oversight of American business.

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Taking the White House
Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan have gone unmonitored for decades, but American politicians are about to change that. They want these men to fall into line under government control.

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When One Ends, Another Begins
Railroads, oil, steel and electricity have all been harnessed in less than 50 years, but the face of America is forever changing.

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Owning It All
With an investment from Morgan, the Edison Electric Company is created and begins wiring homes in New York. A rival, Nikola Tesla, soon emerges with a different technology for electric light.

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Blood Is Spilled
Carnegie hires a hatchet man, Henry Frick, to help him achieve his goal of besting Rockefellar. The partnership seems promising, but Carnegie does not know that Frick is running his factories far beyond capacity.

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Changing the Game
Andrew Carnegie immigrates to the United States with his parents and starts working at age 12. He finds a patron in railroad executive Tom Scott who teaches him about the business.

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Bloody Battles
In the aftermath of the Civil War, America attempts to build up the country. While much of the growth is driven by railroads and oil, it's built using steel.

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A New War Begins
Cornelius Vanderbilt invests in the railroad industry; John D. Rockefeller builds a massive oil pipeline.

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Season 1: Sneak Peek
The Men Who Built America premieres on Tuesday, October 16 at 9/8c, but a special sneak peek is available now!

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The Men Who Built America is an eight-part mini-series that aired on The History Channel in 2012. The series, which is a captivating mix of dramatic reenactments, interviews with historians, and archival photographs, presents a rich tapestry of personalities, events, and achievements that marked the period of intense industrial growth and technological advancements in the United States spanning over the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The core premise of the series revolves around the lives and contributions of five industrialists: Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford. These businessmen challenged traditional notions, broke new ground, and are often hailed as the pioneers of the American capitalist system. The series showcases how their foresight, acumen, and sometimes ruthless approaches, shaped the economy and the nation as we see it today.

The story begins with Cornelius Vanderbilt, a shipping and railroad tycoon, whose wealth laid the foundation of modern America. The series then shifts towards the immensely controversial and powerful figure John D. Rockefeller, who would build a vast empire in the oil industry that would revolutionize the way business was conducted in America.

Next on the series is Andrew Carnegie who is at the center of the ruthless and bloody steel industry. His rise from a poor immigrant to one of the wealthiest industrialists of all times forms an enthralling aspect of this series. The narrative then moves on to J.P. Morgan, a banker whose mergers and acquisitions make him a titan of finance comparable to the other giants.

The series concludes with Henry Ford, an engineering genius who revolutionized manufacturing with his assembly line model and put America on wheels with his affordable Model T. Ford’s contribution not only changed the landscape of the transportation industry, but also played a significant role in the growth of middle-class America.

These five men did not only build titanic corporations; they shaped the destiny of America and etched their legacy into the fabric of civilization. Their audacious strategies not only established them as captains of industry but also as architects of the modern world.

The Men Who Built America provides viewers with richly textured, in-depth, and often, surprising accounts of the monumental achievements of these industrial giants. Each episode explores the intricate web of rivalry, negotiation, struggle, and success, providing a comprehensive picture of the ambitious drive and visionary leadership of these individuals.

The series does not shy away from presenting a balanced portrayal of these men, highlighting not just their ambition and achievements, but also the often devastating human cost associated with industrial progress. The series candidly uncovers the constant back-and-forths between labor rights and capital growth, giving viewers a taste of the societal consequences of unabashed capitalism, such as the harsh working conditions in factories and mines, and the wealth disparity that this era was notorious for.

The documentary also includes perspectives from present-day magnates like Mark Cuban, Alan Mulally, Jack Welch, and others who shed light on the relevancy of their predecessors’ tactics and strategies in the contemporary business world. By incorporating current thought leaders' insights, the series bridges the past and the present, creating a cohesive understanding of how America's industrial past has shaped its present-day economy.

Visually stunning, historically informed, and keenly paced, The Men Who Built America is a compelling look at the birth of modern America. The series takes a deep dive into the complex dynamics of power, innovation, and success, offering an intriguing study into the trials and tribulations of the capitalist spirit. As much a gripping historical narrative as a business study, this series provides extraordinary insight into the minds of titans who paved the way for modern America.

Overall, The Men Who Built America is a vivid tableau of the epic saga of industrial America, providing viewers with a humanized understanding of the life and times of the men behind the machines and the corporations that embodied the American dream and forged the path for the nation's robust industrial era. It is both an edifying exploration of America's industrial past and a riveting experience.

The Men Who Built America is a series categorized as a new series. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 9 episodes, the show debuted on 2012. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.5.

Campbell Scott, H.W. Brands, Mark Cuban
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