Early in 1901, J. P. Morgan, the country’s most powerful banker, merged Andrew Carnegie’s Carnegie Steel Corporation with nine other steel companies to form the world’s largest corporation. The United States Steel Corporation, usually known as U.S. Steel or simply Big Steel, was capitalized at $1.4 billion. To get a sense of how big a sum that was at the turn of the twentieth century, consider that the federal government that year spent only $517 million. The creation of U.S. Steel was the culmination of an era of American industrial consolidation that made many fear such corporations were becoming too powerful, financially and politically, and thereby threatened American democrac