The Prize, Chapter 3 Overview
With Chapter 3, we see the beginning of true globalization. This doesn’t mean that the rest of the world didn’t use oil, but what happened in the late 1800’s was the connection between countries by way of multinational business approaches. As the industry was essentially private sector and not bound by national borders and government jurisdictions, it was possible for single entities to see the entire world as a marketplace and source of oil. But with this expansionist view, we also now saw the arrival of new competitors. Whereas Standard Oil may have had a monopoly in the US, they encountered formidable challengers on the world stage. They also encountered significantly more challenging conditions. For those who thought exploring for oil in rural Pennsylvania was challenging, it was a rude awakening to encounter the conditions in Southeast Asia and Russia. The topography was challenging, and the distances were truly vast. Moving oil tens or hundreds of miles paled in comparison to moving it thousands of miles and across waterways and over mountains.
Chapter 3 - Competitive Commerce
Sections to Read
- "The Walnut Money"
- The Rise of Russian Oil
- The Son of the Shell Merchant
- The Coup of 1892
- Royal Dutch
Questions to Guide Your Reading:
- What led to Standard Oil’s dominance being eroded?
- Why were British traders key to Russian oil and later Dutch East Indies?
- What aspect of oil was noted as critical?
- Why were there recurring attempts to form cartels and monopolies?