captains of industry

  1. A phrase that is sometimes used to describe businesspeople who are especially successful and powerful.


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What does captains of industry mean?

Captains of industry is a phrase used to refer to incredibly wealthy or successful businesspeople, especially those who own large companies or many factories,  as in The protestors were angry with the captains of industry who had profited by exploiting foreign labor. 

Sometimes, the singular captain of industry is used, as in Mortimer was a captain of industry who spent lavishly on private dinner parties. 

Example: The proposed carbon emissions bill had no chance of passing after it was opposed by the influential captains of industry. 

Where does captains of industry come from?

The phrase captains of industry was coined by English historian Thomas Carlyle in his 1843 book Past and Present. In the book, Carlyle argues that wealthy businessmen, and not the British government, were the only people capable of pulling the lower class out of crippling poverty. Carlyle praised the wealthy elite’s leadership and so referred to them as captains, meaning “leaders,” of industry, meaning “commercial enterprise.”

Usually, captains of industry is a positive term to describe businesspeople as being notably powerful, wealthy, successful, or influential. For example, captains of industry is often used when describing the incredibly wealthy American entrepreneurs of the 1800s, such as J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. In contrast the much more negative term robber barons, which implies ruthlessness and/or corruption, is used to describe these same people when criticizing their actions.

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What are some synonyms for captains of industry?

What are some words that share a root or word element with captains of industry

What are some words that often get used in discussing captains of industry?

How is captains of industry used in real life?

Captains of industry is a phrase used to describe incredibly wealthy or successful businesspeople. In particular, the phrase is often used to refer to owners or CEOs of huge, successful companies.

Try using captains of industry!

Which of the following is a synonym of captains of industry?

A. factory workers
B. employees
C. tycoons
D. students




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