The Predestination of Capital: Projecting E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company into the New World
Critical Historical Studies
US : University of Chicago Press
33 - 62 p.
Capitalism, Industrialization, Credit, Capitalization, Project, Territorialization
The article studies the role of entrepreneurial techniques in the capitalization of early industrial ventures. It focuses on the preparation and circulation of project proposals by the Du Pont de Nemours family, ahead of their transplantation to the United States: father Pierre Samuel’s 1797 plan for an agricultural colony and his son Irénée’s 1800 project for a gunpowder manufactory. The two men and the types of projects they proposed did not enjoy the same amount of credit in investor circles, leading them to rely on different territorialization techniques in their proposals. The father located the proposed colony in the geographical space of the United States to narrate a single and hesitant path into the future. The son relied on accounting simulations to prove that profits would ensue, whatever the circumstances, in the calculable space of American markets. His project was assigned not just a destination but also a destiny.