Well since this is an infamous “Under Construction” section of Gilded Empire, I direct you towards the “Historiography” page or the “Categories” listed in the side-bar for a discussion of concepts used within Gilded Empire.


  • Commercial-Civic Elite:
    • Elaborated by Patricia Everidge Hill in her work, Dallas: The Making of a Modern City, the term commercial-civic elite distinguishes itself from the more traditional term of describing upper-level urbanites, or “elites.” As in Dallas prior to WWII, those actors who played a significant role in Dallas’ urban development were not all elites, but those involved in commerce and civics (politics). Therefore, it is more appropriate to distinguish between various elite actors with different capacities for power at a given time. For Dallas, and for San Francisco the most wealthy were not necessarily influential actors in urban development. It was those elite actors who were in the business of commerce and politics whom had the greatest influence – the commercial, civic elite. In San Francisco in the 1890s for example, Leland Stanford provides a good example. While Stanford is unquestionably considered a San Franciscan elite, his direct influence on the individual lives of residents and inhabitants paled in comparison to say James D. Phelan or William Randolph Hearst.

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