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Characteristics Of A Robber Barons

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Business tycoons were gaining a substantial amount of power in the years following the Civil War. Industry was booming in America. With the invention of railroads, steel and oil were being produced at exceptional rates. Men flocked to these new industries, creating some of the richest men in the United States of America. A robber baron is classified as a person who has gained wealth by corrupt and ruthless means. By this standard history can define a robber baron by evidence of corruption and unjust treatment of workers and general public. The well known Industrialists at the end of the nineteenth century can be described as robber barons due to their unscrupulous business tactics and values.
Cornelius “ Commodore” Vanderbilt is known as the man who industrialized the American railroad. He owned and and operated a majority of railroads in the country and was one of the richest men in America. When he past, his empire was given to his son. William H. Vanderbilt is shown in Document 1, which is an interview with the Chicago Daily News in 1882. It shows how ruthless the Vanderbilt empire truly is. William denounces the public for their use of the limited express, saying that he does not care for anyone's wellbeing other than his own. William Vanderbilt speaks on how railroads are not built for the public but instead for investors, which shows his materialistic nature. This information is coming first hand by William Vanderbilt himself, as he speaks of his consumers as if they
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