Industrial Leaders of the 1865-1900 Era: Robber Barons or Industrial Statesmen?

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D B Q PAGE 353 Write a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation of Documents A–H and your knowledge of the period to answer the following question: To what extent is it justified to characterize the industrial leaders of the 1865–1900 era as either “robber barons” or “industrial statesmen”? DOCUMENT A. Q: How is the freight and passenger pool working?
W.V.: Very satisfactorily. I don’t like that expression “pool,” how- ever, that’s a common construction applied by the people to a combi- nation which the leading roads have entered into to keep rates at a point where they will pay dividends to the stockholders. The railroads are not run for the benefit of the “dear public”—that cry is all nonsense—they are built by men who …show more content…

While the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department. We welcome, therefore, as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of envi- ronment, the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few; and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race. Andrew Carnegie, “Wealth,” North American Review, 1889 DOCUMENT D. It is clear that trusts are contrary to public policy and hence in conflict with the common law. They are monopolies organized to destroy competition and restrain trade. . . . It is contended by those interested in trusts that they tend to cheapen production and diminish the price of the article to the consumer. . . . Trusts are speculative in their purpose and formed to make money. Once they secure control of a given line of business, they are masters of the situation and can dictate to the two great classes with which they deal—the producer of the raw material and the consumer of the finished product. They limit the price of the raw material so as to impoverish the producer, drive him to a single market, reduce the price of every class of labor connected with the trade, throw out of employment large numbers of persons who had before been engaged in a meritorious calling and finally . . . they increase the price to the

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