Robber barons, famously known for their ruthless means of acquiring wealth back in the late nineteenth century. They were awful. They were complete menaces to society and only ever created wealth for themselves. Or, at least that 's what is commonly taught in high school American history classes, but author Burton Folsom Jr. offers an unique alternative perspective in his book, The Myth of the Robber Barons. He provides a closer look at the results achieved by these infamous robber barons to give insight into what actually happened in the wake of these entrepreneurs’ conducted business. Folsom uses seven chapters on separate industries ran by robber barons to show, at least from an overall economic view, The United States experienced a gross net benefit by the existence of robber barons.
The Great Depression is probably one of the most misunderstood events in American history. It is routinely cited, as proof that unregulated capitalism is not the best in the world, and that only a massive welfare state, huge amounts of economic regulation, and other interventions can save capitalism from itself. The Great Depression had important consequences and was a devastating event in America, however many good policies and programs became available as a result of the great depression, some of which exist even today.
In the 19th century, the Gilded age was this period of time when America looked like this massive productive country. What people do not know was that in the inside they were this suffering country that had massive poverty and thousands of people without jobs. America was filled with industrialists which are also called Robber Barons. Robber Barons were these people who basically stole fortunes by having their employees work 12 hour days, 7 days a week and getting paid about 15 cents an hour. Andrew Carnegie was a really wealthy businessman who made steel. Carnegie made millions of dollars but in the end he still paid his workers very little. His employees worked long hard days and at the end of the day they got paid hardly nothing. These workers also worked in bad conditions and some of the workers were kids and they were having them do some of the really hard dangerous work. According to a US history author “They received no health benefits, no vacation, and suffered from periodic layoffs because of downturns in the business cycle( The Gilded age pg. 1) The 19th century during the Gilded age most of the big business men where these guys who had massive amounts of money and yet they pay their workers really low wages with bad conditions.
Although some of these criticisms are well founded, men like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller were, in fact, Captains of Industry because they employed millions and created new ways of doing business. Before all these industrialists can along, America was just another country that had little significance to the world. If it was not for them, we as a nation would not be where we are today. The industrialists prospered mainly due to their wit, and the many innovations that they brought to their various fields of business. They created monopolies because they were the most effective forms of enterprise, and there were no laws that prohibited or restricted their use. As John D. Rockefeller himself said, "I believe in the spirit of combination and cooperation when properly conducted .It helps to reduce waste, and waste is a dissipation of power."(Danzer 424) Critics say that these men ruthlessly took over their fields of business, and "did not play fair". What's wrong with striving for success? What's wrong with being efficient? What's wrong with making a product that no one can equal? What's wrong with besting your competitors? Nothing.
J.P. Morgan was considered by many a robber baron, and there are many reasons for this. Pierpont was the richest man in the world in the early nineteenth century, he got to that position by doing things that nowadays would be considered as shady. He owned the biggest monopolistic business ever owned, that means that
During the 19th Century, businessmen creating large businesses titled “Captain of Industry”, Captain of Industry is a phrase that is sometimes used to describe business people who are especially successful and powerful. Yet were also titles “Robber Baron” meaning some were wealthy people who tries to get land, businesses, or more money in a way that is dishonest or wrong.
James Buchanan Duke was a tobacco and electric power industrialist in the mid-1800s and early 1900s. Duke would not be considered a robber baron due to the fact that he took advantage of the opportunity to sell his own tobacco after the Civil War was over and the tobacco business wasn’t thriving. He also did so without being evil or dishonest.
During the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, both robber barons and captains of industry were terms used to place businessmen into a good or bad category. The term robber baron is a representation of industrialist who used manipulative methods in order to reach enormous quantities of wealth. Some characteristics of robber barons were: they depleted America of its valuable resources, forced authority to pass laws that would work in there favor, make opponents in the industry go out of business, and force laborers to work in hazardous circumstances with little pay. The term captains of industry meant the exact opposite, these businessmen did positive things in order to reach enormous quantities of wealth. Some characteristics of captains of industry were: they constructed factories to make the accessibility of goods rise, increased production, developed markets, gave to charity, and created more jobs with generous pay. While many historians believe that the industrialist of the 19th century were captains of industry there are others that would object and say that they were indeed robber barons. Would you consider the great industrialist of the 19th century to be robber barons or would you consider them as captains of the industry?
Captains of industry were defined as the business leaders whose means of amassing a personal fortune contributed positively to the country or society in some way. Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller were considered to be captains of industry because with their profits from either their steel company or standard oil company, they give back to the society instead of themselves. They believed in the idea that people give in to you, in which you must give out as well. They established many charitable foundations that allowed them to become well known philanthropist and made them distinguishable from the rubber barons.
True, Andrew Carnegie and John D Rockefeller may have been the most influential businessmen of the 19th century, but was the way they conducted business proper? To fully answer this question, we must look at the following: First understand how Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller changed the market of their industries. Second, look at the similarities and differences in how both men achieved domination. Third and lastly, Look at how both men treated their workers and customers in order achieve the most possible profit for their company.
On February 9th, 1859, editor of the New York Times, Henry Raymond, pronounced something unusual about Cornelius Vanderbilt. Raymond disliked Vanderbilt, a steamship magnate with such an extensive convoy that he was commonly known as the Commodore, the highest position in the US Navy. In the article “Your Money of Your Line,” Raymond attacked Vanderbilt for stealing a substantial monthly payment from the Pacific Mail Steamship Company which was in exchange for Vanderbilt’s preceding antagonism on the sea lanes to California. Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Morgan fit into the concept of the Gilded Age because they all embody the ideas of robber barons or captains of industry. These individuals all helped to create the huge corporation
Andrew Carnegie. Who was he? Was he just a robber baron or a captain of industry. Andrew was a self made Entrepreneur in the late 1800s. He was the owner of the Carnegie Steel Company which monopolized the steel industry. In 1889 he wrote the famous “Gospel of Wealth” which made the use of libraries to give to the worthy poor that were smart to use them. He also gave away 350 million dollars. On the other side Carnegie’s steel workers were treated poorly by long working hours and reduced wages. He also gave support to the plant manager Henry Frick who hired Pinkerton thugs to intimidate workers on strike and many were killed in the conflict. Andrew Carnegie was sometimes saw as a robber baron taking others money to give away not spending his own money On the other hand people saw him as a captain of industry giving to the worthy poor with libraries and millions of dollars.
A "robber baron" was someone who employed any means necessary to enrich themselves at the expense of their competitors. Did John D. Rockefeller fall into that category or was he one of the "captains of industry", whose shrewd and innovative leadership brought order out of industrial chaos and generated great fortunes that enriched the public welfare through the workings of various philanthropic agencies that these leaders established? In the early 1860s Rockefeller was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, who came to epitomize both the success and excess of corporate capitalism. His company was based in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Write a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation of Documents A–H and your knowledge of the period to answer the following question: