The Capitalists Who Shaped Post-Civil War America

956 Words 4 Pages
Accurately established by many historians, the capitalists who shaped post-Civil War industrial America were regarded as corrupt “robber barons”. In a society in which there was a severe imbalance in the dynamics of the economy, these selfish individuals viewed this as an opportunity to advance in their financial status. Thus, they acquired fortunes for themselves while purposely overseeing the struggles of the people around them. Presented in Document A, “as liveried carriage appear; so do barefooted children”, proved to be a true description of life during the 19th century. In hopes of rebuilding America, the capitalists’ hunger for wealth only widened the gap between the rich and poor. During the 1800’s, business leaders who built …show more content…
As the capitalists continued their corruption, “the wealthy class became wealthier; but the poorer class became more dependant. The gulf between the employed and the employer was growing wider” (Document A). Similarly, many actions performed by these capitalists, contributed to the sorrowful lives of many farmers, who were struggling to survive. Pursuing this further, the rich soil of the West was becoming poor, and floods contributed to the problem, and, eventually caused erosion. Beginning in the summer of 1887, a series of droughts forced many people to abandon their farms and towns. As circumstances worsened, farmers were beginning to be controlled by corporations and processors. The farmers were at the mercy of many trusts, which, in turn, could control the productivity and raise prices to high levels. Furthermore, during the late 19th century, many farmers considered monopolies, trusts, railroads, and money shortages as evident threats to their lifestyle. The rise of these monopolies and trusts worried many farmers because they felt that the disappearance of competition would lead to erratic and unreasonable price rises that would harm consumers. Oftentimes, these “robber barons” would prevent competitors from reaching the markets by restricting their ability to transport their goods. In Document E, James B. Weaver wrote of the main weapons of the trust-organized commerce: threats, intimidation, bribery, fraud,
Open Document