How Did Robber Barons Become A Captain Of Industry

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The United States experienced unparalleled growth during the period of time following the Civil War, known as the Gilded Age, with city expansion supported by new and growing industries, railroad expansion, technological inventions, GNP increases, skyscrapers being built, and more. While many view the industrialists of the Gilded Age as Captains of Industry for the way they grew America economically and lifestyles-wise, they were really Robber Barons because of the fraudulent, corrupt actions they took to hurt both their consumers and their laborers. While the Gilded Age industrialists were truly Robber Barons, the way in which they contributed to and improved America's overall lifestyle exhibited that they were also characteristic of Captains …show more content…

One of the greatest threats to the country was the establishment of monopolies in certain industries, and industrialists like John Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company, worked with the specific goal in mind to create a monopoly. For example, with Standard Oil Company, Rockefeller colluded with the railroad industry to have them raise the price of rail shipping for his competitors and in turn give the extra money the railroad companies made to Rockefeller and his company. Therefore, Rockefeller monopolized his industry by having railroads hike their prices for his competitors' shipping which thus increased the price of oil, and at the same time, Rockefeller was able to lower his price with the rail revenue he received, therefore putting all of his competitors out of business and establishing a monopoly. Once a monopoly is established, the company can set the price and has no need to innovate with the absence of competitors, thus harming the country as a whole. While corruption occurred between industrialists, there were also acts of corruption between industrialists and the government itself. For example, gold industrialists Jay Gould and Jim Fisk greatly increased their revenues by stopping the United States Treasury from releasing gold into circulation. As a result, their gold, because there was less gold around, was valued highly and enabled them to make a lot of money off of their corrupt tactics. This not only occurred with Gould and Fisk, but occurred with many industrialists, who, because they funded much of the government, could use the government to do what they wanted, as if the government was their puppet. Additionally, the industrialists acted unfaithfully towards their own workers, the people who struggled to survive daily. In Pullman towns, George

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