The late 19th century was full of growth, production, and business. People were craving power and seemed to achieve this through any means necessary. Consequently, a new business elite formed consisting of the richest men alive. The way in which these individuals acquired all their profits is something very contradictory even over one-hundred years later. Some historians characterize these businessmen as “robber barons” who used extreme methods to control and concentrate wealth and power, and being supported by multiple sources, this statement is justified but only to some extent.
The Captains of Industry were certainly one of the most important factors in the development of United States in the period directly after the Civil War. While there is some merit to the argument that the industrial leaders were Robber Barons that did more harm than good, their contributions to American society clearly outweigh those negatives. The Captains of Industry quite literally revolutionized the American way of life that gave the U.S. the highest standard of living in the world prior to the outbreak of World War I. This was made possible due to the emergence of corporations in areas such as finance, steel, oil, and railroads. When these men combined with other factors, such as the mechanization of agriculture, immigration, migration,
Thesis : After the Civil War, America was in a post-war boom. During the 1870-1890, big business moguls, such as Rockefeller and Carnegie, create huge corporations which not only affected the economy, but also affected the political realm of America. While many may assume that during the rise of these big business helped to change the economy and politics, the real focus was on the responses formed by society, such as labor unions, increase public outcry, and political opposition groups that helped to change society. A: Economically, big business flourished during the late 1800s.
After the Civil War, the Second Industrial Revolution was established due to America’s rapid growth for industry and economics. Capitalists during the industrial period of 1875-1900’s were either accused of being a robber baron or a captain of industry. Some capitalists leaders who were accused of being a robber baron or captain of industry included J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew W. Mellon, and John D. Rockefeller. A robber baron is a business leader who gets rich through cruel and scandalous business practices. The captains of industry is a business leader who wants to better the companies in a way that it would be positively contributing to the country.
Robber Barons and Captains of Industry Some might believe that the businessmen of the Gilded age are robber barons because of how some of them treated their workers and spent their money. The businessmen of the Gilded Age were captains of industry because of the impact that they made on the country. Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan, and Vanderbilt all have done things that can identify them as captains of industry. These businessmen gave their time and effort to help the economy grow.
Was Cornelius Vanderbilt a Robber Baron or Captain of Industry? A cruel businessman or an industrious leader? Henry J. Raymond believed that Vanderbilt was “a monopolist that crushed other competitors”(T.J Stiles). While he is also deemed one of America’s leading businessmen, and is also credited for helping shape the United States. His fortunes were made unfairly in some cases but his million dollar contribution to the Navy was very generous.
During the Industrial Revolution big businesses took places of small workshops, increasing to quantity but not quality. This made many people lose their jobs, and now there was only one place to work the factories. Ahead of these factories were big business owners, some born into money others worked their way up to it like Andrew Carnegie. Work at these factories became unsafe and the pay was bad, they could only blame one person and that was the owners.
During the late 19th century, there was a growth in industrialization. This brought new opportunities for the poor and the rich. For example, Carnegie helped build the steel industry in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, which made him one of the richest man in the world. As Carnegie gained more wealth, he questioned who money should be given to. Carnegie was both a Robber Baron and a Captain of Industry.
During the period of 1870 to 1900 large corporations, such as the railway company, grew significantly in size, number, and influence. The cause of this was the need for a new way of transportation, the demand was great so the railways expanded all over the United States so that they could meet these demands. These large corporations affected the economy by making it easier to pay for everyday chores, politics in the way that it gave politicians too much power but in doing so gave normal limited power. The corporations had great power and influence which made them a huge impact to society.
Most of these people were Robber Barons who had a monopoly. Vanderbilt started off in the steamboat industry as a young man, and was known as being fierce and ruthless. When Vanderbilt grew up, he created his monopoly in the railroad company. He closed off New York to any railroad company until they would give up and sell him the tracks around New York.
In the late 1800’s, J.P Morgan, John Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie had a negative impact on society because they were Robber Barons. They treated their workers very poorly in a way that should not have happened. J.P Morgan forced his workers to labor under harsh conditions for long hours and low pay. This is coming from a guy who has made millions of dollars and who has started a 60 million dollar business. Knowing how much money he has and how very little he pays his workers shows how ruthless he is as a business owner.
During the 19th century, industrialization impacted the United States in many way. Industrialists, like John D. Rockefeller, owned or were involved in management of an industry. At the time, these agents were considered a “Robber Baron,” while others were considered a “Captain of Industry.” However, many were considered good because they were philanthropists. John D. Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839, in Richford, New York.
The industrial revolution brought many great inventions and innovations into the world, especially to America, the new world. The United States had many resources available and more importantly for Americans could utilize them for the nations gain. Many businessmen took advantage of this opportunity by building up their businesses and wealth to a standard that many people still look to as a standard of greatness. Many historians have their take on how the men of the industrial revolution changed not only America, but the rest of the world as well. Authors, Charles Morris, Matthew Josephson, and James Nuechterlein point out to historians that the world is full of many different angles and ideas that one can view regarding the Robber Barons or the successful men of the industrial revolution.
The period between 1865 to 1900, also known as the Gilded Age, was an era of rapid industrialization, immigration, and capitalization in America. After the civil war, previously used factories remained and flourished as manufacturing started to replace farming; which was possible due to vast immigration from Southern and Eastern part of Europe. With an available cheap labor source, businesses rose to great heights, and competition thrived. While companies thrived, working laborers and citizens suffered. Because industrial statesman expanded wealth and created opportunities, but also exploited workers, disrupted competition, and manipulated factors of production, it is justified to characterize the industrial leaders of the Gilded age as both
The Business aspect thrived but was faulty. The term “robber barons” was coined to describe men who’d utilize malevolent tactics such as fraud, intimidation and networking to amass wealth and be at the top of the throne competitively. Men that fit the categorization of robber barons include Carnegie and Rockefeller. They were able to build monopolies and but contrary to a robber baron they did practice philanthropy. In addition to this, was also social Darwinism defining the classes.