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. Bill Gates was a wealthy man who might have been greedy and only in for the money. He was also a generous man who employed a lot of people and donated $40 million.
Robber barons, specifically Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist and John D. Rockefeller, a philanthropist, were the chosen, elite members of society according to the doctrine of Social Darwinism. Darwinism is when evolution occurs and the strongest organisms of an ecosystem survive and reproduce to outnumber the weaker, less fit organisms of an ecosystem. Similarly Social Darwinism follows the same concept, but in a capitalist sense of thought. Those who were able to exploit the Gilded Age’s laissez faire economy to their own benefit, like the robber barons Andrew Carnegie of Carnegie Steel and J. D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil, were the fittest members of society because they were able to survive in the grueling and ruthless free economy. By usurping all of the fresh yet unfit immigrants that were flowing into the States due to the rise of urbanization, these two men integrated these easily-manipulated people into their factories to augment their profits. Even further, these robber barons would often ruthlessly eradicate competition by buying out other companies to establish monopolies through the horizontal and vertical integration of production and product.
A “robber baron” is defined as one who uses immoral methods to get rich. John D. Rockefeller, king of oil and the owner of the Standard Oil Company, was known for these unscrupulous tactics. Rockefeller’s peculiar ideas of the “law of nature” in accordance with his “primitive savagery” allowed this stealthy businessman to manipulate his way to the top. Although Rockefeller’s oil monopoly attributed to the wealth of the American economy, he destroyed the morality of modest men to accomplish ultimate power and prestige making him one of the wealthiest industrialists during his time.
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 lifestyles of Andrew
Ida Tarbell became one of the most influential muckrakers of the Gilded age. Ida Tarbell was born in 1857 in western Pennsylvania 's oil region. Her town of Titusville and encompassing territories in the oil river valley had been created into a prosperous industry.Then suddenly this town received a detrimental blow. That blow originated from the South Improvement Company, an enterprise established in 1871 and generally viewed as an exertion by Rockefeller and Standard Oil in Ohio to control the oil and gas ventures in that district.The three top railroads that ran through Cleveland agreed to raise their shipping fees while paying rebates to Rockefeller .Small oil refiners were hurt from these brutal tactics and Ida decided to write “ The History Of Standard Oil Company” which exposed these harsh business practices
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.
There are so many views when considering the industrialists of late 19th century to be captains of industry while others consider them as Robber barons because they like practicing a system called the monopoly. Monopoly . they built huge companies and practice unfair businesses; which make them drive their counterparts out of business; and when they do such things, they are stealing businesses from competitors. Most people refer to them as the king of the American industries during the 19th century. Some viewed them as greedy, unprincipled and corrupt.
John D. Rockefeller was the founder of the Standard Oil Company and became one of the wealthiest men of his time. His company was the major leader of the oil business in the United States during his reign. Standard Oil company served as a prime example of how companies should function, which helped to guide others to follow in his footsteps. He was a major philanthropist and used his large fortune to fund many philanthropic causes. His donations helped pay for the creations of the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller University, the establishment of Central Philippine University, and many others. Many of today’s accomplishments would not have been possible without him and his actions.
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.
John Davison Rockefeller Sr. once stated “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success” (John D. Rockefeller Quotes). John D. Rockefeller was the founder of Standard Oil in which then became one of the wealthiest men in the world. Rockefellers ongoing funding as a philanthropist and trust in oil is how the man's name still lives on to this day (The Rockefeller Archive Center). For thousands of years oil has been a main resource for human consumption, and remains the same. Rockefeller has made an impact on the industrial revolution by changing and monopolizing the oil industry to bigger and better ideas. His funding to major organizations and schools, and motivation towards younger generations to push forward with his
Andrew B. Carnegie was a Robber Baron. He profited from underpaid, undereducated workers. His workers worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week for barely anything, and then he tried to implement a 30% pay reduction. While he sat and did nothing, earning millions, his workers worked tirelessly for hours upon hours and barely earned enough to survive. He was a Robber Baron in the sense that he took advantage of his workers.
In 1913-1914, miners in Southern Colorado, aggravated by low pay, bad working conditions, and an abusive system, voted to stop working and strike. The Colorado Coal Strikers of 1913-1914 endured harsh living conditions, disease, and oppression in order to better their lives. To resume work, the Rockefellers, who owned the mines, hired gunmen to compel miners to stop the strike, accept poor lifestyles, and get back to work. One of the major events of this strike was the The Ludlow Massacre, where miners and their families were massacred in a garish show of power. The Ludlow Massacre was the Rockefellers’ doing. The Rockefellers cheated workers of money, causing strikes and eventually strikebreaking. They also used their power to strongarm the