Zinn And The Pageant Case Study

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Compare the perspectives of both Zinn and Pageant on the government 's attempt to curb big businesses’ corruption. In comparing, evaluate the commitment government had on curbing big businesses’ corruption. After the Civil War, the United State of America underwent an industrial revolution. More and more machines were used in factories; steel production rose significantly and helped build railroads and infrastructure; oil started to light streets and homes; and various other innovations increased efficiency and impacted everyone’s lives. In this process, many multimillionaires emerged and owners of large businesses started exploiting their power and bribed the government for favorable legislation in return. This led to more support for government…show more content…
Both Zinn and the Pageant argued that the American government supported the big businesses, and it also took part in the corruption of these businesses. In Zinn’s chapter, we see that Daniel Drew and Jay Gould bribed the New York legislature to make their grossly inflated value of stock on the Erie Railroad legal. Similarly, as seen in the American Pageant, insiders of the Union Pacific Railroad Company formed the Crédit Mobilier construction company whose members profited a lot by bribing congressmen to look the other way. Both these pieces of evidence from Zinn and the Pageant reveal that large businesses joined forces with the government and courts to maximize their profits through corruption, and the government did not attempt to curb the corruption of these businesses. This also highlights the similarity of the perspectives of Zinn and the Pageant because according to the both of them, the government and court officials were also corrupt and collaborated with the businesses to gain more money, which is seen in the numerous bribes that the government took in exchange for favorable legislation and higher profits in both of the chapters. Therefore, the government of the United States did not help restrict big businesses’…show more content…
Nevertheless, Zinn and the Pageant disagreed about the effectiveness of government legislation. Zinn believed that the government legislation was unsuccessful; however, the Pageant argued that the legislation, though somewhat ineffective, was a good attempt to curb big businesses’ corruption. According to Zinn, the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 was intended to supervise the railroads; nonetheless, the act was only used to satisfy the public’s support for government regulation of railroads, but it never actually accomplished anything. It only made railroads more popular because the citizens believed that it was more regulated, when in reality, it was not. Moreover, another government legislation, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, was supposed to protect trade and commerce and make monopolies illegal. However, the Court interpreted the Act in a way that made it harmless, and instead used it go against interstate strikes, since they restricted trade, revealing how unsuccessful the government legislation was at curbing businesses’ corruption. On the other hand, according to the Pageant, the Interstate Commerce Act, though not revolutionary, helped stabilize the businesses. The Pageant felt that the Act was still a significant red-letter law, and it did prove to be a good stepping stone for an effective legislation that curbed corruption. Furthermore, the Pageant believed that even though the Sherman Anti-Trust Act had legal loopholes, it still threatened the power of the
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