Robber Baron or Industrial statesmen To what extent is it justified to characterize the industrial leaders of the 1865- 1900 era as either "robber barons" or "industrial statesmen"?

Essay by bigwilly2006A, April 2004

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Downloaded 141 times

In the era following the Civil War, Industrialization had many leaders. These leaders achieved the great feat of booming the growth of the economy and industry of the United States and its citizens to become the leading industrial power in the world. As historians have reviewed their great achievements historians have become critics questioning how honest the fortunes of these leaders were. They pondered the tactics of great leaders such as John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Andrew Carnegie. The morals of these businessmen and their strategies were the leading topic of discussion, whether to classify them as "robber barons" or "industrial statesmen".

Glancing at the achievements of these great figures in history it appears that not only were they entrepreneurs they were generous to the community. John Rockefeller gave $506,816,041.18 to various missionaries, education boards, universities, and foundations before he died in 1937. This may seem like a very generous man, but in the opinions of historians, Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller used these donations to improve their image and to have their names live on forever.

Rockefeller controlled more than 95% of the world oil market. His Standard Oil Company was the monopoly of the oil market. He also earned the label robber baron from his oil monopolies. He used his intelligence to try a new way of oil business to blow the rest of the market away. He started his company by just refining oil. He considered that drilling for "black gold" would cost millions just to find the oil. Once he had enough money he found a way to control all of the oil industry. Instead of having to deal with middleman and payments for shipping he started his own barrels, refineries, pipelines, merchandised his oil, and even had his own fleet of tankers...