Two men who have been called robber barons were Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller

Essay by AbsolutFlipsCollege, UndergraduateA-, September 2007

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Business TycoonsWith the end of the Civil War, America was ripe for economic expansion. Land, resources, and cheap labor were plentiful. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, industries began to bloom across the United States. Robber barons saw opportunities for mobilizing large capital and for building large businesses. The so-called "robber barons" grabbed those opportunities. Two men who have been called robber barons were Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Both started with very little in life, but went on to achieve fortunes. These tycoons built industry empires that impacted American society, not only for allowing economic business growth but also affected our society by giving back through charities and philanthropic work.

At age thirteen, Carnegie went to work as in a cotton mill (Kennedy). He then moved rapidly through a succession of jobs with Western Union and the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1865, he resigned to establish his own business enterprises and eventually organized the Carnegie Steel Company, which launched the steel industry in Pittsburgh.

Andrew Carnegie ultimately made his fortune in steel, changing the industrial world in the process. He introduced the Bessemer steel making process to America. Because Carnegie owned the iron-ore deposits that furnished the raw materials for steelmaking, as well as the ships and railroads that transported these supplies to his mills he was able to run his company with greater efficiency, it was a process called vertical integration. This enabled the company to achieve greater efficiencies than any other manufacturing industry of the time.

By the time of his death in 1919, Andrew Carnegie had given away over $350 million to provide more than 2,500 free public libraries throughout the world. (Powell).

Carnegie Steel Company, he controlled about 25 percent of the American iron and steel production. In 1901 he sold...