Ida Tarbell Case Study

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A. Ida Tarbell was born November 5th 1857 in Erie county, Pennsylvania.Erie County was on the western Frontier of the state, which was the biggest oil field in the country. Her father was a small business oil company driven out of business by Rockefeller standard oil. Tarbell attended Titusville high school, led her class, and got a bachelor degree of arts from Allegheny College in 1880 where she was the only women who graduated in that class. She was just beginning to prove how she could make it in a mans world. She began in the workforce as a teacher, a more traditional women’s career, but then switched professions to writing and editing a magazine for the methodist church. After that she took an interest in Madame Roland of France, who…show more content…
Ida Tarbell was one of the most famous Muckrakers. Muckrakers are reform minded journalists who concentrate social downfalls and political or corporate corruption. IN this case Tarbell decide to go after the large and powerful standard oil company. Rockefeller, who was the leader standard oil used the rapidly changing economic landscape to help his company rise to become a monopolistic trust. Tarbell wrote that these monopolistic trusts was "disturbing and confusing people." A Probable cause for Ida Tarbell to look into the standard oil monopoly over any other was that it was a personal issue to her because Rockefeller, the leader of standard oil, had edged her father out of the prospering business when she was a young girl. “Things were going well in father 's business,” she would write years later. “There was ease such as we had never known; luxuries we had never heard of. ...Then suddenly (our) gay, prosperous town received a blow between the eyes.” The year was 1872 when the blow between the eyes occurred. The south improvement scheme, a hidden agreement between the railroads and refiners led by John Rockefeller, hit the Pennsylvania Oil Region like a tidal wave. This was the way the standard oil cut her father and many other small time oil companies out, creating their powerful monopoly. Tarbell seeked to destroy the standard oil company because of it’s illicit activities. Rockefeller constantly was making illegal deals with railroads, which allowed him to lower the price of his oil, which caused more people to buy the cheaper oil. Since americans wanted the cheapest oil the competitors of standard oil either had to lower the price of their oil causing the small companies to gain no profit, forcing them out of business. Tarbell saw what was happening and recognized how illegal it was to make these under the table deals, which caused middle class small business owners to go jobless. Tarbell’s goal was to stop the use of extortion by giant corporate

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