In hopes of rebuilding America, the capitalists’ hunger for wealth only widened the gap between the rich and poor. During the 1800’s, business leaders who built their affluence by stealing and bribing public officials to propose laws in their favor were known as “robber barons”. J.P. Morgan, a banker, financed the restructuring of railroads, insurance companies, and banks. In addition, Andrew Carnegie, the steel king, disliked monopolistic trusts. Nonetheless, ruthlessly destroying the businesses and lives of many people merely for personal profit; Carnegie attained a level of dominance and wealth never before seen in American history, but was only able to obtain this through acts that were dishonest and oftentimes, illicit.
Andrew Carnegie built the biggest steal business in the world. One main reason why steel was in such demand was due to the expansion of railroads. Before steel, railroads ran on weak iron, which would crack and brake. By 1900, Carnegie Steel earned a whopping $40 million a year (Roark, 547). Carnegie believed that big businesses such as this actually improved the overall wellbeing of the nation- rich and poor.
were the causes of the crash because America had many more influences than government not intervening and they were involved with a lot of things and people and would come out on the other side biting more than they could chew during the depression. Inequality was a big problem in America and the workers were always at the bottom of the pecking order when it came to wealth. Economies that are doing well are economies that have even distribution of wealth amongst its people. However, this wasn’t the case in America during the seven fat years. Industrialists dominated the economy during the twenties.
Railroad companies used rebates to win over the large business owners and made up the loss in profit by charging smaller shippers way more. During the last twenty years of the nineteenth century, farmers considered monopolies, trusts, railroad, and loss in silver backed dollar as threats to their agrarian lifestyle. Overall, the farmers blamed their problems on two things; the money supply, and the railroads which were valid complaints. The expansion of the railroad was one of the most significant elements in American economic growth. However, the railroad owners faced extreme competition and needed a way to win business.
He turned those wastes into objects that would be useful elsewhere, and in return, he amassed a large amount of wealth. He sold so much “waste” that railroad companies were desperate to be a part of his company. However, Rockefeller demanded rebates, or discounted rates, from the railroad companies, when they asked to be involved with his business. By doing so, Rockefeller was able to lower the price of oil to his customers, and pay low wages to his workers. Using these methods,
Railroads emerged rapidly and so did the scandals. Cruel, manipulative people dominated the country with their big businesses. Corporations came about, along with stock to raise money for them. The more money the corporation could raise through stock the closer they were to achieve economies of scale. Big businesses would sometimes come close to becoming monopolies that controlled the whole market.
By dissolving powerful corporate trusts, Theodore Roosevelt desired the ability to allow all Americans a chance at success. However, corrupt trusts had gone against Roosevelt’s belief in helping people in need. Not only were they making life hard for the working class, some trusts greedily made millions of dollars from controlling every part of their desired industry. For instance, John D. Rockefeller, owner of Standard Oil, owned the land, drilling companies, pipelines, refineries, gas stations, and almost all the oil in America. Additionally, monopoly owners nationally raised prices such as docking wages and railroad rates just to get an extra million in their bank accounts.
The big business people in the late 19th century consisted of top business magnates like rail road barons Vanderbilt, Tom Scott, James Hill, and Jay Gould, Oil baron Rockefeller, and financial baron J.P Morgan; all believed that competition was ruinous and demoralizing, and that competition destroys order. Such was the belief that competition destroyed order that companies sought to control every aspect of business. The period of big business commenced when business visionaries began to combine companies and create powerful corporations. These corporations grew a lot, up to the point in where corporations would dominate a significantly large percentage of a particular market. This significance of this is: the few most capable corporations dictate the prices of certain items in a market!
Is America going to collapse due to our economic inequality? During the second major industrialization, extreme wealth hit America and monopolies were born in the business world as well as more defined classes based on wealth. Robber barons like Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Rockefeller held a new kind of wealth, owning industries while the workers under them lived in the slums of the city. Modern day America has founded laws against monopolies and such, but we are seeing the three standard American classes of wealth, upper, middle and lower, change. The upper class becoming wealthier, the middle class disappearing and joining the ever growing lower class.
The Robber Barons, as they were called, were the kings of American Industry and American Society during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Rich beyond the average man's wildest dreams, these industrialists were often criticized for their philosophies and their ways of making money. Robber Barons can also be viewed as immoral, greedy, and corrupt, and the evidence to support such a view is not difficult to find. Bribery, illegal business practices, and cruelty to workers were not uncommon in this period, and many of the most respected industrialists were also the most feared and hated. Many people consider Rockefeller a robber of industry because of his forcible ways of gaining his monopolies.