John D. Rockefeller

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John D. Rockefeller, born on July 8, 1839, has had a huge impact on the course of American history, his reputation spans from being a ruthless businessperson to a thoughtful philanthropist (Tarbell 41). He came from a family with not much and lived the American dream, rising to success through his own wit and cunning, riding on the backs of none. His legacy is huge, amassing the greatest private wealth of any American in history. Rockefeller’s influence on our country has been both a positive and a negative one, he donated huge sums of money to various public institutions and revolutionized the petroleum industry. Along with all the positives to the country, Rockefeller also had many negative affects as well, including, by gaining his riches by means of a monopoly, often using illegal methods, by giving others a reason to frown upon capitalism, and by hurting smaller businesses.

The first positive affect of John D. Rockefeller was his donations of large sums of money to public institutions. During his lifetime, Rockefeller gave away 540 million dollars (Sicilia 2006). Almost all of his philanthropies occurred after his retirement from Standard Oil. Donations varied from colleges, to churches, to hospitals. With the help of his son and Frederick Gates, the man Rockefeller put in charge of his philanthropies, he was able to help improve the lives of many (Poole 2000).

Rockefeller stayed loyal to his religion throughout his entire life, not forgetting where he came from and how it helped him. Raised as a Baptist from birth, religion always played a large role in Rockefeller’s life and was a part of his upbringing. From the very start of Rockefeller’s working life, he tithed ten percent of his earnings to his church. La...

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...o chance of competing with Standard Oil due to all the tactics they employed to keep their prices low. This ravished small town families and had a similar effect as to what Wal-Mart does to family run shops nowadays. Numerous families living in small town America lost their income because of Standard Oil and forced hardship upon many.

The legacy of John D. Rockefeller shall always live on as he has permanently shaped how this country looks. He has funded huge advancements in the fields of education and medicine along with starting the events to end lassiez-faire economics. The petroleum industry changed greatly during his career thanks to his research and completely new business methods were thought up of by him, some still in practice today. Although the personal opinions of Rockefeller vary greatly, it is a sure thing that he changed the course of America.

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