Реферат: Rockefeller Essay Research Paper The Robber BaronsAmerican

Rockefeller Essay, Research Paper

The Robber Barons

American History 8th

February 10, 1997

When the names Carnagie, Rockefeller, and Pullman come to mind,

most of us automatically think of what we saw or read in our history

books: “These men were kind and generous and through hard work and

perseverance, any one of you could become a success story like them,”

right? Wrong. I am sick of these people being remembered for the two or

three “good deeds” they have done. Publicity and media have exaggerated

the generosity of these men, the government has spoiled these names with

false lies, and people have been blind to see that these men were

ruthless, sly businessmen who were motivated by your money and their

struggle for power.

George M. Pullman is best remembered for his contributions to the railroad

industry through the invention of his Pullman Cars. The cars sold well

and the railroad industry flourished with this new invention. Although

the success attached to his name, not many people know the real truth

behind this robber baron. His greed for money took him to extreme

measures as his workers were seriously mistreated and put under strict

restrictions. For instance, every worker had to live in his village

(Pullman, IL) and under no circumstances was anyone allowed to leave. The

people had to buy from his store, pay him rent, and attend work every day.

People who did not abide were heavily penalized by their name being

written on black book (which meant that this worker couldn t get a job in

any other industrial field). How many history books teach such in-depth

details like these?

Another prime example of the acts of a robber baron can be seen through

the actions of John D. Rockefeller. A picture in my history book shows a

group of people watching an old Rockefeller crouch over to accept a flower

from a little girl. The caption reads “John D. Rockefeller, American

industrialist and philanthropist, is caught doing one of his good deeds.”

No wonder that only a handful of people can t distinguish that this old

man was a crock and deserves to rot in hell! With all this positive media

attention, the public had been fed lies! In real life, this money hungry,

greedy villain is the prime reason why the Sherman Antitrust Act was

passed. Rockefeller s dream was to monopolize the oiling industry, and he

so successfully did. Because of his great empire (the Standard Oil Co.)

and the wealth it brought, when any other competitor tried even to step

foot into the oiling industry, Rockefeller dropped his prices until the

rookie industry was forced out. After he!

regained monopoly, he then jacked up the prices. Sure, the people were

mad, but what could they do? Many other industries depended on the oil

that Rockefeller provided and besides, the Sherman Antitrust Act couldn t

be enforced with these big businesses growing larger and larger.

He donated over 2500 libraries worldwide, he helped establish the famous

concert hall in New York, and he helped finance several colleges in the

US. Can you guess who he is? Yes! Andrew Carnagie. Now how about this

person: In the early 1900s, in order to maintain control of the steel

industry, he bought out rival plants, he ran a self running holding

company which bough stock in itself in order to buy control of the

industry, and he also hired children (as young as 9 years old) to work

twelve hours a day under harsh, dangerous conditions and paid them the

lowest wages possible. Can you guess who he is now? As a matter of fact

it is our “American Hero” Andrew Carnagie! Carnagie did, for a fact, hire

children because they were “cheaper”; yet these same children were

sometimes required to run swing shifts which meant occasional 24 hour work


It all too much of a commonality that these robber barons all share some

of the same traits: ruthlessness, mistreatment of their workers, greed for

money and power, and a Machiavelian way of doing business. With these

traits in mind, who can consider these men heroes? It s the government

and the big businesses which want us to think that way. It can only be

them who portray these wicked as saints. But I am educated, and through

research and learning, I am thoroughly convinced that the people who our

America looks up to and admires, are a bunch of villains.

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