Monopolies In The 19th Century

812 Words 4 Pages
Prevailing ideas of the Liberty of Contract, or Freedom of Contract, affected the late 19th century American Society in many ways. One being that it created monopolies. Monopolies interfered by limiting the competition that the Liberty of Contract sits on. Through vertical and horizontal integration, industries get bought out which leads to fewer or no contracts, and that in turn creates a class society. Law favored big businesses and the wealthy were benefited from the state. When a person signs the Liberty of Contract, they are agreeing that no one is at fault. The courts agree that claims cannot be made which allows businesses to grow.
During the Civil War, the government handed out money and investments, creating a capital. Capitalists
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Their ability to ownership lies within their ability to make contracts. People believed that through competition and without interference by government, they could rise and gain freedom. This was not the case though and contrary to what the Freedom of Contract is supposed to be, it really is something different. In reality, the society was filled with hypocrisy and propaganda. The rich wanted to stay rich and to do that, they needed the poor to believe a few things. They needed them to think that everyone had equal opportunity and that they were a classless society. This is untrue though since through monopolies an upper and lower class was formed and the wealthy were being benefited by the state- which goes against the idea of a hands off government. The upperclass needed the lower to believe that America was growing but they still needed to live the same way in the new age because it was good for progress and that this was all happening naturally. Again untrue because it was not natural. With businesses being bought out and competition dwindling, it became that much harder for workers to make contracts which made it nearly impossible for them to own land and get freedom. The lower class never had a chance to get out and become wealthy but they did not realize what was happening due to the propaganda in advertisements, schools, and

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