Robber Barons In The Gilded Age

1821 Words 8 Pages
In the nineteenth-century, the United States transformed from small urban towns to large industrial cities. During those years, the expansion of manufacture opened jobs which resulted in a massive increase in population and urban growth. This large-scale rapid growth of American industrialization has greatly influenced the evolution in transportation, the improvements in technology, and the advancement of industrial leaders. Evidently, American entrepreneurs greatly influenced the historical time of the Gilded Age with their powerful and professional business maintenance. The term “robber barons” came from a group of men who criticized the corrupt and inappropriate methods used by businessmen such as J.J. Hill, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew …show more content…
Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan are indeed “robber barons” because of the methods used to gain their wealth and to rise to the top. These men in power took control of all the natural resources, gained huge influence in the government, destroyed competing companies, sold inflated stock, and only paid extremely low wages to their workers under harsh working environments. According to Howard Zinn, big corporation businessmen have a thing in common: they take control of all the natural resources for themselves. Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan incorporated methods that forced sellers to meet the needs of the buyers. Rockefeller, on the one hand, secretly made deals with the railroads to ship his oil for a discounted price. Ultimately, drove competitors out of business. Carnegie and Morgan took advantage of Congress. Carnegie has Congress set up a high tariff on foreign steel, and Morgan made Congress seal foreign steel from coming in the U.S. These tariffs closed all competition and gave these men authority to maintain a high price on steel for profit. Evidently, J. P. Morgan sold defective rifles to a general on the field during the Civil War for a ridiculously high price. With the rifles defective, it “would shoot off the thumbs of the soldiers using them” (50). Everything if for profit. Although a lot of job opportunities was opened for average Americans, it all came with many consequences. All the workers working under J. P. Morgan was only paid extremely low wages with harsh working environments, and ridiculously long hours. Zinn states that Morgan had “200,000 men [working] twelve hours a day for wages that barely kept their families alive” (51). All these working men were making Morgan rich and richer, while they barely have money to keep their family alive. By being aware of all these devious actions taken upon lives of others for the benefit for themselves just gives me the chills

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