Robber Barons Rhetorical Analysis

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Howard Zinn argues that the new industrialists such as John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P Morgan adopted business practices that encouraged monopolies and used the powers of the government to control the masses from rebellion in A Peoples History of the United States of America. Rockefeller, Carnegie, and J.P Morgan all became massively wealthy due the spur of innovation, cheap labor, and other practices. Zinn argues that these “robber barons” used sly business tactics to keep their monopolies ahead, such as keeping prices high and wages low, crushing the competition, and getting tax aid from the government and other high level authorities. Zinn uses Rockefeller as evidence for his thesis, stating that he had secret arrangements with railroad companies. (Zinn, 56) Rockefeller made promises to ship his oil with these companies if he got a cheaper rate, which saved money and kept his cost of oil down. This made him the cheapest, and competitors had to sell at higher costs, which would lose them business, and eventually be forced out of business …show more content…
Gordon clearly states that Rockefeller, Morgan, and Carnegie had total control and power over their monopolies. He explains that after the Supreme court forced Rockefeller to split his company into 30 separate ones, his wealth doubled. (Gordon 63) Yes, most of these business mens’ tactics were legal, but they still were extremely aggressive and were often used in spite of the competition. Men like Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Morgan relied on these harsh business tactics to amass their wealth through vertical and horizontal integration in monopolies. Because of these harsh business tactics, as Howard Zinn states in A People’s History of the Untied States, these men built monopolies that had an unfair advantage over their competitions and hence made their owners richer than the world had ever seen

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