Robber Barons or Captains of Industry

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  • Topic: Business magnate, Captain of industry, Andrew Carnegie
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  • Published : May 7, 2012
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Describe the impact of industrialization in the U.S. 1850-1910. Where the early industrialist Captains of Industry or Robber Barons. -Robber Barron: Used to describe a businessman that used ruthless business tactics to amass a huge personal wealth. -Captain of Industry: Used to describe to describe a businessman whose means of amassing their fortune contributes positively to the country in some way.

Industrial Captain vs. Robber Barron
In the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s the United States was changing immensely. There were breakthroughs in technology leading to changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation. At the fore front of these developments were men waiting to jump in. With startup money and determination some would go on to amass a personal fortune larger than the U.S. government itself. Through the use of lower wages, union exterminations, and channeling money towards buildings rather than people, robber barons abused their positions. Industrialists of the time period abused their positions to justify cutting wages through political machines, forcing their employees into twelve hour work days, and firing bottom line workers, in the belief that this was vital for the growth of the United States. They believed that without lowering the wages of their employees, products like steel would not be affordable. However, lowering wages was never an essential measure to make steel affordable; this was all a plot to squeeze any possible revenue from the business. Though I believe that most of the industrialist of this period to be greedy, and unconcerned about anything but wealth I also believe that some of these men meant well and deserve the title of Captain of Industry. One of the captains of industry of 19th century America, Andrew Carnegie helped build the formidable American steel industry, a process that turned a poor young man into one of the richest entrepreneurs of his age. Later in his life, Carnegie sold his steel business and...
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