The Capitalists of America

Topics: John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil, Petroleum Pages: 1 (368 words) Published: December 10, 2012
The Capitalist of America during 1875-1900 controlled large businesses like steel making, oil production and the railroads making them some of the most powerful men in the world; the wealth was obtained by using child labor, trying to destroy the middle class and destroying all competition.

John D. Rockefeller took advantage of children in his coal mines to by making them workers called breaker boys. Most breakers were 8-12 year old boys or old men who couldn’t do anything else. Breaker boys removed impurities from coal by picking them out. After working in the mines the boys would get burns from sulfuric acid on the coal. Many of the boys also got lung diseases such as black lung diseases and asthma. Putting kids in dangerous situations that will affect them the rest of their lives proves that John D. Rockefeller is a robber baron. (Document G)

The capitalist built their monopolies by taking over the competition or running the companies out of business. The monopoly owners used many tactics to run the other businesses to the ground. The capitalists paid the railroad shippers to refuse to ship the competitor’s goods. Big businesses like Standard Oil would go to cities that had another oil company selling and set prices lower and lower until the other company could not make a profit anymore and have to close. After the capitalists took over an area they could set the prices on goods as high as they wanted which resulted in people just handing over their money. (Document D)

The monopoly owners wanted to be the richest people in the world which meant they paid their workers very little and charged prices very high.(Document A) With all the dangers John D Rockefeller’s workers dealt with in the mines he only paid them 10 cent per day. The price of oil in the 1885 to 1910 was anywhere from 60 to 90 cents per gallon. Monopoly owners made could make large profits from oil because of cheap labor.

The trust owners of the 19th century have been called robber...
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