Captains of Industry

Topics: Capitalism, John D. Rockefeller, Industry Pages: 3 (821 words) Published: October 18, 2010
Captains of Industry
Since the time of its birth, the United States has been a democracy that was pieced together by the beliefs and ideas of different people. This has resulted in a system in which nothing can be classified as “black or white” and there are many areas of gray. Therefore, it is difficult to label anything as a singular extreme. This is the case for the leaders of the industrial period. While they made unusual advancements that greatly helped the public, they also caused many problems that proved to be quite harmful. While the Industrialists of the late 19th Century were indeed Captains of Industry, they were only able to reach that level by using the power they obtained. More often than not, America’s capitalists are accused of being the “robber barons” of industrial America. The myth is that these men took advantage of a naïve and growing economy and collected its benefits without giving anything in return. True, the majority of America was poor in relation to the few high-class people, but the idealist efforts and contributions of these men cannot be denied. If not for these men and their efforts, there would have been no one to spread the road to America’s industrial control. 

Successful capitalists of the late 1800s were referred to as “robber barons” because of the common belief that they were responsible for the farmers’ grievances. The weapon of these “robber barons” was the trusts created to gear economic power and domination toward these men. True, these men did utilize trusts and methods such as horizontal and vertical unification. However, if these men did not create such methods to harness the industry, there would have been no other alternative for America as a whole to grow. The South had already proved that dependence on a one-crop economy was a failing gamble, and all other adaptations were too primitive and needed these men’s wealth and power to grow anyway. 

The laboring class argues that work conditions were...
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