Robber Barons

Topics: John D. Rockefeller, Incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison Pages: 2 (487 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Savannah Noss
Period 1

Robber Barons, a term used in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to describe a businessman who made an enormous amount of money, today we would call them billionaires. It was not really the fact they made a myriad of wealth, it was more the way they made it. In all the cases the acquiring of wealth was done in what was considered a ruthless manor and unscrupulous ways. A robber baron was more interested in acquiring wealth than the safety of his employees, the amount of work hours performed in a week, or the amount of wage being paid for a days work.

A great example of a robber baron would be Andrew Carnegie. The robber baron of the steel industry. He was instrumental in starting the 72 hour work week, paying out less than fair wages and having dangerous working conditions. Andrew Carnegie cornered the market on the steel industry and made the first high rise building. He was the only business in his field, therefore, he could set his prices and up his profits.

The robber barons were known for their business tactics that would enable them to amass a wealth by monopolies. They would corner the market on a product or service and make it almost impossible to get, accept through them. One thing that robber barons of today and yesterday have in common is monopolies. If at all possible, the robber baron or billionaire as we call them today, would try to corner the entire market on their product or service, making it difficult for competition in their particular industry. A second robber baron of that time was John D. Rockefeller. The robber baron of the oil industry. Rockefeller monopolized the oil industry with Standard Oil Company. When Edwin Drake discovered oil in 1859, Rockefeller saw the future. He introduced techniques that completely reshaped the oil industry. He used all of his methods to reduce the price of oil to his consumers. His profits soared and his competitors were crushed one by one. Rockefeller

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