Robber Barons

Topics: Monopoly, Standard Oil, John D. Rockefeller Pages: 2 (576 words) Published: June 3, 2001
The Robber Barons, as they were called, were the kings of American Industry and American Society during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Rich beyond the average man's wildest dreams, these industrialists were often criticized for their philosophies and their ways of making money. Robber Barons can also be viewed as immoral, greedy, and corrupt, and the evidence to support such a view is not difficult to find. Bribery, illegal business practices, and cruelty to workers were not uncommon in this period, and many of the most respected industrialists were also the most feared and hated. Many people consider Rockefeller a robber of industry because of his forcible ways of gaining his monopolies. Rockefeller was fond of buying out small and large competitors. If the competitors refused to sell they often found Rockefeller cutting the prices of his Standard Oil or in the worst cases, their factories mysteriously blowing up. Rockefeller was obsessed with controlling the oil market and used many of undesirable tactics to flush his competitors out of the market. Rockefeller was also a master of the rebate game. He was one of the most dominant controllers of the railroads. He was so good at the rebate that at some times he skillfully commanded the rail road to pay rebates to his standard oil company on the traffic of other competitors. He was able to do this because his oil traffic was so high that he could make or break a section of a railroad a railroad company by simply not running his oil on their lines. Another one of Rockefellers earlier mentioned but not explained tactics was his horizontally integrated monopoly. Rockefeller used this horizontal monopoly to set prices and force his competitors to merge with him.

He was one of the many millionaires of his time that used bribery and like to aid his quest for wealth. He was also know for exploiting his workers and for over charging customers in his early steam boat days. Hill's worst two offenses were...
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