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Robber Barons and the Gilded Age

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 12:09 AM
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Did the Robber Barons and the Gilded Age of the 1890’s and early 20th

Century have a negative impact on 21st Century Corporate America today?

Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan, and Vanderbilt all had something in common, they were all “Robber Barons,” whose actions would eventually lead to the corruption, greed, and economic problems of Corporate America today.   During the late 19th century, these men did all they could to monopolize the railroad, petroleum, banking, and steel industries, profiting massively and gaining a lot personally, but not doing a whole lot for the common wealth.   Many of the schemes and techniques that are used today to rob people of what is rightfully theirs, such as pensions, stocks, and even their jobs, were invented and used often by these four men.

Andrew Carnegie, the monopolist of the steel industry, was one of the worst of the Robber Barons.   Like the others, he was full of contradictions and tried to bring peace to the world, but only caused conflicts and took away the jobs of many factory workers.   Carnegie Steel, his company, was a main supplier of steel to the railroad industry.   Working together, Carnegie and Vanderbilt had created an industrial machine so powerful, that nothing stood in its path.   This is much similar to how Microsoft has monopolized the computer software industry by eliminating competition and using questionable means of obtaining their place on the hierarchy of corporations in the business world.  

J.P. Morgan was one of the more selfish of the barons.   He once said, “I owe nothing to the public, and often practiced fraud and distortion.   His methods of monopolizing the banking industry were so obvious, that they were in fact called, “Morganization.”   He once sold 5,000 defective rifles to General Fremont, and was never even filed suit against.   Morgan still has an impact today since many companies produce faulty products or perform inadequate services that can sometimes...


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