Industrialists Writing Assignment
The period after the Civil War was set for immense growth in industries. For this period of time, two big industry workers were John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. There’s somewhat of a dispute of how these people should be portrayed. Some people consider them “Robber Barons”, others “Captains of Industry”. A captain of industry is someone who helped people in the country through the business they ran. These two men, in my own opinion, are captains of industry.
John D. Rockefeller formed an oil company that enhanced the whole United States. One of Rockefeller’s needed a way of transporting his goods for a cheaper price, so he negotiated a deal with the railroad company. When he made that deal, he sold more oil, making it easier to undersell his competitors. Rockefeller was a savvy business man. By the end of his life he had over $500 million to establish and provide to charities. His donations played a big role in establishing the University of Chicago. He founded the Rockefeller foundations which gave aid to institutions working in the fields of social research, fine arts, and public health.
Andrew Carnegie came out of humble settings of Scotland. Carnegie worked his whole life to get to where he ended up. In 1889 he established the Carnegie Steel Company. Soon after, his business skyrocketed. Carnegie finally had enough money to buy out other companies. Owning all the phases of production cut his prices tremendously. With him owning so much, other companies couldn’t afford to lower their prices. More than 80% of Carnegie’s profits went towards some type of education. He donated money for free public libraries, supported artistic research and research organizations, and even set up a foundation for the study of how to eliminate war. By the time he died, he gave away over $350 million.
Carnegie and Rockefeller are two examples of what is considered to be captains of industry. Some people saw their tactics as unethical and immoral, but others found them to be clever. To be able to find the loopholes they did, to use them to their advantages. Business people today would do the same thing. Rockefeller and Carnegie wanted to make money, and they did. However, they used the money to boost the nation. They donated money to charities and organizations. I think that is what is considered to be captains of industry.