The Robber Barons: American Capitalists of the Late Nineteenth Century Essay by Winston

The Robber Barons: American Capitalists of the Late Nineteenth Century
This is an examination and critical evaluation of the 'Robber Barons' of the late 1800s.
# 4941 | 2,590 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | BE


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This paper is an evaluation of the legendary 'Robber Barons,' the American capitalists of the late 1800s, and their short and long-term impact on American society. The paper looks at men like Carnegie, Rockefeller and Gould and tries to determine whether they were good or evil men. The author looks at whether their actions caused permanent harm to America, or whether they helped to build the powerful industrial state we live in today.

From the Paper:

"Finally, if these men were truly "robber barons," I do not think they would have disposed of such vast amounts of their "stolen" wealth in positive ways through philanthropy. One cannot ignore the endowments and gifts that some of the early capitalists made that continue to benefit many in the world to this day. Carnegie gave away over $350 million for a large variety of projects, almost all of his wealth, before he died. Rockefeller unleashed $550 million, focusing on medical research that resulted in a treatment for meningitis and a vaccine for Yellow Fever. Both men gave freely to educational endeavors. Josephson touches on this in discussing the generosity of the robber barons, but calls the many millions given (billions in today's money) as attempts to "extend their sway over the social order" and to control higher education and the freedom of expression (324-325). The fact that a fair number of these men did attempt at times to help their fellow man with their riches, led religious and moral personal lives outside of their businesses, and rose from the same poor stock as the rest of their countrymen needs to be taken into account, and Josephson's bitter dismissal of their philanthropy ignores the simple fact that more good came from this generosity than bad."

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APA Format

The Robber Barons: American Capitalists of the Late Nineteenth Century (2003, February 11) Retrieved August 08, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/essay/the-robber-barons-american-capitalists-of-the-late-nineteenth-century-4941/

MLA Format

"The Robber Barons: American Capitalists of the Late Nineteenth Century" 11 February 2003. Web. 08 August. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/essay/the-robber-barons-american-capitalists-of-the-late-nineteenth-century-4941/>

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