Robber Barons or Captains of Industry? (Lecture 11/4)

Captains of Industry yo!

  • John D. Rockefeller - Oil - "Standard Oil" Company
  • Andrew Carnegie - Steel
  • J.P. Morgan - Financier/banker
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt (and family) - Railroads

Defense of Wealth

  • Trickle-down economics
  • Social Darwinism (survival of the fittest)
  • Rugged Individualism (later called the American Dream)
  • Gospel of Wealth - Carnegie - "the man who dies rich dies disgraced" - the wealthy have a responsibility to the community. not to feed the moochers, but to help the poor, give opportunities like educational facilities etc. believed in laissez faire and pulling yourself up from the bootstraps
  • American Beauty Rose - Rockefeller's baby - believed in nipping competition in the bud - just like the small withered rose buds get nipped, and the pretty one grows!

plutocracy: government run by the wealthy (fat cats and corporation trusts bought Senate members or were in the Senate). The Senate was sometimes referred to as the "millionaire's club"

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