Wednesday, June 10, 2015

St. Rockefeller

Over the last week, we have been learning about business giants in my Honors History 10 class. Our essential question for this unit was: did the captains of industry have a positive or negative impact on the public? In order to properly answer this question, we investigated two major captains f industries at this time. We watched several videos and read many primary source documents about the two men we were studying. While they were both very different, there were a few common threads between their lifestyles.
The two men we studied were John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Rockefeller was from a poor family whose dad owned his own business. Rockefeller went on to start his own oil business. He used many different strategies in order to keep his company on top. These strategies included buying out other companies and lowering his oil to prices that other companies couldn't compete with. Carnegie on the other hand was a major player in the steel market. 
Both were very successful men and I believe that they both had a positive impact on the general public. Yes, they did selfish things such as destroying the competition, but once they had all of the money, they gave it back to the people. They donated it back to schools and libraries around the country. In an interview with William Hoster, Rockefeller is quoted as saying "I believe the power to make money is a gift of God … to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience." Rockefeller believed that it was his duty to give back to the community and had no problem doing it. Carnegie believed in the Gospel of Wealth.  The Gospel of Wealth was a philanthropic idea that the wealthy should give so
Many of the people thought that Rockefeller was after the wealth.
They did not like the tactics he used to keep his business
a successful one.
me of their surplus of money to the poor or those who didn't have as much. His ideas aligned well with the thoughts of Rockefeller. The companies owned by the two men also provided many job opportunities for those who needed it. While I believe that the two men did have a positive impact, some people did not. The political cartoon to the right is just one example of what some people thought of Rockefeller. 

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