Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller; Captains of industry, or robber barons?
True, Andrew Carnegie and John D Rockefeller may have been the most influential businessmen of the 19th century, but was the way they conducted business proper? To fully answer this question, we must look at the following: First understand how Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller changed the market of their industries. Second, look at the similarities and differences in how both men achieved domination. Third and lastly, Look at how both men treated their workers and customers in order achieve the most possible profit for their company.
Let us first look at Mr. Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie was a mogul in the steel industry. Carnegie developed a system known as the vertical integration. This method basically cut out the ‘middle man’. Carnegie bought his own iron and coal mines (which were necessities in producing steel) because purchasing these materials from independent companies cost too much and was insufficient for Carnegie’s empire. This hurt his competitors because they still had to pay for raw materials at much higher prices. Unlike Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller integrated his oil business from top to bottom. Rockefeller’s system was considered a ‘horizontal’ integration. This meant that he followed one product through all phases of the production process, i.e. Rockefeller had control over the oil from the moment it was drilled to the moment it was sold to the consumer. These systems helped both men in acquiring their fortunes.
These tycoons exercised their genius in finding ways to cancel out competition. Although Carnegie liked to be the tough businessman, he was not a monopolist and did not like monopolists. On the other side of the pool, Rockefeller was dominating the oil industry with no mercy. He believed in primitive savagery in the world of business,...