Quarter Project Essay

1723 words - 7 pages

Entrepreneurs is truly what successful businesses are built on. Businessmen like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt worked hard and long hours to grow their businesses so that they could provide goods for consumers at reasonable prices. With these inexpensive prices, consumers could get what they needed, and with society’s help, grow their businesses. “Robber Barons” wanted to make money by any means necessary, while entrepreneurs took risks to benefit their company. Some people call these men “Robber Barons” I think it is more appropriate to call them entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs used the Invisible Hand concept to benefit themselves, which ultimately benefits society. Entrepreneurs of this time expanded their businesses, helped society get through economic depressions, gave back to society so that people could continue to get an education, ultimately making a better future for America. Big businessmen of the late nineteenth century should be known as entrepreneurs.
Some might argue that in companies run by entrepreneurs the working environment was poor, and they did not treat their workers the way they should have. However, in this time period, there were no laws concerning working conditions. This is because people would do these jobs despite poor conditions, since earning money was extremely important. There is no doubt they worked hard for their money, but it was worth it. On average, the wages for men went up throughout the time period. In San Francisco, for example, laborers received a thirty percent wage increase from 1892 to 1907 (Datafiles of Historical Prices and Wages). Although it does not seem like much money, these workers were thankful that they had a job, so they can support their families. The entrepreneurs could not be blamed because throughout the country most factory working conditions were the same. Some were worse than others but overall if factories were run by entrepreneurs or not, the conditions would not have changed. When comparing Rockefeller’s work conditions in the Standard Oil Company to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, one finds horrifying working conditions. During work hours at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, the doors and fire escapes would usually be locked, to prevent theft and to make sure nobody would take a break to smoke. The factory was overcrowded, had poor ventilation, and the machinery was extremely dangerous (Triangle Shirtwaist Factory). Conditions when working for the Standard Oil Company were better than the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory’s conditions. The firemen and the stillmen that worked for the Standard Oil Company, were older than other employees, but the work was light because they only had to work with the furnace, leaving them plenty of time to rest ("STANDARD OIL CO…”). Comparing a company run by an entrepreneur, like Rockefeller, versus factories at this time like the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, it is clear that all working conditions...

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