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Two Men Who Have Been Called Robber Barons Were Andrew Carnegie And John D. Rockefeller

929 words - 4 pages

Business TycoonsWith the end of the Civil War, America was ripe for economic expansion. Land, resources, and cheap labor were plentiful. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, industries began to bloom across the United States. Robber barons saw opportunities for mobilizing large capital and for building large businesses. The so-called "robber barons" grabbed those opportunities. Two men who have been called robber barons were Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Both started with very little in life, but went on to achieve fortunes. These tycoons built industry empires that impacted American society, not only for allowing economic business growth but also affected our society by giving back through charities and philanthropic work.At age thirteen, Carnegie went to work as in a cotton mill (Kennedy). He then moved rapidly through a succession of jobs with Western Union and the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1865, he resigned to establish his own business enterprises and eventually organized the Carnegie Steel Company, which launched the steel industry in Pittsburgh. Andrew Carnegie ultimately made his fortune in steel, changing the industrial world in the process. He introduced the Bessemer steel making process to America. Because Carnegie owned the iron-ore deposits that furnished the raw materials for steelmaking, as well as the ships and railroads that transported these supplies to his mills he was able to run his company with greater efficiency, it was a process called vertical integration. This enabled the company to achieve greater efficiencies than any other manufacturing industry of the time.By the time of his death in 1919, Andrew Carnegie had given away over $350 million to provide more than 2,500 free public libraries throughout the world. (Powell).Carnegie Steel Company, he controlled about 25 percent of the American iron and steel production. In 1901 he sold his company to the United States Steel Corp. for $250 million and retired. Carnegie can be seen as a kind person giving millions back into society to promote better educated people. During his lifetime he gave more than $350 million dollars away through scholarships and building libraries. Carnegie Hall was built with a large donation from Andrew Carnegie in 1891 (Powell).John D. Rockefeller never stood out in school, "instead he a was a slow learner"(Aguilera). This is something you would never consider when you hear his name. But it seems even thought he wasn't a quick learner he was clever. At a young age he bought candy by the pound, divided it into small portions, and then sold it at a profit to his siblings (Aguilera). The young Rockefeller knew how to invest his money in order to make a profit. Later in his life he applied this idea in other business ventures such as the Standard Oil Company. He owned the drilling where the oil came from, the...

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