be expanding oil industry. Not yet in
be Admired for their WorkThe industrial leaders, Robber Barons, of the 19th century are men who are very respected and admired. Andrew Carnegie was a boy from Scotland who came over to this country with nothing. He continued to save and work his way up in the industry until he had complete control over the steel industry. John D. Rockefeller was also one who came from an ordinary home. When he saw an opportunity, he took it, along with the risks.
He came to control the oil industry. Another man that took many opportunities to expand and grow was Cornelius Vanderbilt. These men saw what they needed to do to become successful and they did it. These men’s’ lives reflected the Darwinian ideology of the times, “survival of the fittest”. Andrew Carnegie came over to this country in 1848, with his family in the hopes of finding a better life for themselves.
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At age 14, Carnegie became a courier in a telegraph office. Later, he became involved with the railroad industry and soon was Superintendent of the railroad in Pittsburgh. By the age of 30 he had an annual income of $50,000.Carnegie then left the Pennsylvania Railroad and started concentrating on steel.
He would eventually open the Carnegie Steel Company. He was introduced to a new process called the Bessemer process for his steel. At first Carnegie was not sure of this new process but took a chance and adopted it into his company.
Carnegie was a brutal challenger and tried to eliminate his competitors. Another tactic Carnegie used to grow his business was to hold a vertical monopoly. The Carnegie Steel Company bought the iron ore deposits and even many of the steel finishing industries.
With the magnificent industry he formed and controlled, he decided to sell it and dedicate his life’s earnings to benevolent causes. He sold the company to J. P.
Morgan, for which he personally received $250 million of the $492 million Morgan paid for it. He supported and began many corporations and institutions. Many positive establishments were created only because of his generous donations. To this day many people are still benefiting from the large Carnegie fortune.
Cornelius Vanderbilt was the most powerful railroad baron. He earned a fortune for himself in the steamship line. He also combined the New York and Harlem and New York and Hudson estate ferry boat operations.
He established a connection between New York and Albany to make Lake Shore and Michigan Southern link Buffalo with Chicago. When he died he owned and operated nearly 4500 miles of track between New York City and most of the important cities in the Midwest. He left his fortune to his son, unlike the others he did not donate to many organizations. The only contribution he gave was to support the, now, Vanderbilt College.John D.
Rockefeller also started at humble beginnings. By taking risks and investing he found himself engulfed in the rapidly expanding oil industry. Not yet in the business directly he started his own company, The Standard Oil Company of Cleveland.
Rockefeller’s stake in the oil industry increased as the industry itself expanded caused by the rapidly spreading use of kerosene. The Standard Oil eventually, in a few years, purchased and controlled almost all the refining firms in Cleveland, plus two refineries in the New York City area. Before long the company was refining thousands of barrels of crude oil a day. Standard prospered and, in 1882, all its properties were merged in the Standard Oil Trust, which was in effect one great company. The law then dissolved this company because it was the beginning of a monopoly. With the production of all this oil and fabrication of kerosene, John Rockefeller only made a few cents per gallon profit from his sales.
Like Carnegie, Rockefeller went beyond just producing kerosene. He took his organizational skills and leadership qualities to try to create some control over the refining process, and the driller’s productivity. Rockefeller also had vertical integration.
He owed the oil fields in Pennsylvania. The refineries, that transformed the crude oil into a useful product, were also under his control. Rockefeller even owned some of the grocery stores that sold the kerosene.
With this enormous corporation Rockefeller had $1 billion dollars in 1890, when Americans were only making $600 -$700 annually. In the same fashion as Carnegie, Rockefeller gave most of his money to profit other. It has been said that he gave a third of his fortune to charities, organizations, and universities; another third was for him, and the final third he left to his descendants. These were the great men during their time. They took the American dream and made it come true.
These were risk takers and men that recognized opportunity. The time after the Civil War saw the creation of an industrial business boom. These men were either in the right place at the right time, but no matter the reason they succeeded. The most important part is that they show us that with determination and patience you can make a life for yourself.
These men were not selfish with there money. Carnegie and Rockefeller both gave millions upon millions of dollars to charities and other causes. Bibliography: