American Industrialization


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By the late 1800’s the growth of factory towns and new inventions were changing our nation.  This cartoon shows the standard oil company. As a horizontal monopoly, it controlled all oil refineries in America.  This image was published in September 7, 1904 and it shows the owner of it all taking control over the government of the US by influencing the politicians with money.  John D. Rockefeller; the co-founder of the standard oil company, had complete control over oil refineries and marketing in the US which gave him all the  power he had. He was one of the first entrepreneurs to really make an impact on the government and in the result the whole nation felt it.  Mr. Rockefeller has mixed reviews in American history because he became so wealthy without fair competition but he also gave away much of his wealth to help the development and preservation of American resources. Some people felt like the wealthiest entrepreneurs such as Rockefeller for example were controlling, and influencing the nation in selfish ways with their money.  Money and oil are still influencing politics today because they are both sources of power.

In my opinion monopolies were only good for the owners since the business got richer and richer while the poor workers  got poorer.  This cycle wasn’t good for the nation’s economy and soon people started to question the government’s trust since they suspected the wealthy were in fact influencing the government in their favor. I also think there needed to be some type of regulation or law that permitted the people see the status of a powerful business and the connection between the business and the nation.  If this occurred then citizens could be aware of anything suspicious.

We can come up with a bunch of ideas to stop corruption but the reality is that the wealthier always have the upper hand on regular civilians.  Do you think the most wealthy of Americans have done more harm to society or do you think their wealth benefits society?