The first thing he was known for was scientific management and strengthening the mass assembly line, which would make the workers work harder but be happier. In their time they were often praised as visionary businessmen, but their practices, when examined closely, were often predatory and unfair. It may have been marred various problems, but the Gilded Age, nonetheless, proved to be a prosperous age in America that would define a nation’s legacy. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The working conditions were also dangerous, leaving them with injuries due to their fingers or arms getting cut off in the machines. This Age propelled us ahead in economic strength and separated us from the rest of the world powers. With three colleagues, he formed the Pacific Association and used their combined assets to bribe congressmen and others with political influence in the country’s capital. The plot to take over the country's gold supply could have collapsed the entire American economy had it not been thwarted. Robber Barons vs. Captains of Industry During the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, both robber barons and captains of industry were terms used to place businessmen into a good or bad category. Carnegie, like Rockefeller, turned to philanthropy and contributed millions of dollars to construct libraries and other cultural institutions, such as New York's famed Carnegie Hall. Worse than Rockefeller, Carnegie’s workers were in an even worse situation. Ulysses S. Grant. Society as a whole underwent significant changes in the period following the Civil War which included a major demand for factory workers in cities; this resulted in the swelling of cities, causing limited space and an increase in poverty while the Industrial giants sailed to riches. Perhaps ironically, many of the robber barons were also among the most prominent and generous philanthropists in U.S. history. , especially since he was deeply appreciated for his good impact on America. The changes made by these men had a lasting effect on life in the cities, immigrants, and the growing class conflicts. John D. Rockefeller made his immense riches from monopolizing America’s oil industry. Robert J. McNamara is a history expert and former magazine journalist. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. How about receiving a customized one? In Emma Lazarus’ poem at the bottom of the statue of Liberty it says “Give me your tired, your poor, Unfortunately though, he intruded on their personal lives and always made sure they were home at night, weren’t out drinking, or doing any other actions he restricted. The consortium colluded with the railroads to monopolize oil delivery, prompting competitors to allow themselves to be bought by Standard Oil or be forced to pay outrageous shipping costs that would drive them out of business. The trick behind this act was to lower the prices of oil so everyone could afford it. After starting out in his teens in New England as a traveling peddler, he made a fortune trading cotton, with shady connections, during the Civil War. This resulted in the Homestead Strike, refusing to let the strikebreakers take over their jobs. Robber Barons or Captains of Industry Essay Question Directions: You are to write a complete and comprehensive essay answering one of the questions below.