Free History Essays Samples

The Rise Of The Captains Of Industry And Robber Barons

UN agency called some 19th-century industrialists ‘captains’. They overlap with the ‘robber barons. These include individuals such as J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, Andrew W. Mellon and Henry Ford. In American history, business titans and industry titans enjoyed more wealth than today’s top technology innovators and visionaries. The inflation-adjusted wealth of America’s most prominent figures dominated the Gilded Age, which lasted from 1870 to 1900. John D. Rockefeller and Cornelius Vanderbilt were wealthy individuals. They would have been measured in the hundreds to billions of dollars today, far more than Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest individual as of 2019. The financial inequalities of an age can be highlighted by wealth that is this large. This idea of grandeur in the face of unresolved socio-economic concerns is what led Mark Twain, an 1873 author, to coin the term “Gilded Age”. This title suggested that while the wealth of the elite was a mask for larger problems facing the middle and lower classes, the veneer of wealth provided little protection for those in the middle and lower classes. It is impossible to deny the American progress during the Gilded Age. The Second Industrial Revolution brought about a dramatic economic expansion in the United States, led by those with greater wealth and more power. Railroads — which now span from coasts to coast — were key to much of this growth. Technology such as typewriters or cash registers was a major driver of big business growth. Not only did the economy explode, but so did agricultural technology. Because there were few rules regarding wealth or business practices and so much growth, it was easy for a small group of extremely wealthy people to rise. These individuals had the ability and resources to create jobs and opportunities for many. However, there was less social prioritization of workers’ rights and problems such as discrimination and exploitation. The industrialists that made their fortunes in the late nineteenth Century were known as robber barons and chiefs of industry. They are both business tycoons. But, there was a great difference in their methods of making their fortunes. The term “robberbaron” dates back to medieval times and has negative connotations. Robber barons often used unethical methods to get rid of their competitors and create a monopoly in their field. They often had little compassion for workers. However, captains of industry were often philanthropists. They built their wealth and made sure that society was benefitted by it. One argument is that this country became the world’s most industrially powerful nation because only such people had the capital to invest in it. They are both “captains in industry”, which makes our lives more easy, but they also have the potential to be called “robber barsons.” But it is worth asking yourself where they get their money. I’m not sure I know where I stand. Industrial workers fought for more wages, better working conditions, and shorter hours. The labor movement was instrumental in preventing child labor, providing health benefits, and providing aid for injured and retired workers. The American nation’s founding years are where the labor movement began. It was established in an artisan market late in colonial America. When New York’s journeymen-tutor protested the wage cut, it was the first strike charted. The founding of the Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers in Philadelphia (1794) marks the beginning of American workers’ trade unions. Since then, the number of native craft organizations grew in each city. They published “prices”, defended their trades from low-cost labor and demanded a shorter working day to meet the demands of the Industrial Revolution. It was a rapid rise in job-consciousness, which led to the development of key structural elements that characterize American trade unionism. The first was the 1827 formation of the Philadelphia Mechanics Union of Trade Associations. This union brought together craft unions from the city. Next, the International Typographical Union was created in 1852. National unions started bringing in native trade unions from Canada and the United States. Industrial workers did not play a significant role in the initial development of trade unions. Trade unionism was primarily a movement for skilled workers in the 19th century. There were two distinct labor unions in America: the Knights of Labor (American Federation of Labor), as well as the AFL (American Federation of Labor). The AFL was considered a legitimate federation of workers unions. Knights of Labor, however, was more secretive. The American Federation of Labor had a more radical approach to the Knights of Labor. The Noble Order of the Knights of Labor is the secret union formed in 1869 and founded by James L. Wright. The organization was recognized nationally after Terence V. Powderly succeeded Stephens. This union became a common occurrence among Pennsylvania’s coal miners in the 1870’s financial depression. The Knights of Labor was established as a major labor union after this historic event. Their greatest victories came in the Union Pacific Railroad Strike (1884), and Wabash Railroad Strike (1985). The Knights of Labor made numerous demands such as legislation to end convict and child labor. The Knights of Labor didn’t include doctors, stockholders and bankers as they were considered inefficient members of society. Despite being a prominent labor union, the union’s membership declined due to poor management, autocratic structures and unsuccessful strikes. The American Federation of Labor was founded after the demise of the Knights of Labor. In Columbus, Ohio, in 1886, the AFL launched. The AFL was founded by socialists Peter J. McGuire, Gompers and others. The union’s policy shifted towards conservatism in later years. American Federation of Labor adopted the “business unionism” philosophy, which emphasized national economic growth and profit. There were many causes for World War I, including politics, secret alliances and imperialism. The assassination Archduke Ferdinand, Austria, was the first event that led to war. The Zimmerman Telegram was the first event that led to the United States declaring War on Germany. Also, Germany’s stated intention to resume unrestricted submarine warfare were key events. The Allies had long been the preferred choice of Americans, while the Allies were the most popular. Americans had a common language and felt an affinity for the British. Woodrow Wilson did not hide his dislike for German-born people. Woodrow Wilson once called German Americans ‘hyphenated Americans’. However, this was not the main reason for the U.S. entering the war. Wilson remarked that he was too proud to fight after the sinking the Lusitania. This was changed by many factors. The British often did not fly the flags for neutral countries on their ships. Also, they tried to board German U-boats but denied that they allowed it. This was also the time when the war was in an impasse. The Germans were forced to find a way to maneuver the war effort. On January 31, 1917, they were informed that Germany would resume its unrestricted submarine warfare. On February 25, 1917, President Wilson was telegraphed by a hijacked German diplomat to Mexico City. This telegram extended to Mexico the ‘lost territories’ of Arizona and New Mexico. Mexico would have to give up the land it had lost to them in the Mexican American War 1848. In a clear strategy to ensure U.S. entry to the war on Allied aspects, the British intercepted and sent the telegram to the U.S. The German merchant ships of five U.S. were capsized by Germany in March 1917. On April 2, President Wilson delivered a war message for Congress. April 6, 1917 saw the declaration of war. 1919 marked the first time that the Senate has denied peace negotiations. The Senate rejected consent for the Treaty of Versailles. It voted 39 to 55. The treaty was signed by President Woodrow Wilson, who advocated a League of Nations-enforced system of peace. The treaty was approved by the Senate in July. However, Republicans were split. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge’s “Reservationists,” drafted the treaty to be approved only if certain changes or reservations were adopted. The treaty was rejected by the “Irreconcilables”. Lodge sent the treaty to the Senate with 14 reservations in November. This angered Wilson who tried to get Democrats to accept Lodge’s plan. The Irreconcilables defeated the treaty on November 19, 1919 when a group composed of Democratic senators joined them. The United States never ratified and was not a member of League of Nations. Congress approved resolutions officially ending hostilities between the United States and Germany in 1921. Many Americans feared new immigrants and dissidents during the Red Scare from 1919-1920. Red Scare was triggered by World War I. This led many to adopt strong nationalistic sympathies and were anti-immigrant. Others were afraid that immigrants, especially from Russia and other parts of Europe, might overthrow US government. Many workers joined labor organizations. Labor strikes like the Boston Police Strike in Sept 1919 raised concerns that radicals wanted to cause a revolution. In response, self-proclaimed anarchists mailed bombs to prominent Americans along with United States AttorneyGeneral A. Mitchell Palmer (USA) and United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. The bombings angered the United States government, who raided the headquarters of radical groups and arrested thousands of suspects. Many thousand illegal immigrants were deported. On January 2, 1920, more than 4000 radical suspects were arrested across the country. New England saw over 800 arrests from New England, including New England’s Boston, Brockton and Chelsea, Fitchburgs, Lawrence, and Fitchburg. Attorney General Palmer informed the nation on April 29, 1920 that plots were being uncovered by the Department of Justice to take the lives of over 20 federal or state officials. Many unionists, communists as well as anarchists and anarchists celebrate May Day, also called International Workers Day. These raids ended after the failed plots did not materialize and there was more criticism of the Palmer Raids. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a non-commercial legal organization that aims to protect the Constitution rights of Americans by lobbying and litigation. Their original mission was to “protect the individual rights of all Americans guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and its laws.” Each year, the ACLU handles approximately 6,000 court cases and has more than 1.6 millions members. This includes 300 staff attorneys. The ACLU has been vocal in its opposition to mass surveillance under Patriot Act. The Act expanded the government’s authority to monitor communications and internet activities by Americans in the wake the September 11th terrorist attacks. The ACLU challenged President Donald Trump’s controversial efforts to ban travel from many Muslim-majority countries in 2017. The ACLU received over 350,000 donations online in the two-day following Trump’s executive orders, which amounted to $24 million. This non-profit raises approximately $4 million annually online.


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