The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America by Burton W. Folsom Jr.The Myth of the Robber Barons describes the role of key entrepreneurs in the economic growth of the United States from 1850 to 1910. The entrepreneurs studied are Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill, Andrew Mellon, Charles Schwab, and the Scranton family. Most historians argue that these men, and others like them, were Robber Barons. The story, however, is more complicated. The author, Burton Folsom, divides the entrepreneurs into two groups market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. The market entrepreneurs, such as Hill, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller, succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price. The political entrepreneurs such as Edward Collins in steamships and in railroads the leaders of the Union Pacific Railroad were men who used the power of government to succeed. They tried to gain subsidies, or in some way use government to stop competitors. The market entrepreneurs helped lead to the rise of the U. S. as a major economic power. By 1910, the U. S. dominated the world in oil, steel, and railroads led by Rockefeller, Schwab (and Carnegie), and Hill. The political entrepreneurs, by contrast, were a drain on the taxpayers and a thorn in the side of the market entrepreneurs. Interestingly, the political entrepreneurs often failed without help from government they could not produce competitive products. The author describes this clash of the market entrepreneurs and the political entrepreneurs. In the Mellon chapter, the author describes how Andrew Mellon an entrepreneur in oil and aluminum became Secretary of Treasury under Coolidge. In office, Mellon was the first American to practice supply-side economics. He supported cuts on income tax rates for all groups. The rate cut on the wealthiest Americans, from 73 percent to 25 percent, freed up investment capital and led to American economic growth during the 1920s. Also, the amount of revenue into the federal treasury increased sharply after tax rates were cut. The Myth of the Robber Barons has separate chapters on Vanderbilt, Hill, Schwab, Mellon, and the Scrantons. The author also has a conclusion, in which he looks at the textbook bias on the subject of Robber Barons and the rise of the U. S. in the late 1800s. This chapter explores three leading college texts in U. S. history and shows how they misread American history and disparage market entrepreneurs instead of the political entrepreneurs. This book is in its fifth edition, and is widely adopted in college and high school classrooms across the U. S.
The Industrial Economy: Crash Course US History #23
Meet The 24 Robber Barons Who Once Ruled America
There was a time in U. The wealth of people like John D. Wealth so vast can often highlight the financial inequality of an era. The title suggested that the thin veneer of wealth for the elite masked broader issues for many in the lower and middle classes. Much of this growth was courtesy of railroads — which now spanned from coast to coast — as well as factories, steel, and the coal mining industry.
Tags Free Markets Entrepreneurship Interventionism. Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at. State capitalism consists of one or more groups making use of the coercive apparatus of the government… for themselves by expropriating the production of others by force and violence. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are often referred to as the time of the "robber barons. It is a staple of history books to attach this derogatory phrase to such figures as John D. Hill, and others. To most historians writing on this period, these entrepreneurs committed thinly veiled acts of larceny to enrich themselves at the expense of their customers.
The term was based on an analogy to the German robber barons , local feudal lords or bandits in Germany who waylaid travellers through their ostensible territory, claiming some tax or fine was owed. The term robber baron derives from the Raubritter robber knights , the medieval German lords who charged nominally illegal tolls unauthorized by the Holy Roman Emperor on the primitive roads crossing their lands  or larger tolls along the Rhine river—all without adding anything of value, but instead lining their pockets at the cost of the common good rent seeking. The metaphor appeared as early as February 9, , when The New York Times used it to characterize the business practices of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Historian T. Stiles says the metaphor "conjures up visions of titanic monopolists who crushed competitors, rigged markets, and corrupted government. In their greed and power, legend has it, they held sway over a helpless democracy.
Other robber barons
Robber baron , pejorative term for one of the powerful 19th-century U. The robber barons transformed the wealth of the American frontier into vast financial empires, amassing their fortunes by monopolizing essential industries. - Wikimedia America's 19th- and earlyth-century tycoons, pejoratively nicknamed " robber barons ," built massive empires and accumulated unprecedented wealth.
The most powerful people during this period would later be called robber barons—a term which means exactly what it sounds like. These capitalist titans held great industrial monopolies and unprecedented wealth. Meanwhile children worked in factories and whole regions of the country were stuck in poverty after the Civil War. We dug up fearsome portraits and facts about these mighty men. The firm would go on to become one of the leading exporters to Europe with clients as far as China. The big-time money came in when he shifted his investments to New York real estate. He bought up as many acres as he could in Manhattan and the outer boroughs.