Mod 2 Questions

Module 2 Lesson 1 Assignment 1

Explain how business and industry changed after the American Civil War

Business and industry were growing after the Civil War. Family-run businesses began to fade away as corporations burst onto the scene. Also, the Transcontinental made it easier to get raw materials from the other side of the country for the lowest price possible.

Why did some corporations seek to gain control over their market? Explain monopoly.

Corporations want a global monopoly over their market to maximize gross revenue. If most people buy from one corporation, it flourishes under the increased profit and decreased cost of production. This increase of power allows them to virtually buy out any competitors to further monopolize, or control, their market. Now, they could do whatever they want, whether it be lobbying, raising prices, or creating an artificial rarity. (If you want more information on artificial rarity ask about it in a comment when you grade this assignment)

Explain vertical and horizontal integration.

Vertical integration is when you buy out your raw material suppliers. Horizontal integration is when you buy out or merge with competitors in the same market.

Explain how social darwinism was interpreted by big business leaders.

They believed that the elimination of competition was the same as survival of the fittest. In a way, they are correct because the strongest company will most likely acquire a monopoly over their market. Yet, they believed that wealth is a NATURAL advantage, which isn't entirely true. They believed that many of their workers were and are inferior, which I vaguely Hitler-esque.

Explain the difference between the terms "captains of industry" vs "robber barrons."

Captain of Industry is a title with a positive connotation that focuses on your accolades and highlights. Robber Barron is a title with negative connotation that focuses on how you underpay and undermine others in a cruel fashion.

Who was Andrew Carnegie? Explain his contributions to American industrialization.

Andrew Carnegie was a wealthy man who made his fortune by building the steel industry. In his old age Carnegie gave away his fortune for, "the Improvement of Mankind." Many would describe him as a captain of Industry. Yet, he acted more like a Robber Baron. When William Jennings Bryan was gaining support in his campaign for presidency, Carnegie (along with JD Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, etc.) decided to buy a president. They chose William McKinley, and they paid McKinley to run for president. McKinley did so, and eventually implemented laws to give Carnegie and the others the ability to treat their workers horribly and pay them very little.

Who was JD Rockefeller? Explain his contributions to American industrialization.

Rockefeller was a man in the oil industry, a lucrative industry to this day. At one point he owned 90% of the oil refinery business in US. His company was organized as a trust, which proved to be a great way to gain a monopoly of the industry. Rockefeller was described as a ruthless Robber Baron but he did give away around $500 million dollars to education, medicine, and religion.

What was the Sherman Anti-Trust Act? Why was it passed?

It banned trusts in the US, but did not clearly define a trust, making it ineffective and at times counterintuitive. It was passed through the fear of smaller companies that the companies with monopolies made it hard for the smaller ones to go anywhere with their business.

How did the labor force change after people began to move off farms and into the cities?

Quality and quantity of available jobs got worse and worse. Labor became extremely cheap as workdays got longer. This eventually led to a major labor movement.

Describe the evolution of the labor union during this era. Why were labor unions necessary?

First there was the NLU, which fought for equality between all workers and for better conditions. The soon fell from the graces due to an unsuccessful strike in 1877 and an economic depression in 1873. Lurking in the shadows, the Knights of Labor followed soon after. They were advocates for the termination of child labor and trusts. They lost their power after the Haymarket Affair of 1886 caused many to see Unions as radicals. After that, the AFL came into the spotlight. They focused on collective Bargaining in order to achieve their goals. They believed in higher pay, and even though they weren't as extreme as previous groups, they were attacked by Corporations and the Government alike.

I personally believe that while their motives were pure, the tactics of the Union(s) were flawed and needlessly excessive.