Though a century has passed since the heyday of the great industrialists and financiers of the Gilded Age, the debate continues: were these men captains of industry, without whom this country could not have taken its place as a great industrial power, or were they robber barons, limiting healthy competition and robbing from the poor to benefit the rich? Where do we draw the line between unfair business practices and competition that leads to innovation, investment, and improvement in the standard of living for everyone? Would the industrial economy have succeeded without entrepreneurs willing to take competition to its extremes?
It’s your chance to take a stand on this issue and state your case. Using the five sets of resources (SOURCES – PRIMARY / SECONDARY / BIOGRAPHY / TOONS / STATS ) your task is to describe how the great industrialists could be considered Captains of Industry AND Robber Barons. For each perspective, you should use AND CITE the resources as you compose explanatory text and images for each side. You should use all of the categories of sources for each – multiple would be great.
Of course, you can make connections to the present here for you unit assessment … right?
LOOKING FOR MORE INFO AND IDEAS? Check out …
The links below come from “The Men Who Built America”, a recent History Channel documentary. Check out more about your individual!
- J.P. Morgan – video, The Rise of J.P. Morgan
- Andrew Carnegie – video, The Rise of Andrew Carnegie
- John D. Rockefeller – video, Oil, Money, and Power
- Cornelius Vanderbilt – video, The Rise of Cornelius Vanderbilt