Robber Barons were known as rather self-centered and even cruel industrial capitalists, who had the purpose to get the necessary personal fortune using quit the unfair business. It was not difficult for them to forget about people’s interests to be satisfied and become wealthier. Industrial capitalists of the late 19th century should be regarded as “Robber Barons” for their disregard of workers’ rights, exploitation of resources, and concentration of wealth.
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Robber Barons did not distinguish women, children, or foreigners. The only thing they could notice regarding those people was the point of whether a person is capable of working or not. Under such cruel conditions, many benefits and profits had been achieved, this is why the actions by Robber Barons could not be named as negative only. They could be cruel and selfish, but still, they remained to be effective and striking. The work places were factories with rather poor conditions and poor payment. It was one of the most significant factors concerning the matter of disregard all workers’ rights and freedoms. This is why those people, who needed money, continued working in the same conditions, and those, who were not agreed to those conditions, left their jobs and faced more problems in the nearest future.
Many Robber Barons came from the middle classes. It meant that poor people never had a chance to become wealthy taking into consideration current conditions. This is why the activities of Robber Barons were not concentrated on workers’ rights and proper conditions for working and concentration of wealth was all about middle-class people and higher.
Robber Barons’ activities were connected to the indifference of human rights; however, the chosen methods were sufficient indeed, as only a strict attitude to business allows achieving great results.
The end of the 19th century was marked by the development of industrialism; industrialists were the people, who cherished the same dream, to be wealthy. There were two types of industrialists: “Captains of Industry” and “robber barons”, with their characteristics and purposes’ achievement. Industrial capitalists of the late 19th century were “Captains of Industry,” who used their wealth and resources to provide inventions that benefited Americans and provided opportunities for jobs and economic stability for workers.
Captains of Industry came across as industrialists with positive intentions, who were eager to work hard and use all the possible strategies to raise the development of the American economy not at the expense of people’s suffering and poverty. George Pullman, one of the best-known Captains of Industry of the 19th century, and the neighborhood at his honor, he built, provide lots of its residents with the necessary conditions not to feel it hard to be a part of the dark alley of one of the greatest cities (Ely, 1885). Captains of Industry were also known for their abilities to unite different resources and develop more and more effective enterprises even if some organizations or institutions regarded them as ruthless and useless. Even the neglect from the church’s side did not crush those industrialists’ obstinacy.
The major idea of Pullman was to make people happy, even if this happiness proceeds from him. Though this idea sounds a bit selfish, it is necessary to admit that not each industrialist could allow such opportunities for the citizens, and those, who could allow, just did not want to share their wealth with the others.
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Captains of Industry and their use of wealth to promote people with jobs is a positive mark in American history, and people should be grateful to those people, who did not afraid to share their wealth for their own country’s development and growth.
Ely, Richard, T. “Pullman: A Social Study.” Harper’s Magazine 70. Feb. 1885: 452-466.