This week in history class, we have been studying the impact that monopolistic leaders such as Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller had on the United States. The essential question we are aiming to answer is how did the actions of monopolistic leaders, such as John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, affect the common worker? A monopoly is defined as when a single corporation controls the entirety of the manufacturing and distribution of a product in a certain region. In order to answer the essential question, we watched videos about Rockefeller and Carnegie. As we were watching, we divided into groups and each group took notes on a certain topic within the videos, such as key terms, main ideas, and key events.
Monopolistic leaders essentially had a love-hate relationship with America. As they were in control of the entirety of the manufacturing and distribution of a product, much of society viewed monopolistic leaders as greedy and driven by money. However, these ideas were not too out of place. The actions of monopolistic leaders had a generally negative effect on the common worker. Many monopolistic leaders treated their workers poorly. Andrew Carnegie himself put a stop to an iron and steel workers’ union utilizing the military, destroying Carnegie’s public reputation. He also used a nationwide financial depression to his advantage to acquire land to connect the steel producing center to the northwest water routes. Rockefeller was believed to be motivated by greed. He raised and lowered his prices in order to buy out his competition, and was thought to be using illegal business tactics to gain his vast amount of money.
Monopolies prove to be not at all beneficial to the common worker in these cases. Perhaps they make things simpler for the consumer, however for the common worker, monopolies prove to be potentially dangerous and not very financially beneficial. The actions of monopolistic leaders had a generally negative effect on the common worker.