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US History (Ch 14) Rise of Big Business

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Brian Beckwith

on 10 February 2011

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Transcript of US History (Ch 14) Rise of Big Business

Industrial Age
Andrew Carnegie
Steel Industry
John D. Rockefeller
Oil Industry
John Pierpont Morgan
Cornelius Vanderbilt
New York Railroads
Captains of Industry
Robber Barons
-business leaders had a positive impact on the U.S. - increased availability
of goods, expanded markets, created jobs, and were philanthropic
Captains of Industry
business leaders gained their fortunes by stealing from the public – drained natural resources, corrupted government, ruined smaller businesses, and treated workers poorly
Robber Barons
Charles Darwin
Social Darwinism
applied to business and industry, the strongest would survive and the weak would disappear
supported idea that government should not get involved

Creates theory of Evolution
containing idea of "survival of the fittest"
Economic Terms you should know....
Capitalism - economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned (free enterprise)
Monopoly - when a business eliminates all it's competition
Cartel - loose association of businesses making the same product ~ reduces the harmful effects of competition **generally weak!!**
Trust - when many small companies "unite" to form one company - companies are not legally merged, but are run as one company with each small company receiving a share of the profits
- used to get around unlawful monopolies
Sherman Anti-Trust Act - law passed to stop any restraint of trade or commerce caused by trusts
horizontal consolidation - bringing together many firms in the same industry

vertical consolidation - control all phases of a products development from raw materials, to production, to selling
Labor fuels the Industrial Revolution
immigation - moving from one country to another country
migration - moving within the borders of a country
farmers moving to the cities
-Entire families forced to work to sustain the family
no support from government
NO insurance or welfare
Conditions at work
long work day —10-16 hours/day
long weeks — 6-7 days/week
- dangerous conditions
noisy, boring, poor ventilation and lighting
faulty equipment and training
- 675 die/week(1882)
-tough discipline ~ fired for minor offenses
- Women and children also forced to work
women hired for simple jobs - piecework
higher paying jobs reserved for men
- paid a set amount for each piece produced
-children gave up childhood to work
Jacob Riis - police reporter who began to use pictures to promote the need for reform in the work place
-rich getting richer, poor getting poorer!!!
frustrating and angering the poor
however, many do nothing hoping the future will improve
some get politically involved
- based on the ideas of Karl Marx
- advocates collective or government ownership of factories and property
distribute wealth throughout society
Capitalism bad and would collapse with revolt of working class
- Most Americans disagreed with Socialism
own private property
free enterprise — compete freely with a chance at success
Labor Unions
originally established to help workers in bad times
eventually began to work on improving standards
- Knights of Labor (1869)
led by Terence Powderly
unite all workers, including women and African Americans
social reforms:
equal pay for equal work
eight hour work day
end of child labor
- American Federation of Labor (1886)
led by Samuel Gompers
unite skilled labor - African Americans allowed but often
excluded - opposed women members
social reforms:
higher wages
shorter hours
better working conditions
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
- collective bargaining - workers negotiate with employers as a group
-Employers react - fear the growing power of employees
-forbid union meetings and fired union organizers
-"yellow dog" contracts - promise by employees to never join a union or take part in a strike
- didn't recognize unions as worker representatives
- disagreements and tensions lead to over 24,000 strikes between 1881-1900
Railroad Strike of 1877
wage cut and "double headers" anger workers
leads to violent reactions by workers
local troops called in and fire into crowd killing many
Eugene V. Debs

20,000 workers form mob and destroy rail companies
federal troops sent by Rutherford B. Hayes to stop riot
successfully stopped, but many more die
-Railroad strike establishes use of local and federal troops to handlelabor disputes!!
- scabs - strikebreakers who replace striking workers so a company can continue operating
- anarchists - oppose all government on the grounds that it limits individual liberty and supports the wealthy

- demonstrations throughout the country for eight hour work days occurs in 1886
Haymarket Square in Chicago

during a rally a bomb is thrown into a police formation killing 7
rioting followed with shooting on both sides
dozens killed on both sides
eight men found guilty of conspiracy
four hanged
one commits suicide in jail
three receive pardon by Gov. John Peter Altgeld
- Public begins to associate unions with radical ideas and violence!!!
Homestead Strike, Pennsylvania (1892)

- workers strike at Andrew Carnegie plant being run by Henry Frick who attempted to cut wages
Frick hires a private police force known as the Pinkertons - violence erupts resulting in deaths on both sides
Alexander Berkman, an anarchist not even involved with the union,
attempts to murder Frick
Public, which was sympathetic with the workers, turns against them after murder attempt again associating unions with violence
- union defeated - ends the strike
Unions unable to gain recognition as legally protected organizations as the government continues to support big business!!!
Full transcript