• Question 3: Answer the following question using proof from the documents below.

    3.  What were the negative aspects of industrialization?

    Supporting Question 3

    Featured Source

    Source A: W. A. Rogers, The Forty T-----, [Thieves]: Baba Jonathon: I don't like your looks, Mr. Merchant, you had better move on, illustration, Harper's Weekly, 17 March 1888


    Public domain. Library of Congress. Source: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3g12535/.






    Supporting Question 3

    Featured Source

    Source B: Author unknown, an essay offering a counter argument to Andrew Carnegie’s theory about wealth, “Workingman’s Prayer for the Masses” (excerpts),1894



    NOTE: In his essay “Wealth,” published in the North American Review in 1889, industrialist Andrew Carnegie argued that individual capitalists were bound by duty to play a broader cultural and social role and thus improve the world. (The essay later became famous under the title “The Gospel of Wealth.”) But not everyone agreed with Carnegie’s perspective. This 1894 “prayer” by “A Workman” (an anonymous contributor to the National Labor Tribune) was a sarcastic critique of Carnegie’s paternalism and philanthropy.


    Oh, Almighty Andrew Philanthropist Library Carnegie, who art in America when not in Europe spending the money of your slaves and serfs, thou art a good father to the people of Pittsburgh, Homestead and Beaver Falls. We bow before thee in humble obedience of slavery….We have no desire but to serve thee. If you sayest black was white we believe you, and are willing, with the assistance of…the Pinkerton’s agency, to knock the stuffin[g] out of anyone who thinks different, or to shoot down and imprison serfs who dare say you have been unjust in reducing the wages of your slaves, who call themselves citizens of the land of the free and the home of the brave….

    Oh, lord and master, we love thee because you and other great masters of slaves favor combines and trusts to enslave and make paupers of us all. We love thee though our children are clothed in rags. We love thee though our wives…are so scantily dressed and look so shabby. But, oh master, thou hast given us one great enjoyment which man has never dreamed of before—a free church organ, so that we can take our shabby families to church to hear your great organ pour forth its melodious strains….

    Oh, master, we thank thee for all the free gifts you have given the public at the expense of your slaves….Oh, master, we need no protection, we need no liberty so long as we are under thy care. So we command ourselves to thy mercy and forevermore sing thy praise.


    Public domain. Letter from “A Workman” to the National Labor Tribune. Reprinted in The Coming Nation, 10 February 1894. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5007/.


    Supporting Question 3

    Featured Source

    Source C: Author unknown, letter to the editor critical of the power of industrialists, “Evolution of the Robber Baron,” New York Times, December 7, 1902


    Evolution of The Robber Baron

    To the Editor of The New York Times:

    With your kind permission I would like to say a few words upon a subject which I will call the “Evolution of the Robber Baron.”

    It is well known that in the early Middle Ages, or rather during the Dark Ages, the original robber barons, the feudal lords of certain small German principalities, made periodical raids upon their vassal subjects, despoiling them of the hard-earned accumulations of years and otherwise appropriating their substance either by right of eminent domain or by main force exercised by the strong against the weak. At a later period, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the same process was carried on by both English and German rulers against their Jewish subjects, who were then considered legitimate prey whenever an impoverished exchequer had to be replenished. “My Jews,” as these rulers used to call them, whenever they had accumulated enough wealth to yield a rich harvest, were made to disgorge in short order.

    Such were the conditions five centuries ago, and now in the twentieth century come the modern robber baron, an evolution of the original article, in the shape of the railroad financier: he swoops down from his office like his ancient prototype from his castle, and by obtaining control of this or that railroad property, after he has assured himself that it is on a sure paying basis, takes everything in sight be means of the Holding Company, or the Securities Company, which he and his robber baron friends arrange to organize within the law, to the detriment of the surprised and unwilling minority owners of the property. Take the Manhattan Hallway Company, for instance. It’s owners (general stockholders, have for years been carrying this magnificent property at a nominal income, hoping the time would come when they would be repaid for their patience; well, the time has come, or is about to come, but not for them. True they are to receive a better income than heretofore, but the sponsors of the Inter-urban Company will see to it that they don’t get too much now that much better earnings are in prospect for the property, and they have also seen to it that they get all the balance over 7 per cent, for all time to come.

    Now, where is the difference between the robber barons of old and these modern railroad financiers? None whatever, I take it, except that the former helped themselves at will, and the latter are helping themselves within the protection of laws made to legalize the robbery.


    New York, Dec. 1, 1902


    Public domain. The New York Times Company, December 7, 1902, Page 33.



    Supporting Question 3

    Featured Source

    Source D: Theodore Roosevelt, special message to Congress (excerpts), May 4, 1906


    To the Senate and House of Representatives:

    I transmit herewith a report by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Corporations in the Department of Commerce and Labor on the subject of transportation and freight rates in connection with the oil industry. The investigation, the results of part of which are summarized in this report, was undertaken in accordance with House Resolution 499, passed February 15, 1905, but for the reasons given in the report it has been more general and extensive than was called for in the resolution itself….

    The report shows that the Standard Oil Company has benefited enormously up almost to the present moment by secret rates, many of these secret rates being clearly unlawful. This benefit amounts to at least three-quarters of a million a year. This three-quarters of a million represents the profit that the Standard Oil Company obtains at the expense of the railroads; but of course the ultimate result is that it obtains a much larger profit at the expense of the public….

    But in addition to these secret rates the Standard Oil profits immensely by open rates, which are so arranged as to give it an overwhelming advantage over its independent competitors. The refusal of the railroads in certain cases to prorate produces analogous effects. Thus in New England the refusal of certain railway systems to prorate has resulted in keeping the Standard Oil in absolute monopolistic control of the field, enabling it to charge from three to four hundred thousand dollars a year more to the consumers of oil in New England than they would have had to pay had the price paid been that obtaining in the competitive fields. This is a characteristic example of the numerous evils which are inevitable under a system in which the big shipper and the railroad are left free to crush out all individual initiative and all power of independent action because of the absence of adequate and thorough-going governmental control. Exactly similar conditions obtain in a large part of the West and Southwest. This particular instance exemplifies the fact that the granting to the Government of the power to substitute a proper for an improper rate is in very many instances the only effective way in which to prevent improper discriminations in rates.

    The argument is sometimes advanced against conferring upon some governmental body the power of supervision and control over interstate commerce, that to do so tends to weaken individual initiative. Investigations such as this conclusively disprove any such allegation. On the contrary, the proper play for individual initiative can only be secured by such governmental supervision as will curb those monopolies which crush out all individual initiative. The railroad itself can not without such Government aid protect the interests of its own stockholders as against one of these great corporations loosely known as trusts….

    Though not bearing upon the question of railroad rates, there are two measures, consideration of which is imperatively suggested by the submission of this report. The Standard Oil Company has, largely by unfair or unlawful methods, crushed out home competition. It is highly desirable that an element of competition should be introduced by the passage of some such law as that which has already passed the House.

    Public domain. Theodore Roosevelt: "Special Message," May 4, 1906. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=69667.