Q:

Why was John D. Rockefeller called a robber baron?

A:

John D. Rockefeller was called a robber baron because many people believed he used unethical business practices to amass his extraordinary wealth. The term "robber baron" was coined in the 19th century to describe a group of industrialists who were creating enormous personal fortunes. The first known use of the term occurred in 1878, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary.

Among the various men who were commonly referred to as robber barons during the second half of the 19th century, John D. Rockefeller was the most prominent. He created the largest company and most profitable company in the United States at the time. This was the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry for decades.

Rockefeller used questionable tactics to establish Standard Oil's dominance in the industry. One of the most controversial was his practice of demanding rebates from railroads. Because Standard Oil shipped such large amounts of oil by rail, Rockefeller demanded that the railroads offer him rebates, which in essence is a discounted rate. This policy gave Standard Oil a competitive advantage over other oil companies. Rockefeller's competitor's considered this practice and others he perpetrated to be unfair, which led to the him being described as a robber baron.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What were the accomplishments of John D. Rockefeller?

    A:

    John D. Rockefeller's greatest business accomplishment was the founding of the Standard Oil Company, which made him a billionaire and at one time controlled around 90 percent of the oil refineries and pipelines in the United States. His other great accomplishment was the establishment of numerous philanthropic charities through which he gave away more than $500 million.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did John D. Rockefeller spend his money?

    A:

    Although John D. Rockefeller amassed a large sum of money during his career as an oil tycoon, most of his profits went to funding philanthropic organizations, promoting the arts and sustaining centers for education and medicine. John D. Rockefeller earned millions of dollars at a time when most American workers lived on wages of $8-$10 per week. Instead of keeping his wealth to himself, Rockefeller gave others in the American society a piece of good fortune by investing in activities and programs designed to benefit others.

      Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was John D. Rockefeller important?

    A:

    John D. Rockefeller was important due to his role in the creation of the oil trade monopoly called Standard Oil Company. He was highly successful and became the first American billionaire.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did John D. Rockefeller treat his employees?

    A:

    John D. Rockefeller always treated his employees with fairness and generosity. He believed in paying his employees fairly for their hard work and often handed out bonuses on top of their regular salaries.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore