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Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?

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Presentation on theme: "Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?
Discuss corporate mergers that produced trusts and cartels and the economic and political policies of industrial leaders.

2 Warm up: Do billionaires have a responsibility to help the poor?
Do millionaires? Thousandaires? You?

3 Objective: Students will be able to identify and describe the structure of big business in the U.S. during the Gilded age.

4 Essential Question How were big businesses in the U.S. Structured?

5 Who are the billionaires (Robber Barons) of today?
#1 Carlos Slim Helu: $53.5 Billion Americans: #2 Bill Gates: $53 Billion #3 Warren Buffett: $47Billion #6 Lawrence Ellison $28 Billion #12 Christy Walton: $22.5 Billion #15 Jim Walton: $20.7 Billion #16 Alice Walton: $20.6 Billion #23 Michael Bloomberg: $18 Billion *Forbes Walton- founder of Wal-Mart Warren Buffett- CEO Berkshire Hathaway (holding company) and investor Ellison- Oracle

6 The Gilded Age…1870s-1900 Who made money off the new inventions/innovations? 1870 1900 Steel Production 77,000 tons 11 million tons Oil production 5 million barrels 63 million barrels Railroad track 53,000 miles 200,000 miles Gilding refers to the process of covering an object like wood or stone with gold leaf. Gold plating an object.

7 3 New Vocabulary words… Monopoly: A company that completely dominates a particular industry Trust: a set of companies managed by a small group known as trustees, who can prevent companies in the trust from competing with each other Corporation: A company recognized by law to exist independently from its owners, with the ability to own property, borrow money, sue or be sued

8 Horizontal and Vertical Integration:
Work with a partner and Interpret the photo for definitions of vertical and horizontal integration.

9 Andrew Carnegie $75 Billion
Andrew Carnegie came from Scotland with his parents in 1848. In 1861, at the age of 26, he started up the Freedom Iron Company, and used the new Bessemer process for making steel He formed all of his companies into the Carnegie Steel Company in 1899, which controlled raw materials, manufacturing, storage, and distribution for steel.

10 John D. Rockefeller $192 Billion
Born in 1839 His working life started as a bookkeeper He established one of the first oil refineries 1870—With partners, forms a business trust: Standard Oil At its peak, controls 90% of all oil companies

11 Capitalism Simulation

12 Business Person A You own a successful t-shirt shop on Castro Street. You are just one shop but you’ve managed to stay in business because you are the only t-shirt shop on Castro Street. Recently, a t-shirt shop opened up across the street and it’s part of the national chain, Shirt Me Up, that has stores all over the nation. You are worried about losing some of your customers to them but you are willing to cut prices and offer sales if it will keep you in business. Basics – t-shirts cost $6 to manufacture and you currently sell them for $12. You need to make at least a $2 profit on each t-shirt in order cover the cost of your rent and pay your employees. If you lose money for more than a month then you will not be able to pay for your rent. Task: Respond to the sales ideas from Person B in competitive ways in order to stay open. Business Person B You are a local manager for the national t-shirt company, Shirt Me Up, that has stores all over the nation. You are currently managing the new store that just opened up on Castro Street. There is a t-shirt shop already on Castro Street, but you are pretty confident you can drive them out of business since you can draw on money from the national office. Basics – t-shirts cost $6 to manufacture and your competitor currently sells them for $12. They need to make at least $2 profit on each t-shirt to cover the cost of rent and employees. This is true for you also, but you can lose money for several months in a row because your national office will cover your costs. Task: Start the competition by telling the shoppers in your group that you are willing to offer t-shirts for $10 and ask if they will shop at your store instead. No matter what your competitor does, respond by offering your t-shirts for less money. It doesn’t matter if you lose money, because eventually they’ll go bankrupt and then you won’t have to compete with them anymore. When they go out of business, raise your prices to $20 a t-shirt.

13 What would Rockefeller say…
Monopolies are good because we can produce goods at a lower cost to consumers! Now everyone can have cheap oil and gas.

14 What would the Populists (poor farmers) say?
Monopolies are bad because they control the whole industry and there is no competition over prices. We have to pay high prices to ship our wheat on the trains! And these companies pay low wages to their workers!

15 The role of government? Laissez-faire: leave business alone
Social Darwinism: survival of the fittest Government takes some actions: Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890) 1911--Splits Rockefeller’s Standard Oil into 34 companies (A U.S. Court of Appeals found in 2001 that Microsoft violated the Sherman Act antitrust law.)

16 Carnegie-Mellon University

17 Rockefeller Foundation



20 John D. Rockefeller, 1901 cartoon


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