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Robber Barons of the Gilded Age

            "The United States, [in] the growth of a single century, has already reached the foremost rank among nations, and is destined soon to outdistance all others in the race. In population, in wealth, in annual savings, and in public credit; in freedom from debt, in agriculture, and in manufactures, America already leads the civilized world" (Grob & Billias 28). Here Andrew Carnegie, a famous steel industry tycoon of the Gilded Age, suggests industrial growth and the accumulation of wealth would begin the process of building a better America. During the Gilded Age, the US experienced a tremendous boom of industrialization that swept the nation and propelled the US to the top of the international powers. Although this time in American history is seen as a period of enormous economical, political, and social growth, the Gilded Age was not always met with such eagerness. With all of these new developments and advancements, corruption, bribery, and robber barons grew exponentially. Gilded Age robber barons such as Jay Gould, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller had a significant impact on America during their time of dominance. Gould, Carnegie, and Rockefeller utilized the evils of laissez-faire capitalism and the advantages of the unrestricted economic system to their advantage to control the United States economically, ultimately constructing a stronghold over the working-class Americans.
             During the Gilded Age, America adopted the laissez-faire policy of capitalism. Basically, this system had a "hands-off" mentality-the government had no regulations or restrictions on big businesses. The rapid expansion in many industries prompted the developments of pools and monopolies. A monopoly is the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service, while a pool is an amalgamation of the resources of the participants in an association for their common advantage.

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