While there where major giants in Industry and Labor that wielded a great deal of money and power in the Unites States during the Industrial Era, the United States government was not ineffective. The there was a lot of corruption and greed during the Industrial era. The principals of Social Darwinism were endorsed. .
A major industrialist was John Rockefeller. He founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870. He used means of horizontal combination to gain control of the market, and he did. By one way or another he had made agreements to buy oil stock. He gained control of ninety percent of the oil refineries in the U.S. In 1882 he established the Standard Oil Trust. Congress than passed the Sherman anti-trust act, originally to stop from monopolies but it ended up hurting labor organizations. Rockefeller had gained control of almost all the oil, which he could have sold it at any price he wanted because there were no competitors to compete with him. The U.S. government didn't put an end to it until maybe fifteen to twenty years after it was established. The validity of the historians is to some extent accurate because the U.S. didn't take action right away, and let the courts misinterpret the Anti-Trust Act. It let the industry get away with higher prices and exceptional control over the product (oil), while instituting higher tariffs to protect those same industries from foreign competitors. .
Another major industry giant was Andrew Carnegie. He established the Carnegie Steel Company in 1899. He controlled almost twenty-five percent of all American Iron and steel production. Carnegie used the means of Vertical integration to promote his product, from producing the steel to make the railroads, to actually making railroad tracks. Carnegie lowered costs of steel, and made better deals than his competition, which actually helped the railroad companies. He donated a lot during his life to educational, cultural, and peace institutions.