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Noneprovided Essay Research Paper LABOR UNION LAUNCHED

None_provided Essay, Research Paper LABOR UNION, LAUNCHED IN 1866, AND THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR, WHICH REACHED ITS ZENITH IN THE MID-1880S. ON THEIR FACE, THESE REFORM MOVEMENTS MIGHT HAVE SEEMED AT ODDS WITH TRADE UNIONISM, AIMING AS THEY DID AT THE COOPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH RATHER THAN A HIGHER WAGE, APPEALING BROADLY TO ALL “PRODUCERS” RATHER THAN STRICTLY TO WAGEWORKERS, AND ESCHEWING THE TRADE UNION RELIANCE ON THE STRIKE AND BOYCOTT.

None_provided Essay, Research Paper

LABOR UNION, LAUNCHED IN 1866, AND THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR, WHICH REACHED ITS ZENITH IN THE MID-1880S. ON THEIR FACE, THESE REFORM MOVEMENTS MIGHT HAVE SEEMED AT ODDS WITH TRADE UNIONISM, AIMING AS THEY DID AT THE COOPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH RATHER THAN A HIGHER WAGE, APPEALING BROADLY TO ALL “PRODUCERS” RATHER THAN STRICTLY TO WAGEWORKERS, AND ESCHEWING THE TRADE UNION RELIANCE ON THE STRIKE AND BOYCOTT. BUT CONTEMPORARIES SAW NO CONTRADICTION: TRADE UNIONISM TENDED TO THE WORKERS” IMMEDIATE NEEDS, LABOR REFORM TO THEIR HIGHER HOPES. THE TWO WERE HELD TO BE STRANDS OF A SINGLE MOVEMENT, ROOTED IN A COMMON WORKING-CLASS CONSTITUENCY AND TO SOME DEGREE SHARING A COMMON

LEADERSHIP. BUT EQUALLY IMPORTANT, THEY WERE STRANDS THAT HAD TO BE KEPT OPERATIONALLY SEPARATE AND FUNCTIONALLY DISTINCT.

DURING THE 1880S, THAT DIVISION FATALLY ERODED. DESPITE ITS LABOR REFORM RHETORIC, THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR ATTRACTED LARGE NUMBERS OF WORKERS HOPING TO IMPROVE THEIR IMMEDIATE CONDITIONS. AS THE KNIGHTS CARRIED ON STRIKES AND ORGANIZED ALONG INDUSTRIAL LINES, THE THREATENED NATIONAL TRADE UNIONS DEMANDED THAT THE GROUP CONFINE ITSELF TO ITS PROFESSED LABOR REFORM PURPOSES; WHEN IT REFUSED, THEY JOINED IN DECEMBER 1886 TO FORM THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR AFL. THE NEW FEDERATION MARKED A BREAK WITH THE PAST, FOR IT DENIED TO LABOR REFORM ANY FURTHER ROLE IN THE STRUGGLES OF AMERICAN WORKERS. IN PART, THE ASSERTION OF TRADE UNION SUPREMACY STEMMED FROM AN

UNDENIABLE REALITY. AS INDUSTRIALISM MATURED, LABOR REFORM LOST ITS MEANING – HENCE THE CONFUSION AND ULTIMATE FAILURE OF THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR. MARXISM TAUGHT SAMUEL GOMPERS AND HIS FELLOW SOCIALISTS THAT TRADE UNIONISM WAS THE INDISPENSABLE INSTRUMENT FOR PREPARING THE WORKING CLASS FOR REVOLUTION. THE FOUNDERS OF THE AFL TRANSLATED THIS NOTION INTO THE PRINCIPLE OF “PURE AND SIMPLE” UNIONISM: ONLY BY SELF-ORGANIZATION ALONG OCCUPATIONAL LINES AND BY A CONCENTRATION ON JOB-CONSCIOUS GOALS WOULD THE WORKER BE “FURNISHED WITH THE WEAPONS WHICH SHALL SECURE HIS INDUSTRIAL EMANCIPATION.”

THAT CLASS FORMULATION NECESSARILY DEFINED TRADE UNIONISM AS THE MOVEMENT OF THE ENTIRE WORKING CLASS. THE AFL ASSERTED AS A FORMAL POLICY THAT IT REPRESENTED ALL WORKERS, IRRESPECTIVE OF SKILL, RACE, RELIGION, NATIONALITY, OR GENDER. BUT THE NATIONAL UNIONS THAT HAD CREATED THE AFL IN FACT COMPRISED ONLY THE SKILLED TRADES. ALMOST AT ONCE, THEREFORE, THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT ENCOUNTERED A DILEMMA: HOW TO SQUARE IDEOLOGICAL ASPIRATIONS AGAINST CONTRARY INSTITUTIONAL REALITIES? AS SWEEPING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE BEGAN TO UNDERMINE

THE CRAFT SYSTEM OF PRODUCTION, SOME NATIONAL UNIONS DID MOVE TOWARD AN

INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE, MOST NOTABLY IN COAL MINING AND THE GARMENT TRADES. BUT MOST CRAFT UNIONS EITHER REFUSED OR, AS IN IRON AND STEEL AND IN MEAT PACKING, FAILED TO ORGANIZE THE LESS SKILLED. AND SINCE SKILL LINES TENDED TO CONFORM TO RACIAL, ETHNIC, AND GENDER DIVISIONS, THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT TOOK ON A RACIST AND SEXIST COLORATION AS WELL. FOR A SHORT PERIOD, THE AFL RESISTED THAT TENDENCY. BUT IN 1895, UNABLE TO LAUNCH AN INTERRACIAL MACHINISTS” UNION OF ITS OWN, THE FEDERATION REVERSED AN EARLIER PRINCIPLED DECISION AND CHARTERED THE WHITES-ONLY INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS. FORMALLY OR INFORMALLY, THE COLOR BAR THEREAFTER SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT. IN 1902, BLACKS MADE UP SCARCELY 3 PERCENT OF TOTAL MEMBERSHIP, MOST OF THEM SEGREGATED IN JIM CROW LOCALS. IN THE CASE OF WOMEN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS, A SIMILAR DEVOLUTION

OCCURRED – WELCOMED AS EQUALS IN THEORY, EXCLUDED OR SEGREGATED IN PRACTICE. (ONLY THE FATE OF ASIAN WORKERS WAS UNPROBLEMATIC; THEIR RIGHTS HAD NEVER BEEN ASSERTED BY THE AFL IN THE FIRST PLACE.)

GOMPERS JUSTIFIED THE SUBORDINATION OF PRINCIPLE TO ORGANIZATIONAL REALITY ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS OF “TRADE AUTONOMY,” BY WHICH EACH NATIONAL UNION WAS ASSURED THE RIGHT TO REGULATE ITS OWN INTERNAL AFFAIRS. BUT THE ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMISM OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT WAS IN FACT LOCATED IN THE NATIONAL UNIONS. ONLY AS THEY EXPERIENCED INNER CHANGE MIGHT THE LABOR MOVEMENT EXPAND BEYOND THE NARROW LIMITS – ROUGHLY 10 PERCENT OF THE LABOR FORCE – AT WHICH IT STABILIZED BEFORE WORLD WAR I. IN THE POLITICAL REALM, THE FOUNDING DOCTRINE OF PURE-AND-SIMPLE UNIONISM MEANT AN ARM”S-LENGTH RELATIONSHIP TO THE STATE AND THE LEAST POSSIBLE ENTANGLEMENT IN PARTISAN POLITICS. A TOTAL SEPARATION HAD, OF COURSE, NEVER BEEN SERIOUSLY CONTEMPLATED; SOME OBJECTIVES, SUCH AS IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION, COULD BE ACHIEVED ONLY THROUGH STATE ACTION, AND THE PREDECESSOR TO THE AFL THE FEDERATION OF ORGANIZED TRADES AND LABOR UNIONS (1881), HAD IN FACT BEEN CREATED TO SERVE AS LABOR”S LOBBYING ARM IN WASHINGTON. PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE LURE OF PROGRESSIVE LABOR LEGISLATION, EVEN MORE IN RESPONSE

TO INCREASINGLY DAMAGING COURT ATTACKS ON THE TRADE UNIONS, POLITICAL

ACTIVITY QUICKENED AFTER 1900. WITH THE ENUNCIATION OF LABOR”S BILL OF

GRIEVANCES (1906), THE AFL LAID DOWN A CHALLENGE TO THE MAJOR PARTIES.

HENCEFORTH IT WOULD CAMPAIGN FOR ITS FRIENDS AND SEEK THE DEFEAT OF ITS

ENEMIES. THIS NONPARTISAN ENTRY INTO ELECTORAL POLITICS, PARADOXICALLY, UNDERCUT THE LEFT-WING ADVOCATES OF AN INDEPENDENT WORKING-CLASS POLITICS. THAT QUESTION HAD BEEN REPEATEDLY DEBATED WITHIN THE AFL FIRST IN 1890 OVER SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY REPRESENTATION, THEN IN 1893-1894 OVER AN ALLIANCE WITH THE POPULIST PARTY, AND AFTER 1901 OVER AFFILIATION WITH THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF AMERICA. ALTHOUGH GOMPERS PREVAILED EACH TIME, HE NEVER FOUND IT EASY. NOW, AS

LABOR”S LEVERAGE WITH THE MAJOR PARTIES BEGAN TO PAY OFF, GOMPERS HAD AN EFFECTIVE ANSWER TO HIS CRITICS ON THE LEFT: THE LABOR MOVEMENT COULD NOT AFFORD TO WASTE ITS POLITICAL CAPITAL ON SOCIALIST PARTIES OR INDEPENDENT POLITICS. IN THE MID-1880S, AS THE ECONOMY UNDERWENT A MODEST RECOVERY, THE NUMBER OF STRIKES SOARED, TRIPLING FROM UNDER FIVE HUNDRED A YEAR IN THE EARLY 1880S TO

SOME FIFTEEN HUNDRED IN 1886. WELL OVER HALF A MILLION WORKERS STRUCK THAT YEAR, AND THE VOLUME OF STRIKES REMAINED HIGH FOR THE NEXT DECADE. DURING THIS PERIOD OVER HALF OF ALL STRIKERS WERE IN THE COAL, CONSTRUCTION, OR GARMENT INDUSTRIES. WAGES, WORKING HOURS, UNION RECOGNITION, AND WORK RULES WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES, AND MANY STRIKES – OVER A THIRD IN THE 1880S

- WERE NOT INITIATED BY UNIONS. IN THE EARLY 1890S SYMPATHY STRIKES ACCOUNTED FOR ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF ALL WALKOUTS.

EMPLOYERS UNRECONCILED TO UNIONISM INCREASINGLY SOUGHT AND RECEIVED

GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE IN DEFEATING STRIKES. BETWEEN 1875 AND 1910 STATE

TROOPS WERE CALLED OUT NEARLY FIVE HUNDRED TIMES TO DEAL WITH LABOR UNREST. IN 1892, FOR EXAMPLE, AFTER ARMED STRIKERS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE”S HOMESTEAD,

PENNSYLVANIA, STEEL MILL REPULSED AN ATTACK BY PINKERTON GUARDS, EIGHT

THOUSAND STATE TROOPS WERE SENT TO THE TOWN, LEADING TO THE DEFEAT OF THE STRIKE. WHEN STATE AUTHORITIES WERE UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO PROVIDE TROOPS, THE U.S. ARMY WAS USED, AS OCCURRED DURING THE 1894 PULLMAN STRIKE AND A SERIES OF METAL MINING STRIKES IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION. STATE AND FEDERAL COURT INJUNCTIONS WERE ALSO USED FREQUENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY AGAINST STRIKERS. ALTHOUGH WORKERS WON ROUGHLY HALF OF ALL STRIKES IN THE 1880S AND 1890S, MANY LEADERS OF CRAFT UNIONS AFFILIATED WITH THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR AFL

QUESTIONED THEIR EFFICACY. IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY, TO AVOID OR SETTLE STRIKES, MANY UNIONS TURNED TO PRIVATE MEDIATION GROUPS OR, AFTER 1914, THE FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE. NONETHELESS, AFTER A BRIEF RESPITE THE VOLUME OF STRIKES ROSE SHARPLY IN THE YEARS JUST BEFORE WORLD WAR I. NOTABLE DURING THIS PERIOD WAS THE INCREASED NUMBER OF FEMALE, UNSKILLED, AND IMMIGRANT STRIKERS, EVIDENT IN THE LAWRENCE, MASSACHUSETTS, TEXTILE STRIKE, SEVERAL EXCEPTIONALLY BLOODY TRANSIT STRIKES, AND A SERIES OF LARGE

GARMENT STRIKES. IN THESE AND OTHER CONTESTS, UNIONS INTRODUCED NEW TACTICS, INCLUDING MASS PICKET LINES, MULTILINGUAL STRIKE COMMITTEES, AND SOPHISTICATED PUBLIC RELATIONS. THIS DISAPPROVING TERM WAS USED TO DESCRIBE LATE-NINETEENTH-CENTURY INDUSTRIALISTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO OSTENTATIOUSLY DISPLAYED THEIR WEALTH. THE PHRASE GAINED WIDESPREAD POPULARITY AS THE TITLE OF A HISTORY PUBLISHED IN 1934 BY MATTHEW JOSEPHSON IN THE DEPTHS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION. IT WAS APPLIED TO INDUSTRIAL LEADERS AND CORPORATIONS OF THE LATE NINETEENTH

CENTURY, SUCH AS ANDREW CARNEGIE AND CARNEGIE STEEL, JOHN D.ROCKEFELLER AND STANDARD OIL, AND CORNELIUS AND WILLIAM VANDERBILT AND THEIR RAILROADS. EMPHASIZING EFFICIENCY, THESE MEN USED INCREASINGLY MODERN PRACTICES LIKE LARGE-SCALE, SPECIALIZED PRODUCTION IN PLACE OF DECENTRALIZED METHODS. THEY ALSO PRACTICED “VERTICAL INTEGRATION,” CONTROLLING NOT ONLY THE MANUFACTURING AND SALE OF THE FINAL PRODUCT BUT ALSO THE RAW RESOURCES. THUS, CARNEGIE STEEL WAS INVOLVED IN COAL AND IRON, AND STANDARD OIL OWNED WELLS AND REFINERIES, AND CONTROLLED RAILROADS THAT TRANSPORTED THE OIL TO MARKET. THE TERM ROBBER BARONS ALSO HAS BEEN APPLIED TO FINANCIERS SUCH AS JAY GOULD AND

J. PIERPONT MORGAN, WHO SET UP LARGE TRUSTS AND PROVIDED LOANS FOR THESE INDUSTRIALISTS. THEIR DEFENDERS HAVE DESCRIBED CARNEGIE, ROCKEFELLER, VANDERBILT, AND THEIR PEERS AS “INDUSTRIAL STATESMEN” BECAUSE THEY ENHANCED AND MODERNIZED THE AMERICAN CAPITALIST SYSTEM BY MAKING THE NATION MORE PRODUCTIVE AND THUS STRONGER ECONOMICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. BUT THE TERM ROBBER BARONS SUGGESTS A DIFFERENT VIEW THAT PUTS MORE EMPHASIS ON THEIR INDIFFERENCE TO THE PUBLIC WELFARE AND THEIR DISPLAY OF WEALTH AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR WORKERS: HUGE MANSIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, IN CONTRAST TO THE COMPANY TOWNS OR URBAN SQUALOR IN WHICH THEIR EMPLOYEES LIVED. SUCH COMMENTS AS WILLIAM VANDERBILT’S “THE PUBLIC BE DAMNED!” EXPRESSED THE SCORNFUL ATTITUDE THAT EARNED THE ROBBER BARONS THEIR UNSAVORY REPUTATION. MORGAN, J. PIERPONT 1837-1913, BANKER AND ART COLLECTOR. MORGAN HEADED J. P. MORGAN AND COMPANY,

THE MOST IMPORTANT FORCE IN AMERICAN FINANCE IN THE QUARTER CENTURY BEFORE WORLD WAR I, A TIME WHEN THE BURGEONING AMERICAN ECONOMY GREW TO BE THE LARGEST AND MOST POWERFUL IN THE WORLD. MORGAN WAS BORN INTO A WEALTHY FAMILY IN HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT. IN 1854, HIS

FATHER, JUNIUS SPENCER MORGAN, BECAME A PARTNER OF GEORGE PEABODY’S BANKING HOUSE IN LONDON AND TOOK OVER THE FIRM WHEN PEABODY RETIRED, RENAMING IT J. S. MORGAN AND CO. FROM HIS EARLIEST DAYS MORGAN WAS EXPOSED BOTH TO INTERNATIONAL BANKING AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS AND TO THE IDEA HELD BY PEABODY AND HIS FATHER THAT PERSONAL INTEGRITY WAS INDISPENSABLE TO SUCCESS IN THAT FIELD; THESE WERE TO DOMINATE AND CHARACTERIZE HIS LIFE. IN HIS LAST YEARS MORGAN WAS ASKED BY A

CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE IF MONEY WAS NOT THE BASIS OF COMMERCIAL CREDIT. “NO SIR,” HE REPLIED, “THE FIRST THING IS CHARACTER…. A MAN I DO NOT TRUST COULD NOT GET MONEY FROM ME ON ALL THE BONDS IN CHRISTENDOM.” AFTER COMPLETING HIS EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY AT G?TTINGEN, GERMANY, IN 1857, MORGAN WENT TO WORK ON WALL STREET. IN 1862 HE OPENED HIS OWN FIRM AND IN 1871 JOINED FORCES WITH THE DREXEL FIRM OF PHILADELPHIA. THE NEW FIRM, DREXEL, MORGAN AND CO., OPENED ITS OFFICES AT THE CORNER OF WALL AND BROAD STREETS WHERE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE MORGAN BANK HAVE BEEN LOCATED EVER SINCE.

AMERICAN RAILROADS EXPANDED RAPIDLY AFTER THE CIVIL WAR, BUT THEIR

PROFITABILITY WANED OWING TO RATE WARS AND COMPETITIVE OVERBUILDING. FREQUENT MERGERS AND BANKRUPTCIES OFTEN LEFT RAILROADS WITH BIZARRELY COMPLEX CORPORATE STRUCTURES. MORGAN’S FIRM DID MUCH TO RATIONALIZE THE COMPANIES IN THE EIGHTIES AND NINETIES, REORGANIZING, AMONG OTHERS, THE BALTIMORE AND OHIO, THE CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO, AND THE ERIE LINES.

MORGAN’S SUCCESS AS A BANKER DERIVED FROM HIS FORMIDABLE PHYSICAL PRESENCE AND DOMINATING PERSONALITY ALMOST AS MUCH AS FROM HIS CAPITAL, EXPERTISE, AND CREATIVITY. HE LOOKED AND ACTED LIKE A MAN OF SUPREME AUTHORITY AND WISDOM, AND MOST PEOPLE TOOK HIM AT FACE VALUE. IN 1890, WHEN HIS FATHER DIED, HE TOOK OVER J. S. MORGAN AND CO. IN LONDON AND RENAMED IT AND THE NEW YORK FIRM J. P. MORGAN AND COMPANY.

ABOUT THIS TIME HE BEGAN TO COLLECT ART, AN INTEREST THAT SOON BECAME A SORT OF INSPIRED MANIA. BY THE TIME OF HIS DEATH HIS COLLECTION WAS THE LARGEST IN PRIVATE HANDS THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN AND INCLUDED PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS, JEWELRY, CERAMICS, SCULPTURE, AND MANUSCRIPTS. ALTHOUGH SOMEWHAT DISPERSED AFTER HIS DEATH, THE BULK OF HIS COLLECTION IS TODAY AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART AND THE MORGAN LIBRARY IN NEW YORK AND THE WADSWORTH ATHENEUM IN HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT.

AS INDUSTRIAL COMPANIES CAME TO DOMINATE THE AMERICAN ECONOMY, IT WAS HIS FIRM THAT FINANCED MANY OF THEM, INCLUDING GENERAL ELECTRIC AND INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER. IN 1901 MORGAN WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE CREATION OF U.S. STEEL, THE LARGEST CORPORATE ENTERPRISE IN THE WORLD AT THE TIME, CAPITALIZED AT $1.4 BILLION. BY THE TURN OF THE CENTURY MORGAN HAD BECOME THE VERY SYMBOL OF WALL STREET, THE MAN THE FINANCIAL COMMUNITY LOOKED TO FOR LEADERSHIP. IN 1907, WHEN A

BANKING PANIC THREATENED TO SPIN OUT OF CONTROL, MORGAN TOOK COMMAND, RALLIED THE OTHER BANKERS, AND RESTORED CONFIDENCE. THIS PANIC LED TO THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM IN 1913, THE SAME YEAR MORGAN DIED IN ROME, ITALY. ROCKEFELLER, JOHN D.

1839-1937, INDUSTRIALIST AND PHILANTHROPIST. ROCKEFELLER WAS THEPRIMARY

FORCE BEHIND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY AND THUS OF THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INDUSTRY. ROCKEFELLER WAS BORN IN RICHFORD, NEW YORK, AND MOVED WITH HIS FAMILY TO CLEVELAND, OHIO, WHERE HE FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL IN 1855. HE BEGAN HIS BUSINESS CAREER AS A BOOKKEEPER-CLERK IN A COMMISSION HOUSE THE SAME YEAR. THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL DRILLING FOR OIL TOOK PLACE IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA IN 1859, AND

ROCKEFELLER REALIZED THAT CLEVELAND WAS IDEALLY SUITED TO EXPLOIT THIS NEW RESOURCE. HE BUILT HIS FIRST REFINERY IN 1863 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHERS. THE EARLY OIL BUSINESS WAS CHAOTIC AND HAZARDOUS, WITH BARREL PRICES RISING AS HIGH AS $13.75 AND FALLING AS LOW AS TEN CENTS DURING THE 1860S, BUT ROCKEFELLER, A BORN EXECUTIVE, KEPT HIS FIRM CONSISTENTLY PROFITABLE AND GROWING. IN 1870 HE, HENRY FLAGLER, AND OTHERS FORMED THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY, WITH ROCKEFELLER OWNING 26.7 PERCENT OF THE SK. USING SUCH THEN-LEGAL TACTICS AS RAILROAD REBATES AND PREDATORY PRICING, STANDARD OIL STEADILY INCREASED ITS HOLD OVER THE AMERICAN OIL INDUSTRY UNTIL BY 1880 IT CONTROLLED FULLY 90 PERCENT OF IT. THE CORPORATE STRUCTURE OF THIS EXPANDING ENTERPRISE HAD BECOME UNWIELDY, AND STATE CORPORATION LAWS MADE IT DIFFICULT TO RATIONALIZE WHAT HAD BECOME A NATIONWIDE COMPANY. IN 1882, STANDARD OIL’S LEGAL COUNSEL DEVISED THE TRUST FORM OF ORGANIZATION. STANDARD OIL THUS BECAME BOTH THE FIRST AND THE LARGEST OF THE “TRUSTS,” ONE OF THE GREAT BOGEYMEN OF AMERICAN POLITICS EVER SINCE. AS SUCH, IT NECESSARILY BECAME A MAJOR TARGET OF REFORMERS. ALTHOUGH HE PLAYED THE GAME HARD, ROCKEFELLER NEVER OPERATED OUTSIDE THE LAW OR SOUGHT AN

ABSOLUTE MONOPOLY. RATHER, HE WANTED STANDARD OIL TO BE LARGE ENOUGH TO

ENFORCE “ORDER” IN THE OIL BUSINESS AND PREVENT A RETURN TO THE CHAOS THAT HAD MARKED THE INDUSTRY’S EARLY YEARS. AND DESPITE STANDARD’S NEAR MONOPOLY POSITION, THE PRICE OF OIL AND OIL PRODUCTS FELL DRASTICALLY BETWEEN 1870 AND 1900. IN 1883, ROCKEFELLER MOVED THE COMPANY’S HEADQUARTERS TO NEW YORK. ALWAYS ACTIVE IN THE BAPTIST CHURCH, ROCKEFELLER EARLY BEGAN THE PRACTICE OF MAKING SUBSTANTIAL CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS. AS HIS RESOURCES GREW, SO DID HIS PHILANTHROPY. HE HAD LARGELY RETIRED FROM STANDARD OIL BY 1897 AND DEVOTED MUCH OF HIS ENERGY TO LOOKING FOR CREATIVE WAYS TO GIVE HIS MONEY AWAY. HE WAS OFTEN GUIDED BY BAPTIST MINISTERS AND OTHERS, AND HE ESTABLISHED

AN ORGANIZATION TO INVESTIGATE CAREFULLY BEFORE GIVING. ONCE HE HAD MADE UP HIS MIND, HOWEVER, HE GAVE WITH WHOLLY UNPRECEDENTED GENEROSITY. IN 1889 HE GAVE $600,000 TO ESTABLISH THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO (THE FAMILY WOULD ULTIMATELY GIVE IT MORE THAN $80 MILLION), AND IN THE FINAL DECADES OF HIS LONG LIFE HE GAVE AWAY AN ESTIMATED $550 MILLION TO WORTHY CAUSES. HE ALSO ESTABLISHED THE ROCKEFELLER INSTITUTE, THE GENERAL EDUCATION BOARD, THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION, AND THE LAURA SPELMAN ROCKEFELLER MEMORIAL FOUNDATION.

CARNEGIE, ANDREW 1835-1919, INDUSTRIALIST AND PHILANTHROPIST. ANDREW CARNEGIE’S AWESOME PROWESS IN GETTING WEALTH AND GIVING IT AWAY ENRICHED HIS ADOPTED NATION EVEN MORE THAN HIMSELF. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HIS BOYHOOD FOSTERED BOTH PASSIONS. HIS MOTHER EXEMPLIFIED THE PROVERBIAL THRIFT AND ENTERPRISE OF HIS NATIVE SCOTLAND. THE PLIGHT OF HIS FATHER, A WEAVER WHOSE SKILL WAS MADE WORTHLESS BY NEW MACHINERY, BROUGHT HOME THE PAIN AND HUMILIATION OF POVERTY. BUT MONEY

WAS NOT THE SOLE CONCERN OF CARNEGIE’S FAMILY; HIS FATHER AND UNCLES WERE ZEALOUS IN THE CAUSE OF POLITICAL DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. WHEN ANDREW WAS TWELVE, THE FAMILY SET OUT FOR AMERICA, THE LAND OF PROMISE FOR BOTH MATERIAL AMBITION AND SOCIAL IDEALISM.

KIN AND COUNTRYMEN IN THE NEW LAND SMOOTHED THE CARNEGIES’ WAY AND LED THEM TO PITTSBURGH, WELL FITTED BY NATURAL RESOURCES AND RIVER TRANSPORT TO SOAR WITH AMERICAN INDUSTRY IN ITS ROCKETING TAKEOFF. YOUNG ANDREW ROSE WITH IT. AS A BRIGHT, ALERT, CHEERFUL TELEGRAPHER HE WON THE FAVOR OF THOMAS A. SCOTT, A HIGH OFFICIAL OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD. AT TWENTY-FOUR, SCOTT’S PROT?G? BECAME SUPERINTENDENT OF THE WESTERN DIVISION OF THE RAILROAD. WITH SCOTT’S HELP IN THE FORM OF A LOAN, ADVICE, AND INFLUENCE, CARNEGIE WAS ALREADY MAKING MONEY IN SKS, AND BY HIS THIRTIES HE WAS A WEALTHY INVESTOR, PROMOTER, AND ENTREPRENEUR IN A VARIETY OF ENTERPRISES. DURING THE DEPRESSION

OF THE SEVENTIES, WITH PROPERTIES CHEAP AND THE BESSEMER PROCESS COMING INTO ITS OWN, CARNEGIE CONCENTRATED ALL HIS RESOURCES AND ENERGIES IN THE MAKING OF STEEL. HE HIRED THE BEST PEOPLE IN STEEL TECHNOLOGY AND PLANT MANAGEMENT, SHREWDLY HELD ON TO ABSOLUTE CONTROL OF HIS ENTERPRISE THE BETTER TO PLOW BACK PROFITS INTO CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, AND OUTGENERALED ALL HIS RIVALS IN THE FIELD. BY APPLYING THE COORDINATING AND COST ACCOUNTING TECHNIQUES HE HAD

LEARNED FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD, HOLDING DOWN WAGES AND SALARIES, KEEPING UP WITH THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY, AND “HARD-DRIVING” BOTH HIS MEN AND HIS FURNACES, HE HELD COSTS TO A MINIMUM AND PRICES BELOW HIS COMPETITORS’, THEREBY CAPTURING AN EVER-GROWING SHARE OF THE MARKET AND MAXIMIZING RETURN ON PLANT INVESTMENT. BY HIS SIXTIES, HAVING VERTICALLY INTEGRATED HIS HOLDINGS FROM ORE TO FINISHED PRODUCTS, HE DOMINATED THE AMERICAN STEEL INDUSTRY, WHICH HE HAD DONE MUCH TO MAKE FIRST IN THE WORLD. WHEN HE SOLD OUT TO THE MORGAN-CREATED UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION IN 1901 FOR $250 MILLION IN U.S. STEEL BONDS, HE FOUND HIMSELF ONE OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST MEN.

BUT DESPITE HIS WEALTH-GETTING, HIS WAGE-CUTTING, AND HIS RESPONSIBILITY FOR A BLOODY LABOR DISPUTE AT HIS HOMESTEAD PLANT IN 1892, CARNEGIE HAD NOT FORGOTTEN HIS HERITAGE OF CONCERN FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE. IN HIS 1889 ARTICLE “WEALTH,” HE GLORIED IN THE CHEAP STEEL HIS LEADERSHIP HAD GIVEN THE AMERICAN CONSUMER BUT ALSO PROCLAIMED THE MORAL DUTY OF ALL POSSESSORS OF GREAT WEALTH

TO PLOW BACK THEIR MONEY INTO PHILANTHROPY WITH THE SAME JUDGMENT, ZEAL, AND LEADERSHIP THEY HAD DEVOTED TO GETTING RICH. AND HE LIVED UP TO THAT PRECEPT, PAYING FOR THOUSANDS OF LIBRARY BUILDINGS, SETTING UP TRUSTS AND FOUNDATIONS, ENDOWING UNIVERSITIES, BUILDING CARNEGIE HALL IN NEW YORK AND THE PEACE PALACE AT THE HAGUE, AND MUCH MORE. HE ONCE WROTE THAT THE MAN WHO DIES RICH DIES DISGRACED. HE HAD SOME SINS TO ANSWER FOR, AND IT TOOK HIM A WHILE, BUT IN 1919 AT EIGHTY-THREE ANDREW CARNEGIE DIED IN A STATE OF GRACE BY HIS OWN AGNOSTIC DEFINITION.

Bibliography

labor and law 1914

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