How the Myth of the 'Robber Barons' Began—and Why It Persists

Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 year, 4 months ago to History
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This guy gets it wrong but if you are old, (and hopefully not ugly) you'll remember the old westerns and cartoons of the time that always showed a Senator behind the corrupt ruse to steal land via threats and murder, for the railroads. They were the robber barons. We all knew it was the government.

"First, E. K. Collins was never the head of the Pacific Mail Steamship Line; in fact, he had no connection with it at all. Second, Vanderbilt and William H. Aspinwall, the actual head of the Pacific Mail Steamship Line, were never “blackmailing each other.” Third, the Pacific Mail Steamship Line, not Vanderbilt, was the “chief plunderer.” Vanderbilt had no subsidy, and the Pacific Line did. In fact, Vanderbilt, through his low prices, exposed the federal subsidy as a scandal."

"Perhaps more important than all of the errors, Josephson missed the distinction between market entrepreneurs like Vanderbilt, Hill, and Rockefeller and political entrepreneurs like Collins, Villard, and Gould. He lumped them all together."

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  • Posted by $ 1 year, 4 months ago
    And in the making of useless idiots..."The Robber Barons remained the standard work in its field.” For many textbook writers, it still is. In the main study guide for the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam for 2015, the writers say, America [1877-1900] looked to have entered a period of prosperity with a handful of families having amassed unprecedented wealth, but the affluence of the few was built on the poverty of many."
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