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and Colihan Vitcusky Industrialization 1 The Great Industrialists: Captains of Industry or Robber Barons? Authors: Christine Colihan and Amy Vitcusky August 2006 Lesson Description: This lesson will introduce three of the major big business leaders of late 19th century America. Students will learn that these big business leaders are viewed in two ways in American societycaptains of industry or robber barons. Students will learn how the big business leaders organized their companies, as well as arguments for and against philanthropy and come to their own conclusion as to whether John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Gustavus Swift helped or harmed America- based on their own research. Grade: 11th grade United State History (1865-Present) mixed ability classroom Time Required: Two ninety-minute blocks Benchmarks Addressed: 1. History Standard #2 Analysis: Students will gather, examine and analyze historical data. (9-12) Students will develop and implement effective research strategies for investigating a given historical topic This standard will be addressed by having students research three big business leaders of the late 19th century (Rockefeller, Carnegie and Swift) and coming to their own conclusion as to whether each should be remembered as a captain of industry or robber baron. 2. History Standard #3 Interpretation: Students will interpret historical data. (9-12) Students will compare competing historical narratives, by contrasting different historians choice of questions.and how these factors contribute to different interpretations. This standard will be addressed by having students analyze two different historians interpretations of big business leaders of the late 19th century and discuss how if both historians were looking at the same person- how can they come to different conclusions? Colihan and Vitcusky Industrialization 2 Essential Question Addressed: 1. How can historians research and investigate the same person and arrive at different conclusions? Enduring Understanding: 1. Students will understand that historians (themselves included) use in a certain way that will support evidence to interpret events/people etc. their thesis - this is the reason why two historians can research the same person and arrive at different conclusions. Materials: 1. Lecture Notes- Industrialization and Big Business Leaders 2. Primary Source Analysis- Henry George vs. Andrew Carnegie 3. Historian A vs. Historian B- different interpretations of 19th century big business leaders. 4. Research directions and website list for students 5. Culminating essay instructions and rubric for essay Procedures: 1. Introductory Activity- Ask students to decide if Bill Gates, Donald Trump, etc. should give large sums of their fortunes to charity? Is it their responsibility? Should they be forced to give their money away? Give reasons why. This activity serves as an introduction to the big business leaders of the late 19th century and how they were viewed in American society- similar to the way we view our current big business leaders. 2. Mini-Lecture on Big Business leaders and industrialization in America 3. Primary source analysis (Henry George (social reformer) vs. Andrew Carnegie (head of Carnegie Steel)) Students will analyze different quotes from the two men in pairs and answer the questions that follow. 4. Class discussion and answering of the guiding questions. 5. Historian A vs. Historian B- this serves as introductory activity to the next days research. Students in pairs will read two short narratives from two different historians with different interpretations of big business in the late 19th century and answer the questions that follow. Colihan and Vitcusky Industrialization 3 6. Class discussion on how historians can come to different interpretations on the same topic. Tell students that tomorrow they will be researching three big business leaders and come to their own conclusion. 7. Handout research, websites and essay directions. Students should have one day in library to work on research- essay can be due at a later time. 8. Debrief- After the research has been completed take a minute to ask students the essential question -How can historians research and investigate the same person and arrive at different conclusions? Use different students as examples as to how historians can look at the same person and come to different conclusions. After discussion, place masking tape on the ground, about 3-4 feet and put on left side Captain or industry and right side Robber Baron, for each industrialist have students take a stand on the spectrum and defend their decision and how they arrived it- do this for each industrialist Assessment: 1. Students will research three men: John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Gustavus Swift. First they will find out basic information on them. The final part of the project will be an essay in which they establish their opinion as to whether each man was a captain of industry or a robber baron- giving ample amounts of evidence for their argument. The essay should be at least one page per man. Rubric is provided. Colihan and Vitcusky Industrialization 4 Handout 1: Lecture Notes Outline Notes I. Industrialization and Big Business A. New technology/inventions sets stage for industrial growth in America after 1850 B. Big Business leaders- John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Gustavus Swift. They are viewed in two ways: 1. Captains of Industry: a.) served USA positively, created jobs b.) Philanthropists- giving to charities, founding libraries and museums 2. Robber Barons: a.) built fortunes from exploiting workers b.) drained USAs natural resources C. Social Darwinism- Big Business men justified what they did by Darwins theory of evolution only the strong survive D. Federal Government- lassiez-faire policies- hands off of business practices and people, no regulations E. Creating a Big Business 1. Monopoly: buying out competitors in same business, prices rise (only one choice) 2. Trust: similar businesses turning over assets to a board to control prices and competition. 3. Consolidation: creating huge businesses controlled by one company (Vertical and Horizontal) F. Some Americans believed big business was bad- didnt protect workers and consumers. Federal government begins to interfere: 1. Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890: Law passed to restrict creations of big businesses. Began breaking big companies up. Colihan and Vitcusky Industrialization 5 Handout 2- George vs. Carnegie 1883 Henry George Beneath all political problems lies the social problem of the distribution of wealth A civilization which tends to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the fortunate few, and to make of others mere human machines, must inevitably evolve anarchy and bring destruction. The tendency in all branches of industry is to the formation of rings against which the individual is helpless, and which exert their power upon government whenever their interests may thus be It served. is not merely positively, but negatively, that great aggregations of wealth, whether individual or corporate, tend to corrupt government and take it out of the control of the masses of the people. That he who produces should have, that he who saves should enjoy, is consistent with human reason and with the natural order. But existing inequalities of wealth cannot be justified on this ground. As a matter of fact, how many great fortunes can be truthfully said to have been fairly earned? 1889 Andrew Carnegie Not evil, but good, has come to the race from the accumulation of wealth by those who have had the ability and energy to produce it The contrast between the palace of the millionaire and the cottage of the laborer with us today measures the change which has come with civilization. This change however is not to be deplored, but welcomed as highly beneficial. The Socialist or the Anarchist who seeks to overturn present conditions is to be regarded as attacking the foundation upon which civilization Colihan and Vitcusky Industrialization 6 itself rests, for civilization took its start from the day when the capable, industrious workman said to his incompetent and lazy fellow, If thou dost not sow, though shalt not reap, and thus ended primitive communism by separating the drones from the bees. We shall have an ideal State, in which surplus wealth of the few will become, in the best sense, the property of the many, because administered for the common good; and this wealth, passing through the hands of the few, can be made a much more potent force for the elevation of our race than if distributed in small sums to the people themselves. This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: To set an example of modest living, shunning extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so, to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community- the man of wealth thus becoming a mere trustee and agent for his poorer brethren. Discussion: 1. Using the above quotes, create a basic summary of Henry George and Andrew Carnegies argument as to how big business leaders affect/should affect America. 2. What do you think the aim of each writer was? 3. Who do you think the intended audience for each was? 4. What do you think Andrew Carnegie would think of the Hilton family? 5. Who do you agree with and why? Explain and give examples (RARE) Colihan and Vitcusky Industrialization 7 Handout 3- Historical Interpretations Historian A 1927 The industrialist robber barons of the late 19th century were predatory and materialistic; their bloated corporations were threats to those humane and democratic values that made America great. Business tycoons turned modern America, with its standardize life and machine culture, into a place in which Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln would be strangers. The giants of industry were primitive souls, ruthless, predatory, capable; single-minded men, rogues, and rascals often, but never feeble. Historian B 1953 Much of the blame heaped on the captains of industry in the late 19th century is unwarranted. Although people like Rockefeller used methods that were ethically questionable, the kind of monopolistic control that they exercised was a natural response to the cutthroat competition of the period and reflected the trend toward business consolidation in all industrial nations. The captains of industry like Rockefeller were innovators, thinkers, planners, and bold entrepreneurs who imposed upon American industry a more rational and efficient pattern. They also created a model of philanthropy for all to follow. Had it not been for these captains of industry, the free world might have lost the first world war and most certainly have lost the second. Questions to answer: 1. What is the thesis of historian A? 2. What is the thesis of historian B? 3. How might both of these historians arrived at different conclusions? 4. What kinds of evidence might each historian to look at in order t...