1 - Ali Buschel Paper 1 Penn State University Abington...

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Ali Buschel: Paper # 1 -- January 13, 2006 Penn State University Abington College HIS 021 Sec 002 American Civilization Since 1877 – Dr. Prushankin Issue 2: Was John. D. Rockefeller A “Robber Baron”? Presented in Taking Sides , Madaras & SoRelle eds. Eleventh edition, Pp. 24-47 Scope of Debate: On the “yes” side, Matthew Josephson depicts Rockefeller as a stingy manipulator who can’t be trusted because of secret agreements made with railroads for him to gain control and restrain free trade so that he could be the only oil refiner in the United States. On the “no” side, Ron Chernow says that yes, Rockefeller was guilty of widespread crime, but he was accused for certain actions that were taken by other members of Rockefeller’s company that Rockefeller, himself was unaware of. Sources: Josephson and Chernow use both primary and secondary sources. One of Josephson’s secondary sources, which are quotes from John T. Flynn, show us that Rockefeller was all about business, he rarely thought of other people’s feelings, and he was very alert. However, Chernow’s own input and one of his primary sources, a letter written by Rockefeller, disprove some of Ida Tarbell’s writings and show us that Rockefeller was indeed a caring man and was blamed for things that he was unaware of. One of Josephson’s primary sources, Rockefeller’s autobiography,
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