The Robber Barons

A site created for high school students about the robber barons:

An exploration of E. L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime includes information about Carnegie, Rockefeller, American Dream, labor Unions:

Information on John D. Rockefeller:

Andrew Carnegie timeline:

Andrew Carnegie tribute:

Early Attempts at Government Regulation

Regulation of the Railroads - Began with the state legislatures
 Munn vs Illinois 1876 - a partial victory for Midwestern grangers
Wabash [St. Louis & Pacific Railway Co] vs Illinois 1886. The Supreme Court 6 - 3 restricted the state's power to regulate.

 Interstate Commerce Act 1887
(1) Outlawed unfair discrimination against shippers with the use of rebates, pools, drawbacks and long-short haul
(2) Declared that railroad rates must be reasonable and just and published and could not be changed without
sufficient public notice.
(3) It created the Interstate Commerce Commission 

Regulation of Trusts and Monopolies -- Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890 
It forbade business combinations which resulted in restraint of trade. It did not recognize a good trust from a bad one. Although weak against Big Business, it was used effectively during the Gilded Age against unions, whose strikes were interpreted by the courts as a labor combination which restrained trade. 
US vs E.C. Knight Co January 1895
The Court 8 - 1 ruled that the American Sugar Refining Company 's acquisition of the stock of its leading
competitors, allowing it to control almost all sugar refining in the US, was not in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This decision paved the way for the great mergers of the 1890s.