The Robber Barons and the Sherman Antitrust Actby Tim McNeese
During the decades following the American Civil War, the economy of the United States experienced phenomenal growth. In every sector-agriculture, shipping, merchandizing, manufacturing, and transportation-a new American system of production and distribution was born. As the economy grew, so did the personal wealth of a handful of intrepid investors, dealmakers, and Wall Street financiers. To some, they were the mighty titans of industry. To others, they were greedy robber barons. As the American people came to question the robber barons' self-serving business practices, observers called for reform. The call was answered in 1890 with the passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act, a piece of legislation designed to bring down these controlling interests in the U.S. economy. The Robber Barons and the Sherman Antitrust Act explores the foundations and repercussions of the law that reshaped American business.
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