Critics of the U.S. During the Progressive Era By: Elliana, Erisa, Sara, and Catherine
The Social Gospel’s role in the Progressive Era was amplified by the close connection between the Social Gospel and the emergence of professional social science in the late nineteenth century. During the last three decades of the nineteenth century, economics, political science, and sociology all emerged in American universities as the result of the influence of the Social Gospel. The leaders in all three disciplines were “social Christians” who saw their work as central to showing the truth about American society and the need for reform.
Entrepreneurs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century have often been given a bad image for their businesses techniques. While men like Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie did drive their competitors out of business, they developed modern America.
Vanderbilt was the king of the railroads. He eliminated many government supported railroad companies because they could not keep up with the quality or prices of Vanderbilt's lines. He was near entirely controlling the railroad industry himself. He improved the life's of many Americans by connecting the United States with rail; he created jobs for a number of men and enabled them to support their families.
One of Vanderbilt's business partners for a time was John D. Rockefeller. Building his oil industry from the ground up, Rockefeller was determined to beat out his competition. By significantly cutting the costs of production, he was able to sell kerosene at a low price which drove other companies out of the market. Rockefeller would then buy up the other businesses and give the former head of the company stalk in the company, creating a trust that Rockefeller controlled. While this enraged middle class citizens, fearing the unchecked power would endanger their jobs, Rockefeller sold his kerosene for the cheapest price on the market.