Friday, February 8, 2013

"The Gentlewoman and the Robber Baron" (Questions)

Hey, there! Here is a set of questions and answers about "The Gentlewoman and the Robber Baron." Here is the link for the full text, which I have uploaded. I hope these questions are useful for you!

What were the most important magazines in America in 1902?
The most important magazines during that time were McClure's and Munsey's magazines.

Who was Mark Twain? How did he become involved in Ida Tarbell's investigation of Standard Oil?
He was a famous public figure and writer. He became involved when Standard Oil asked him to investigate what Ida Tarbell and the magazine she was working for were planning to write about  Standard Oil.

Why did Ida Tarbell pray not to get married?
Back then, women were almost like slaves to their husbands, and Ida Tarbell wanted to be free.

Who were the suffragettes? How did they influence Ida?
They were the women who were fighting for the right of vote, and they told Ida that she had to be spinster if she wanted to be free.

What was the most important thing in John Rockefeller's life?
There was kind of a tie between the importance of his whole family and his oil refinery monopoly.

What is a rebate?
When a part of the money a person paid is given back as a refund.

How did the railways give preferential treatment to Standard Oil?
Since their oil was better, the railways worked better and cheaper for the members of Standard Oil.

What is the difference between crude oil and refined oil?
Crude oil is much cheaper, and  the quality of refined oil is much better. Crude oil is just as it is extracted from earth, while when you refine oil you separate all of its components so you can get a better use of them all.

Did Standard Oil practice horizontal integration, vertical integration, or both?
They practiced both, because they were slowly eradicating competence and lowering the prices they paid by buying both refineries and crude oil traders. Originally followed the path of horizontal integration, but later in its history it turned toward vertical integration.

Ida Tarbell summarized Rockefeller's goal: Controlling all refineries, I shall be the only shipper of oil. Being the only shipper, I can obtain special rates of transportation which will drive out and keep out competitors; controlling all refineries, I shall be the only buyer, and can regulate the price of crude [oil] as I can the price of refined. If Rockefeller controlled the entire market of oil, what would he have?
He would have a monopoly of one of the most expensive and demanded materials on Earth: the black gold. He would be able to do whatever he wanted with it, in prices, quality, blackmailing government and other companies, etc.

What did Ida Tarbell have to say about "The Legitimate Greatness of Standard Oil"?
Even though Ida Tarbell criticized the monopoly, she admired the efficiency of the company and recognized that it "had resulted in a master piece of organization."

What percentage of the nation's oil business did Rockefeller own by 1879?
He owned about 90% of the U.S. oil business.

What are muckrakers?
The term means to journalists, no matter if they are responsible or irresponsible.

What law did the U.S. Government use to sue Standard Oil?
They used the Sherman Antitrust Law

What did the U.S. Supreme Court eventually decide in that lawsuit?
They decided that they would accept the dissolution of Standard Oil Trust.

What did Rockefeller's son John Rockefeller, Jr., do with his money?
He lent most of it.

What happened when John Rockefeller, Jr., and Ida Tarbell met at a conference?
They tried to avoid each other, avoiding the awkward moments if they brought out the theme of how Ida Tarbell destroyed his father's legacy.

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