The Gilded Age: John D. Rockefeller’s Role within the Oil Industry

The Gilded Age saw the rise of productive giants who amassed immense wealth. These mislabeled “robber barons” became incredibly rich not through robbing anyone. They became wealthy by offering products and services of high quality at attractively low prices. Thusly, a big proportion of American consumers preferred to transact with them. During this period of rapid economic growth in U.S., such industrialists earned their wealth through relentless determination, innovativeness and effective risk management.

John D. Rockefeller was purely a market entrepreneur (cite) who achieved success by producing cheap kerosene – inexpensive enough that most could afford it (cite). This transformed the lives of millions of common people in many ways. Before the founding of Standard Oil, homes were kept alight using candles. Heat would be supplied using either coal or firewood. The candles didn’t provide sufficient light and the coal was unclean. But Rockefeller’s kerosene brought more brightness, consisted of more cleanliness and was more effective for all.

Rockefeller was one of the greatest environmentalists of the Gilded Age. He loved nature and had a passion for recycling. On the contrary other oil refiners discarded their crude waste that polluted rivers and streams. Gasoline that was dumped in these water channels was a hazard since that risked the occurrence of accidental and dangerous fires by non-compliant smokers. But the paradigm of Free Market would sooner or later eliminate the inefficient and left the most efficient oil industrialists. Rockefeller found a new market segment for what was constituted in crude oil. Therefore, his effectiveness reduced the price of oil remarkably.

Rockefeller contributed majorly in the cultivation of the American middle class and positioning U.S. as a world-class industrial power. He exemplified entrepreneurial genius by leveraging on impeccable ideas from his workers. Standard Oil’s employees were remunerated handsomely. When kerosene had been extracted, Standard’s chemists discovered utility for the remaining compounds. For example, the cheap gas produced by Rockefeller gave Henry Ford the propensity to begin the automobile industry with his first invention – the Model-T car. By the turn of the 19th century millions of people worked in oil-related industries. Ultimately, those careers helped create and stratify the middle class.

The vast potential in the oil industry attracted the imagination and the business acumen of John Rockefeller. Immersing himself in the trade, he found great success for himself and countless others. He donated much of his wealth to medical research, charities and schools, and supported churches and missionaries through his philanthropy. Since he created his fortunes by revolutionizing the oil industry, he was a market entrepreneur. This is in contrast to political entrepreneurs who create their riches by exploiting governmental subsidization and political influence and dealing.


7 thoughts on “The Gilded Age: John D. Rockefeller’s Role within the Oil Industry

  1. From the beginning with Standard Oil and through the Exxon-Mobil years with David Rockefeller, this manipulative family received billions of dollars in tax subsidies annually from the U.S. government.

    They also diverted the direction of the U.S. health care system from holistic to an allopathic system of surgery and synthetic pharmaceuticals which has contributed to chronic illness – creating a heartless system that profits on pain and suffering.


  2. Wow. 😦 I just spent about 45 minutes writing a long, somewhat detailed reply on this page and, literally as I was about to copy & paste it into my e-mail to keep for possible future comments on the subject, the screen blinked out. I lost all of that work. I’m extremely disturbed by this. This has never happened to me before. There was no loss of electricity or internet access. Very strange. I will write something similar another time and try to reply to you, I want the truth known. I’m running out of time on the library computer. Have a beautiful day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No, I’m able to comment on your blog. I don’t want to sound paranoid, but it’s possible that due to the U.S. Patriot Act, which forces libraries to give access to all information disseminated online to the “intelligence” agencies, talking about this subject is flagged. I don’t know. It was sudden with no explanation. Never happened before. I’ll get back to you.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Comment on Rockefellers Take 2:

    This an extremely complicated issue with many levels, but I’ll try to give you a somewhat concise take on it. 🙂

    Many facts are not contained in “official” academic texts because, sadly, many of the academic institutions in the U.S. are dependent upon financing from large corporations and corporate foundations. The people that run most foundations hire sub-par academics to write papers that conform to the corporate-friendly ideology which will influence the public and sway opinion in the direction that best serves corporate interests. The academics justify their mindless obedience because they receive large sums of money to finance other projects (some of which may be valid) and they receive “standing” in their academic field.

    Some of these papers will seem truthful at first glance, but will either omit certain pertinent facts (which would change the logical conclusion of the paper) or word facts in a way which creates enough doubt about the conclusion to sway opinion. Many fields of science in the U.S. have been tainted by the disingenuous manipulation caused by capitalism. It affects every aspect of life. We constantly hear the benefits of it such as having a thriving economy with low prices and technology which gives us many conveniences which make life “easy.”

    What we don’t hear enough about is how efficiency (a pillar of capitalism) causes many people to lose their jobs without them being replaced by social programs which are cast in a bad light by corporate media – hired by the very same people pushing efficiency.

    We don’t hear enough about the immoral dumping of toxic industrial waste which poisons drinking water and kills animals, sometimes horribly. There are many other detrimental effects of adopting capitalism as a social system, but I’m getting off point. 🙂

    To get back to the Rockefellers, the Rockefeller Foundation opened hospitals and clinics around the country, but forced a specific style of medicine on us while doing so. Surgery was no longer viewed as something to be used when more natural (and less invasive) options failed, it was pushed as a first option. Synthetic pharmaceuticals were made less expensive, and therefore, more accessible than natural treatments which were known to not only be as (or more) effective – but to have little or no side effects, as opposed to synthetic chemicals which contribute to other illnesses (usually later in life), physical and mental imbalances in the body, harm to the environment (through extraction of materials or waste products dumped into water supplies) and toxicity of our food supply. Certain obedient members of mainstream media were paid (quietly) to write positive stroies about the “miraculous” new phamaceutical products advanced technology was bringing us – without mentioning the side effects on health or danger to the environment.

    An innocent weakness among many of us is to want heroes to look up to. Unfortunately, people with virtually unlimited resources are able to spread false information convincing people of their good (and sometimes heroic) intentions while caring about very little other than money and control – control over other people instead of control of their own minds and bodies. If we’d learn to control our desires and keep a modicum of balance between mind, body and spirit we’d be less likely to fall victim to the manipulations of predatory types and learn to retain more control over our own lives.

    The serious increase in most types of cancer, diabetes, heart ailments, stroke and other debilitating diseases has more than one reason, of course, but one important factor is the change in direction from a holistic view of treating the body to allopathic medicine which treats body parts separately. This way may help one area of the body, but at the same time hurt another area. This becomes a vicious cycle. The Rockefeller Foundation is a major reason for this deeply unfortunate transition which has caused so much suffering.

    (I have an unfinished essay on the subject which I haven’t had enough time online to complete. I’m only able to go online at a library due to not being able to afford a new device. And I continually see something that disturbs me enough to write an essay about it and post on my site – therefore putting this other essay further down the list.) 🙂 Oh well, one of these days.

    Thank you for your patience. I hope you were able to understand my writing style. I started to rush due to running out of library time. Have a beautiful day.

    Liked by 2 people

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