"I never had an animus against Standard Oil's size and wealth, never objected to their corporate form," wrote Ida Tarbell in her autobiography. "I was willing that they should combine and grow as big and rich as they could, but only by legitimate means. But they had never played fair, and that ruined their greatness for me."
John D. Rockefeller, of course, disagreed: "It was the law of nature, the survival of the fittest, that [the small refiners] could not last against such a competitor. Undoubtedly ... some of them were very bitter. But there was no band of greedy men plundering them. An able, intelligent, far-seeing organization simply outstripped men in the casual, haphazard way of doing business. That was inevitable."
Shortly after the site launched in 2000, we asked our users to answer these controversial questions. Below are the results from this poll.
In your opinion, did Rockefeller achieve a monopoly through legitimate means?
How would you characterize the legacy of Standard Oil?
How do you view the recent wave of mergers and their impact on our economy and society?
Do you agree with the government's antitrust decision in the Microsoft case?
Total number of poll participants: 4206
Of the participants polled, 2180 watched at least half of the film; of those, 1757 said the film influenced their vote.
The thrilling true story of the American Olympic rowing team that triumphed against all odds in Nazi Germany in 1936.
The converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women west across the Atlantic in 1620.
The internationally famous carnival of delights in New York was the birthplace of the hot dog and the roller coaster.
"The Wizard of Menlo Park," Inventor Thomas Edison, built the first practical light bulb and revolutionized the world.
In 1897, Arctic explorer Robert Peary caused a sensation when he returned from Greenland with five Eskimos.
The young CBS reporter changed his pacifist ideals after reporting on the rise of fascism in Europe during World War II.
The inspiring story of the modern environmental movement.
Murderer, martyr, hero - John Brown's violent crusade against slavery would divide the nation and spark the Civil War.