"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.
A revealing portrait of one of America's most paradoxical leaders.
A president who rose from a broken childhood to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage.
America's first First Lady defined the role of the President's wife and in the process changed the face of the American presidency.
A man who symbolized African American equality fought a proponent of Hitler's Aryan racial theories on the eve of World War II.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.
As the star attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Annie Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her shooting feats. Part of the Wild West collection.
The staggering death tolls of the Civil War permanently altered the character of the republic and the psyche of the American people.
The life story of Aimee Semple McPherson, religious evangelist instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture.