"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.
America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster, wrote 200 songs but died a penniless alcoholic at 37.
French settlers in Louisiana merged with African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans and others to create Cajun and Zydeco musical traditions.
In 1897, Arctic explorer Robert Peary caused a sensation when he returned from Greenland with five Eskimos.
An updated look at the Alabama tenant farmer families that Walker Evans and James Agee documented in their 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
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 history of New York City and the people and forces that have shaped it over the past 400 years is told in a seven-part 14.5-hour series.
Between 1890 and 1920, 12 million people emigrated from Europe arriving in New York Harbor and Ellis Island.