"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 came apart in 1964 and has since been reborn.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
In the decade after the Civil War, former slaves sing their way into a nation's heart with spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery.
Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.
The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Earhart disappeared in 1937 during an attempt to circumnavigate the world by airplane.
An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers.
From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.
An updated look at the Alabama tenant farmer families that Walker Evans and James Agee documented in their 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.