"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.
What happened when the lights went out in New York City on July 13, 1977?
From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.
The young CBS reporter changed his pacifist ideals after reporting on the rise of fascism in Europe during World War II.
Today one of the most-recognized figures in American literary history, poet Walt Whitman was denounced by critics in his own time.
A courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.
A personal story of one family's dramatic effort to hold onto their family farm in Iowa as massive foreclosures sweep the nation in the 1990s.
General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.
A peanut farmer who rose to become America's 39th president. Part of the award-winning Presidents Collection.