"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 story of the American civil rights movement is told through its powerful music -- the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.
The shocking story of Richard Leopold and Nathan Loeb, two wealthy college students who murdered a 14-year-old boy in 1924.
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
In 1897, Arctic explorer Robert Peary caused a sensation when he returned from Greenland with five Eskimos.
For the first time on television, God in America will explore the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States.
This film follows the 65 "British soldiers" and 67 "American rebels" who reenact the 1775 Battle of Lexington and Concord.
In 1934, American polar explorer Richard Byrd became the first to experience winter in Antarctica's interior.
America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster, wrote 200 songs but died a penniless alcoholic at 37.