"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 Liliu'okalani, the last queen and ruler of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii.
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 story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century.
The story of a Russian immigrant and anarchist who is said to have inspired the assassination of President William McKinley.
A revealing portrait of one of America's most paradoxical leaders.
The evocative stories of teenage hoboes crisscrossing America on trains during the Great Depression.
Meet the Wizard of Odd. Robert Ripley was a new media star and the most popular man in America.
In 1967, thousands of hippies flocked to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district.