Men Who Built America 3 ( John D.  Rockefeller)

John D.  Rockefeller is known to be one of the richest men in the history of the US. He was a notable businessman in the oil industry. He founded the Standard Oil Company.

 

Rockefeller through his numerous tactics controlled up to 90% of the refinery business in the United States. At the inception of his business he partnered with Cornelius Vanderbilt and used his railroad network to gain  a monopoly in the business. 

 

His company was later dissolved by the Supreme Court after being found to have violated the Antitrust law. 

 

Rockefeller Early Business Journey

 

After working as an assistant bookkeeper for four years. Rockefeller started his own business at the age of 20. He started as a commission merchant for goods like grain, hay, and meat.  His business enthusiasm made him realize a lot of money from the business. At the end of the first year, he was able to gross a total sum of $450,000.

 

As a reasonable businessman,  Rockefeller was ready to take advantage of any opportunity that cames his way. Realizing the drop in oil production in Pennsylvania. Rockefeller decided to build an oil refinery in Cleveland. The business grew massively and this encouraged him to venture fully into the business. 

 

Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Company 

 

In the year 1870, Rockefeller with his associates established the Standard Oil Company. The company had a great first year. This was due to the situation of the oil production market at the time. It was a time when the oil demand was high and supply was considerably low.

 

Rockefeller took advantage of the dominance of his business to acquire most of his competitors in the industry. In less than two years, standard oil swept out all competitors in the Cleveland area. To advance his business through the United States, Rockefeller partnered with Vanderbilt to ship his oil with the railroad. 

 

After a while,  when the relationship between Rockefeller and Vanderbilt went sour. Rockefeller came up with a transport system of his own. He acquired terminals and pipelines to transport his oil without any restrictions. Rockefeller then made use of a series of aggressive business tactics to gain a monopoly even beyond Cleveland. He acquired vast land and forest to ensure competitors are unable to run their pipeline. 

 

The undeniable growth of Standard Oil Company got the attention of The US Congress. The Congress scrutiny later revealed that the company had violated the antitrust bill. This led to the prosecution of the company at the Supreme Court. 

 

To stay ahead of Congress and the court, Rockefeller disintegrated Standard into units with central control. However, the tactic was not successful as it was later declared illegal by the court. Eventually, the business was asked to indefinitely suspend its operation and fragment into smaller units. 

 

Conclusion 

Rockefeller lighted up America with his oil and reshaped her economy.  He was a man of faith and had great devotion for God. No doubt he is one of the fathers that helped put America’s economy in the spotlight. 

 

Taking cognizance of his shares in Exxon Mobil and Chevron, Rockefeller net worth in today’s value is equivalent to $600 billion. Rockefeller is also credited to be a philanthropist who sponsored many causes in the United States of America. 

 

Reference 

 

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