The Standard Oil Company of Ohio had attained control of nearly all the oil refineries in the U.S. The company almost immediately began using a variety of cutthroat techniques to acquire or destroy competitors and thereby “consolidate” the industry.
Who was the Rockefeller that is referred to in this statement and why was he so concerned about the Sherman Act? John D. Rockefeller was the man. To some, enormous wealth, power and intrigue, is like a powerful aphrodisiac, once they have it, they never want it to stop, and they want more and more. John D. Rockefeller was such a man, he had enormous wealth and power, but he wanted much more than he was entitled to. He felt he had earned it. He had realized all of his dreams at an early age. He had risen to the height of power that we cannot begin to imagine. An American success, the story of John D. Rockefeller is also a rag to riches story. He was born in Richmond, IL in 1839, the second of six children from a working class family. The family moved to a farm in Strongsville, Ohio, near Cleveland in 1853. In the 1880’s John had everything he could possibly want but he wanted more. In the Titanic, men like John Davidson Rockefeller and Cal Hockley imagined themselves to be the Masters of the Universe. However in John’s time he was the Master.
Standard Oil Company
In 1870, John D. Rockefeller, together with his brother William, Henry M. Flagler and Samuel Andrews, established the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. The petroleum refining industry was still highly decentralized during this period with more than 250 competitors in the U.S.
In just a little over a decade, the Standard Oil Company of Ohio had attained control of nearly all the oil refineries in the U.S. The company almost immediately began using a variety of cutthroat techniques to acquire or destroy competitors and thereby “consolidate” the industry. This dominance of the oil industry as well as other investments into the railroads, other industries, and even control of various levels of government, persisted and intensified, despite a growing public outcry and repeated attempts to break it up, until the U.S. Supreme Court was finally able to act decisively in 1911.
The Sherman Act, formed in 1890 was named for Senator John Sherman and authorized the federal government to institute proceedings against trusts in order to dissolve them. However, Supreme Court rulings prevented federal authorities from using the act for some years. President Theodore Roosevelt’s “trust-busting” campaigns ensured that the Sherman Act began to be invoked with some success, and in 1904 the Supreme Court upheld the government in its suit for dissolution of the Northern Securities Company. The act was further employed by President Taft in 1911 against the Standard Oil trust and the American Tobacco Company.