Why Were Some Men Called Robber Barons?

Why Were Some Men Called Robber Barons?

The term "robber barons" refers to men who amassed considerable wealth through morally reprehensible means. They are of two types: the medieval European lords who charged inflated tolls for passage through their lands or waterways, and the 19th-century American capitalists who monopolized businesses through robbery, extortion and corruption.

A standard definition for “robber” is a person who seizes something from someone else through force or violence, while a “baron” is a member of the nobility or someone with great power. Thus, the term “robber baron” was devised to reflect the feelings of the exploited underlings, and its meaning is scornful.