Abstract: Antimonopoly in the Gilded Age

Richard White


As a political movement, antimonopolism evolved considerably in the late nineteenth century, but its target –“monopoly “–remained relatively consistent.   The concerns of antimonopolist went well beyond the ability of a single producer or small group of producers to dominate a market.  It arose from the antebellum fear of special privilege.  To hold a monopoly was in William Novak's wordsto appropriate “to the few . . . the rights belonging equally to the many.”