The New Student's Reference Work/Monopoly

Monop′oly, a term used to indicate the sole right to sell or trade in any article, given to a single person or to a group of persons. In early times this right was often granted by government, as in the time of Queen Elizabeth, salt and coal were articles whose sale was thus limited; and one of the greatest monopolies the world has ever known, the East India Company, received its charter at that time. These government monopolies were opposed by the English people, and finally ended. Monopolies, under their modern form of trusts, combines, syndicates or unions, are the same in principle, an effort to do away with competition and give to one set or class of persons the sole right of selling or trading in an article. These combinations are effected by the use of capital, which is employed to drive out of business all small dealers. The Standard Oil Company and the Reading coal “combine” are well-known instances of great American monopolies.