I do not think that it can be justified outright, nor do I think that complete justification should be attempted. The system at the time was (and is, but maybe to a lesser extent) broken. Taking advantage of others purely for the gain of economic excess isn’t right. Now, it should be said that I don’t think everyone at the time had purely bad intentions, and it is important to remember that people with bad intentions are in all classes.
Finally, I will say something to try to give some perspective on the question, keeping in mind that I don’t have resources to site for this piece of my post.
Disclaimer out of the way, it is likely that there are things we do now, that one-hundred years down the road, the generation then will think we were nuts for doing. However, from our point of view it’s a normal item or activity, for example, it could be things like 5g cell towers, or gasoline cars. Things that are normal to us now but could be seen similarly in a hundred years to how we look at our own history. (explain in your own words 100 words)