Analysis: Andrew Carnegie
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Analysis: Andrew Carnegie William Heiges 1/26/11 Period 3 A.P. US History One of the captains of industry of 19th century America, Andrew Carnegie helped build the formidable American steel industry, a process that turned a poor young man into one of the richest entrepreneurs of his age. Later in his life, Carnegie sold his steel business and systematically gave his collected fortune away to cultural, educational and scientific institutions for "the improvement of mankind." Carnegie also was one of the first to call for a "league of nations" and he built "a palace of peace" that would later evolve into the World Court. His hopes for a civilized world of peace were destroyed, though, with the onset of World War I in 1914 ("American Experience: Andrew Carnegie." 1-2).In the business world he sought to become immune from competition by dominating all aspects of the production process. He was not content to own only the steel mills, but worked to control iron-ore barges, coal and iron fields and the railroads. Andrew Carnegie in many ways represented the American dream. He began with nothing and used his drive and intelligence to become the world's richest man for his time. ...read more.
Carnegie began to make his fortune by investing and buying stocks in multiple companies, and by creating joint-companies to gain a huge profit (62). After working for a little while in the railway business, Carnegie moved onto steel, in fact, he became known as the "Steel King". Carnegie was able to expand his steel industry through three facts: First, getting steel to replace iron and finding new uses for steel. Second, was the personal talent that Carnegie surrounded himself with, and third, the expansion occurred through the personal salesman talents he possessed (65). Carnegie eventually wrote the Gospel of Wealth, in which he described how to become rich and what to do with one's money after achieving that (66-67). Carnegie was considered the greediest man alive by many, but if thy only knew what he later does with his money. Political "'I remember as it was yesterday...being awakened during the night by a tap at the back window by men who had come to inform my parents that my uncle, Bailie Morrison, had been thrown in jail because he dared to hold a meeting which had been forbidden...It is not wondered at that, nursed amid such surroundings, I developed into a violent young republican whose motto was 'death to privilege'." ...read more.
As an owner of a corporation, he understood some of the problems in America with "labor issues". Carnegie was a fair leader coming down hard on his employees when they worked well and he rewarded them when they worked hard (65). All through his life, Carnegie fought for equal "privilege", which he felt was only limited to the old fading aristocratic vestments, and not himself and the new hierarchies of wealth (67). Even though many thought of him as greedy, he gave much of his money to libraries and schools to promote societies well-being (68). Carnegie started off a practice in which wealth accumulated by the rich should eventually find its way to the populace, which many thought was eccentric and generous at the time. Andrew Carnegie was a great American who was the perfect example of how a poor immigrant arriving in the U.S. could achieve the rags-to-riches status in life. He helped benefit society with his improvements on joint-companies and his expansion of the steel industry. He believed in equal working opportunities for everyone and gave practically his entire fortune to society before his death after a long life. In Carnegie's failures we see America's failures, and in his successes we see America's success. ...read more.
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