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Was Andrew Carnegie a Hero? Essay

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Essay title: Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth


Carnegie didn't marry until after his mother died. Unlike many industrialists of his time, Carnegie was not an inventor or a risk-taking Wall Street financier. Many of his fellow capitalists financed their various business ventures with watered-down stocks. This is not how Carnegie chose to conduct his business. All of his early organizations were either partnerships or associations. He chose to focus on the vertical integration of a single industry, specifically the steel industry.

Most others made their profits by creating a horizontal monopoly. He worked hard to control entire industries, rather than parts of many. By , Carnegie was a multi-millionaire. At the age of 35, Carnegie decided to limit his personal wealth and donate the surplus to benevolent causes. He was determined to be remembered for his good deeds rather than his wealth. He became a "radical" philanthropist.

Prior to publishing his ideas about wealth, he began donating to his favorite causes, starting by donating a public bath to his hometown of Dunfermline. Carnegie never pursued a formal education. At one point, he wrote that he wished to attend Oxford University, but that never happened.

Instead, he spent most of his free time as a young adult reading and educating himself. Andrew Carnegie died in in Lenox, Massachusetts. His autobiography was published posthumously in , which contained many gaps, since he died in the midst of writing his book about the outbreak of the First World War.

As Carnegie tried to live his life in a way that the poor could benefit from his wealth, he decided he needed to share his ideas with the public. In , he published his controversial views in an article entitled "Wealth" in the North American Review , an opinion magazine for America's establishment.

Carnegie based his philosophy on the observation that the heirs of large fortunes frequently squandered them in riotous living rather than nurturing and growing them. Even bequeathing one's fortune to charity was no guarantee that it would be used wisely, due to the fact that there was no guarantee that a charitable organization not under one's direction would use the money in accordance with one's wishes.

Carnegie disapproved of charitable giving that maintained the poor in their impoverished state, and urged a movement toward the creation of a new mode of giving that would create opportunities for the beneficiaries of the gift to better themselves. As a result, the gift would not be simply consumed, but would be productive of even greater wealth throughout the house. In The Gospel of Wealth, Carnegie examines the modes of distributing accumulated wealth and capital to the communities from which they originate.

He preached that ostentatious living and amassing private treasures were wrong. He praised the high British taxes on the estates of dead millionaires, remarking that "By taxing estates heavily at death the State marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire's unworthy life. It is desirable that nations should go much further in this direction. Carnegie made it clear that the duty of the rich was to live modest lifestyles, [8] and that any surplus of money they had was best suited for re-circulation back into society where it could be used to support the greater good.

He shunned aristocratic chains of inheritance and argued that dependents should be supported by their work with major moderation, with the bulk of excess wealth to be spent on enriching the community. In cases where excess wealth was held until death, he advocated its apprehension by the state on a progressive scale: When Carnegie Steel busted the union in , Carnegie was able to keep himself from blame because he focused on his new doctrine for the wealthy. The Homestead Strike ended in a showdown between Pinkerton guards and a crowd of steel workers and supporters devolved into an exchange of gunfire.

This outbreak left 7 workers and 3 guards dead, and many more wounded. It made headlines around the world, and reporters reached Carnegie, who was in Scotland at the time. When questioned, Carnegie called the violence "deplorable" but otherwise pleaded ignorance, and stated "I have given up all active control of the business. His good works still benefit people around the globe, and people saw that in him.

The Homestead Strike did little to mar his reputation. Carnegie's controversial views on wealth sparked a trans-Atlantic debate that argued the nature, purpose, and disposition of wealth.

William Ewart Gladstone , the head of the Liberal Party in England, and a friend of Carnegie's, had some sharp remarks on the publication. Even though they were close friends and had similar political ideals, Gladstone did not agree with Carnegie's paper. Gladstone defended primogeniture , unlimited inheritance, and the British Aristocracy. These critical reviews led Carnegie to publish a series of essays defending himself.

He defended individualism, private property, and the accumulation of personal wealth on the grounds that they benefited the human race in the long run. In an effort to convince his critics that he wasn't saying everyone should get free handouts from the upper class, he edited his original doctrine, so that it read "Help those who will help themselves, to provide part of the means by which those who desire to improve may do so.

He took Bessemer's brilliant steel-making process back to America and built several steel mills in Pennsylvania. At the age of 65 he finally decided it was time to move on from the mills and he sold the Carnegie Steel Company to J.

A hero is someone who has good values in life, is a role model, and is inspirational to others. Andrew Carnegie was a hero because he developed successful business practices, gave money to many organizations, and had good employee relations. Andrew Carnegie used his numerous good ideas and strategies to become a successful businessman. His most successful business stategy was his method of vertical integration, which is when one person controls all the steps in the production process.

Instead of just owning the steel mills, he also owned the iron ore fields, where the iron used to make the steel came from, along with the boats and railroads used to transport the iron to his steel mills document 5. Even though this technique awarded him with a vast amount of money he also used this process to give many unemployed people jobs that awarded them with money as well. Carnegie's process of vertical integration was a business technique that improved future businesses.

Part of why he was such a successful businessman was because he was always well informed of his finances and how his business was doing. He also was informed of other businesses finances in order to ensure that he had lower prices and more customers then his competition.


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Andrew Carnegie, the ambitious and skilled king of steel during the late s, was the most famous man in business of his time. He certainly had his many flaws and as the most famous American of those days, his faults were highly talked about.

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Andrew Carnegie essaysAndrew Carnegie was, arguably, one of the richest men in America. Some say his wealth was a result of providing poor and cheap working conditions for his employees. Others say he was just an honest, hard working man. So, who's right? Andrew Carnegie was a man who hap.

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