Andrew Carnegie's Contribution To The Industry: A Captain Of Industry

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Andrew Carnegie was an immigrant from Scotland who rose from rags to riches through his hard work in the steel industry. He was an industrious leader who helped in transforming the American economy with his business strategies, which was shown later by his success, and then also demonstrated his philanthropy by donating millions of dollars for the betterment of society. Although it can be argued that he was a robber baron who unjustly pushed himself to the top, Andrew Carnegie was truly a captain of industry, as he positively contributed to the country in many ways. One piece of evidence representing Carnegie as a captain of industry is the various business tactics he used. Immigrating to America penniless, Carnegie knew how important it was…show more content…
By doing this, Carnegie was able to maintain the price of steel low enough for most people to afford, which kept the company’s profits high. Carnegie gained monopoly by two strategies: vertical and horizontal integration. The strategy of vertical integration is where a company buys out its suppliers so that it can manage the supplies it receives and at what cost. For example, Carnegie bought iron mines and coal fields, and railroad lines. By doing this, Carnegie benefitted because it would allow him to manufacture and transport steel at lower rates. Another strategy, horizontal integration, is where a company buys out competing companies. What Carnegie did was he bought out the small steel producing companies so that he could slowly gain control over the whole industry. These strategies together let him not only produce steel at low costs, but also let him keep control of the price of steel. Although it can be argued that monopolies hurt the economy and that Carnegie’s monopoly over the steel industry was not something positive, Carnegie never took advantage of his…show more content…
He believed that it was the duty of the wealthy to give back to society during their lifetime. In his essay Wealth, Carnegie mentions that a rich man has three choices about how he should spend his money: he could either leave it for his children to inherit when he passes away,or leave a set amount of money to be donated for when after he passes away, or donate much of it during the time he is alive. Carnegie believed that the last choice was the best, as the money would serve the purpose the donor wanted, and the donor would be respected for the rest of his life for it. This is the path he himself took as well. After selling his company, Carnegie Steel, to J.P. Morgan for $480 million dollars, Carnegie donated about 90% of what he received to different societal causes such as world peace, scientific research, and public libraries. Although some might say that Carnegie donated his money because he felt guilty for the way he had obtained it, the opposite is true, as Carnegie himself stated that “ a man who dies rich, dies disgraced”, meaning that he believed that a man who did not do his duty and benefit his society was not worthy of mention. In conclusion, Carnegie was not a robber baron; he was a captain of industry. His business tactics, successful monopoly on steel, and philanthropy demonstrate this as well. Although it can be argued that Carnegie’s monopoly
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