Andrew Carnegie's Philanthropism

1149 Words5 Pages
Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant, industrialist, and philanthropist, amassed one of the largest fortunes in history, and revolutionized the American steel industry. Carnegie incorporated the Bessemer Process to manufacture steel while, utilizing vertical integration, and monopolization to establish his position in the global steel market. However, to create his steel empire Carnegie mistreated his workers, by providing them low salaries and long hours. Some say that Carnegie’s maltreatment of workers diminished his accomplishments, but his achievements in the steel industry and his philanthropism place him as one of the most successful Americans in history. Andrew Carnegie, was born November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland, son of…show more content…
His company utilized the Bessemer process of refining iron which is the cheapest and quickest method to refine iron; this is a unique concept in the United States but has been proved successful in Great Britain. One key aspect of Carnegie’s business was his ability to rapidly reinvest his profits to rid competition through vertical integration. Carnegie utilized vertical integration so that “from the moment these crude stuffs were dug out of the earth until they flowed in a stream of liquid steel in the ladles, there was never a price, profit, or royalty paid to any outsider.” Carnegie was able to build his company to the point where he controlled all aspects of mining the ores, preparing the steel, and shipping the materials to be sold. Carnegie’s hold on the steel business created results greater than all of the steel businesses in Great Britain; along with, inhibiting competition in the United States because he was able to reinvest in his business, and drastically reduce his cost of goods, which made it extremely difficult to compete with Carnegie Steel. Towards the end of Carnegie’s ownership of Carnegie Steel competition became more common with the likes of J.P Morgan, and the Moore Brothers. However, they were never able to become successful as Carnegie. In fact, the only way J.P Morgan was able…show more content…
In order to build Carnegie Steel, Carnegie utilized the numerous available resources, he used both the vast amount of raw materials available in North America along with the increasing amounts of new labor available from immigrants to the United States. Carnegie took advantage of the few regulations on big business in America by making his employees work for twelve hours seven days a week with only one holiday, the Fourth of July. In addition to the long hours his wages were barely above the poverty line of five hundred dollars, at ten dollars a week. At the expense of his workers Carnegie was able to keep his expenses low to increase his profits. Perhaps the most impactful action of Carnegie was his pursuit of The Gospel of Wealth or the responsibility of wealthy individuals to redistribute their wealth among the masses through acts of charity. Carnegie believed strongly in free access to education through public libraries, resulting in him donating over fifty five million dollars towards the first public branches towards the New York public library, along with two thousand eight hundred public libraries throughout the United States and Great Britain. He also believed in higher education, which prompted him to donate money to universities in Scotland, and establish the Carnegie Institute of Technology. In addition, he founded the Carnegie
Open Document