In the past, there have been many influential economic figures in the industrial business industry. Andrew Carnegie is one of the most famous of these figures but not just in a business scheme, but also in an economic and national scheme. Andrew Carnegie is a business man that caused a major controversial issue to arise; the topic of being labeled a Robber Baron or a Captain of Industry by the public. A Robber Baron is someone who has become wealthy through heartless and unethical business actions that will only benefit the individual. On the other hand, a Captain of Industry is a business leader who has become rich by accomplishing activities that will, overall, benefit the people of the community such as expanding a market or providing more jobs.
As our country reached the late 1800’s, Americans found themselves face to face with era known as the ‘Gilded Age’. Companies were created and grew rapidly during this time period. Some of the most famous entrepreneurs were John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, who seemed to be the perfect models for the ‘rags to riches’ story. Many people debate which entrepreneur was a better role-model. Due to his low prices, the high demand for his products, and the way he sought to eliminate any possible competition, John D. Rockefeller is clearly the better role-model for today’s entrepreneurs.
Thesis : After the Civil War, America was in a post-war boom. During the 1870-1890, big business moguls, such as Rockefeller and Carnegie, create huge corporations which not only affected the economy, but also affected the political realm of America. While many may assume that during the rise of these big business helped to change the economy and politics, the real focus was on the responses formed by society, such as labor unions, increase public outcry, and political opposition groups that helped to change society.
After the Civil War, the Second Industrial Revolution was established due to America’s rapid growth for industry and economics. Capitalists during the industrial period of 1875-1900’s were either accused of being a robber baron or a captain of industry. Some capitalists leaders who were accused of being a robber baron or captain of industry included J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew W. Mellon, and John D. Rockefeller. A robber baron is a business leader who gets rich through cruel and scandalous business practices. The captains of industry is a business leader who wants to better the companies in a way that it would be positively contributing to the country.
In the year of 1852, the industrious skill and dedication of a young twelve-year-old boy named Andrew Carnegie captivated Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad. 1 Awed by his diligence, Scott immediately hired and made Carnegie his personal telegrapher.2 With a “rags to riches” background that inspired others to work hard for the American Dream, Carnegie knew exactly how the less fortunate felt when they were compared to the wealthy. Noticing how society achieved social, economic, and political equality before industrialization, Carnegie shared his intake on America’s momentous shift from an agrarian society to an industrial society in the late
Aside from libraries, he also funded many church organs, schools, colleges, organizations, and funds. By the time of his death, he had given away ninety percent of his fortune. Finally, Carnegie left a strong psychological impact. In his article titled “Wealth”, he spread about his ideas of the successful economic system and the proper administration of wealth. Carnegie believed that it was the duty of the man with surplus to use that extra for the benefit of the community.
Eastman, Rockefeller, and Carnegie are Captains of Industry. They are Captains of Industry because they donated their money to help children. George Eastman supported dental clinics for children who couldn 't afford treatment so their teeth are more white and they will take more pictures and use his camera. Andrew Carnegie donated more than $350 million to help build over 2,500 libraries and used his steel to make them. Also, John D. Rockefeller Founded the General Education Board in 1903 and established high South by providing free professional advice.
During the Industrial Revolution big businesses took places of small workshops, increasing to quantity but not quality. This made many people lose their jobs, and now there was only one place to work the factories. Ahead of these factories were big business owners, some born into money others worked their way up to it like Andrew Carnegie. Work at these factories became unsafe and the pay was bad, they could only blame one person and that was the owners.
Was Cornelius Vanderbilt a Robber Baron or Captain of Industry? A cruel businessman or an industrious leader? Henry J. Raymond believed that Vanderbilt was “a monopolist that crushed other competitors”(T.J Stiles). While he is also deemed one of America’s leading businessmen, and is also credited for helping shape the United States. His fortunes were made unfairly in some cases but his million dollar contribution to the Navy was very generous.
A Captain of Industry is used to describe a successful businessman. Carnegie created an efficient steel industry. He did this by, converting iron into steel and built a new steel plant for his company called, Carnegie Steel Company. In the excerpt, “Who was Andrew Carnegie,” the author says, “Carnegie changed huge batches of iron into steel, which was much more flexible than brittle iron. Carnegie threw his own money into the process and even borrowed heavily to build a new steel plant near Pittsburgh.”
Name of Industrialist: Henry Ford How did he acquire his wealth? He acquire his wealth by being a self-made man, that revolutionize the car industry in the 90’s. How he (or his related industries) treated workers? Ford manage to lowered the cost of manufacturing, while providing a wage correspondent to more than double of the previous average.
There are so many views when considering the industrialists of late 19th century to be captains of industry while others consider them as Robber barons because they like practicing a system called the monopoly. Monopoly . they built huge companies and practice unfair businesses; which make them drive their counterparts out of business; and when they do such things, they are stealing businesses from competitors. Most people refer to them as the king of the American industries during the 19th century. Some viewed them as greedy, unprincipled and corrupt.
These men were captains of industry because they all donated money. One way Rockefeller bestowed a portion of his money away was by giving “millions of dollars to a variety of causes.” In the reading it quotes, “In 1919 Rockefeller donated $50,000,000 to the Board to raise academic Salaries.” This quote demonstrates that John D. Rockefeller was not an awful guy and cared for other people. In addition, it later says in the reading it that he also donated money for religion and medical purposes.
In not just the steel industry, the factory workers of the age were working to the exclusive benefit of the prime benefactor for the company. Painter writes “Thanks to efficient management and the scope of operations, Carnegie’s industrial empire made more than $40,000,000 in profits per year in the early 1890’s.” and that “When the contract between the amalgamated Association and the Homestead mill expired in June 1892, Carnegie was at his castle in Scotland and offered Frick a free hand.” (111-112) This passage suggests both that the industry was supremely profitable, but that a large part of the profits were going towards the industry’s prime benefactor, Andrew Carnegie.
Underpinnings and Effectiveness of Carnegie’s “Gospel of Wealth” In Andrew Carnegie’s “Gospel of Wealth”, Carnegie proposed a system of which he thought was best to dispose of “surplus wealth” through progress of the nation. Carnegie wanted to create opportunities for people “lift themselves up” rather than directly give money to these people. This was because he considered that giving money to these people would be “improper spending”.