Why Was Andrew Carnegie Not A Hero?

953 Words4 Pages

:Not many people get the opportunity to significantly shift America’s ways of life with empty hands. Andrew Carnegie was a diligent man who pulled himself up to success, having nothing to offer, but his fascination with the steel industry of America. His vertical monopoly in America’s steel industry helped economically. He gained a fortune and did many great works as a philanthropist. One could say Andrew Carnegie’s righteous acts outweighed his unrighteous acts, but unfortunately, he did not stay true to his proclaimed duty as a man of wealth. Andrew Carnegie is not a hero because he was a fanatic for money who failed to provide for his overworked employees with pleasant working conditions and reasonable pay. Although some view Andrew Carnegie …show more content…

In an interview by McClure’s Magazine, a worker two years after the strike at homestead stated, “Of course, if everything is working smooth and a man watches out, why, all right! But you take it after they’ve been on duty for twelve hours without sleep, and running like hell, everybody tired and loggy, and it’s a different story.” (Document 6) Andrew Carnegie broke the union to lower production costs, which resulted in lower wages and longer hours. All workers worked in an unsafe environment, where their lives were at stake constantly due to many hours without sleep. Not only did Andrew Carnegie have the Homestead steel mill running straight after the strike, but he didn’t care to change or fix the conditions at the steel mill for his workers. In Andrew Carnegie’s article named “Wealth,” he stated, “(I)t is to this law (of competition) that we owe our wonderful material development, … while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department.” (Document 2) Survival of the fittest refers to the strongest people in a situation continuing to live or prosper, while the others fail. Andrew Carnegie strived and was great in his riches, while his workers failed in their conditions, not just physically, but …show more content…

Andrew Carnegie stated, “There remains, then, only, one mode of using great fortunes; …the duty of the man of wealth (is to) set an example of modest … living…; and … to consider all surplus revenues … as trust funds … to produce the most beneficial results for the community.” (Document 8) Andrew Carnegie believed the wealthy had the responsibility to support and give back to the community, while he could not do the same for his workers. He thrived off this belief for others, donating to other causes, but his workers that were still suffering revealed Carnegie’s careless attributes. In the Rise of Big Business, it reads, “Carnegie’s watch on costs never let up in his first twenty-five years in the steel business. He grew more fanatical as years passed and competition stiffened.” (Document 3) Andrew Carnegie was obsessed with his money and focused on keeping that money from dropping. He made many great purchases and donations, but could not even help his workers. His worker's wages were not only low, but their suffering was high. Andrew Carnegie was blinded by his riches, is a selfish man, and is truly a cruel fanatic for

Open Document