Andrew Carnegie: Hero or Not?

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Hero. This word applies to a person who steps out of any planned schedule to do good deeds. They take sacrifices to help others and make an impact on many people’s lives. Heroes inspire others in the same field to emulate them. They often are good people without needing any type of recognition. America needed heroes in it’s times of economic struggle. There are mixed feelings whether Andrew Carnegie, the huge businessman, deserves the title of being a hero. Document 2 clarifies Andrew Carnegie’s thoughts on survival of the fittest.

He believes the operation of business should be in the hands of a wealthy person who is capable. Carnegie likes Social Darwinism because it earned him his place in society, being rich. He believes this theory is beneficial to everyone, meanwhile the people living in poverty would say something completely different. Another instance that shows his obsession with money is in the third document. He states he would leave a business that only gave you a money statement once a year. The sixth document clearly shows some of Carnegie’s steel companies.

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He controlled many parts of the steel making process, taking part in vertical integration. He was definitely a hero in the business field, leaving a legacy in steel mills. Document 6 gives Carnegie a bad look. It gives the impression he is this rich and powerful businessman that is treating his workers poorly. He is a millionaire and donates his money for many good causes, but meanwhile, his workers are being paid very poorly. Document 7 sheds an even brighter light on how poorly his workers are paid. In a year, people were only making half of what they needed to support their families.

Carnegie was making hundreds of thousands more money than his workers, and he could have put his money towards better wages rather than donations. The tenth document really exemplified Carnegie from a worker’s point of view. Steel mill workers believed he had a double personality because of their terrible wages. Their wages would continue being cut and cut, meanwhile Carnegie was taking his money and using it to fund libraries. It really bothered them that a millionaire like him could not put his money to better use in their minds.

They saw him as just indifferently giving his money away to charities and to benefit his hometown and where he came from. Andrew Carnegie seems to be a hero. Although, he was not a hero in the way that he was cutting wages and using his millions for something else. However, he is a hero because he did put good use to his money in some ways. Document 8 is almost like Carnegie giving his own definition of the word hero. He says men should do good throughout their lives, and not wait until they’re dead to give away all of their money. He believes anyone with money should distribute it during his or her lives.

Also, he states that wealthy individuals need to be leaders for others. They can do this by being modest, also by sharing their experience and wisdom with others who might not have those qualities. He thinks that if one dies with a significant amount of money, they have disgraced their life. Andrew Carnegie followed all of these statements he preached about wealth. This makes him a hero for sending his knowledge on to others and being a good person in his lifetime. He practiced what he preached and did not wait until he died to give away his money.

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Andrew Carnegie: Hero or Not?. (2017, Jan 27). Retrieved from

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