Andrew Carnegie: Ruthless Conqueror or Great Philanthropist?

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Andrew Carnegie can be looked at as a double edged sword. One edge of the blade would show Carnegie as an ideal example of a poor immigrant fighting his way up to become an incredibly successful business man who would one day give nearly all his fortune away to help society improve itself. The reverse edge of the blade would show Carnegie as a ruthless business man who would slash his workers pay, drive other businesses under and used corruption to become leader of the capitalist world. These viewpoints of Carnegie have changed as years pass. Early accounts of Carnegie depict him as the ruthless conqueror of the steel industry while other later works tend to show both sides of Carnegie with great emphasis on the fact that he was a great…show more content…
Such thriftiness was the key to his future success. Carnegie didn’t let the Industrial Revolution that destroyed his father’s business destroy him. As a young boy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Carnegie began working in a factory. He despised this position but it made him stronger and he pushed on in his hunt for his new future. In so doing, he was able to gain a fresh outlook with a position in a telegraph office. From here, he developed a skill that all successful business men need to master; Carnegie learned the artful skill of making business connections. This new talent is what led Carnegie to his relationship with Thomas Scott. Scott helped Carnegie by getting him a job with Pennsylvania Railroad. This position was a crucial turning point in Carnegie’s career. Perhaps the most controversial of Andrew Carnegie’s qualities is his belief in Social Darwinism. The English philosopher Herbert Spencer convinced Carnegie that it wasn’t bad to be successful. It was “survival of the fittest” in the business world and there was no reason for Andrew Carnegie to feel guilty for obtaining more wealth. Throughout Carnegie’s life, he displayed his firm belief in the certainty of competition. In fact, he was afraid of competition and did all he could to obstruct or completely remove it when it came to his

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