The Industrialization Of Andrew Carnegie And The Industrial Revolution

1539 Words 7 Pages
Industrialization in America could not have been achieved with a few key factors. Among these are the rich environment in America, a sympathetic and supportive government that remains deferential to private ownership, talented business leaders, railroads, and technology. The mineral deposits in the land as well as the presence of business visionaries like Andrew Carnegie were equally important in the overarching success of the American Industrial Revolution. Andrew Carnegie’s ability to vertically and horizontally integrate his businesses made him indispensable in the narrative of American industrialization. In his historical biography, Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business, Andrew Livesay recognizes that without Andrew Carnegie’s trailblazing …show more content…
Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1835. Dunfermline was one of the few Scottish towns relatively unaffected by the Industrial Revolution at that time. The primary livelihood in Dunfermline “depended on the hand weaving,” which essentially remained “unchanged since its medieval origins”(8). However, the nature of the craft made it “particularly susceptible to machine competition”(8). Carnegie’s father, Will, was a hand weaver who fell victim to the machine competition of the industrial revolution. Andrew, as a child, had looked up to his father as Will was a known Radical and Chartist, however that soon changed. In 1836, he had a successful year and moved his family into a new house, but in 1843 he lost steady employment because of a power mill that had opened in Dunfermline. Will Carnegie was as unadaptable to the new, industrial world as Andrew was adaptable to it. Soon after the power mill was installed, it became painfully clear that the Carnegies had no opportunities left in Scotland. In 1848, the Carnegies sailed to the United States in hopes of finding wealth, just as many immigrants hope of finding their own American dream. Once …show more content…
His main innovations in the manufacturing industry included “cost control, low prices, low profits”(206). Many entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford and Pierre du Pont followed Carnegie’s lead. Carnegie started the trend of profit maximization by cost-cutting. Carnegie knew that “machines cost less than men,” and he also learned “what each of the man men working at the furnaces was doing” and “who saved material, who wasted it, and who produced the best results”(99). Using this data that he collected, he compared his works to one another. For those workers “who produced savings” and “whose calculations led to the Siemens Furnace-he made partners”(99). This idea was revolutionary at the time because through charting the statistics of his workers, Carnegie knew who to promote and who to fire for their inadequacies. Although this type of system bred jealousy among some workers who felt that they had been passed over for promotion, Carnegie “mercilessly expelled” “those who found wanting”(99). Through this method, Carnegie incentivized his men and was able to maintain high efficiency throughout production. According to Livesay, a “cornerstone of Carnegie’s success lay in his use of systematic analysis to evaluate his men’s performance”(109). He ensured that he had great workers. Many people thought that “Carnegie had a sixth sense for picking men” or that “he chose people

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