Why Was Andrew Carnegie A Hero

809 Words 4 Pages
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish immigrant who became successful in the steel industry during the Gilded Age, which were the 1870’s-1900’s. He worked as a messenger until Thomas Scott, the superintendent of Pennsylvania Railroad, saw potential in Carnegie and became his mentor. His mentor later assigned Carnegie the job to build a bridge across the Mississippi. This resulted in Carnegie investing in the steel industry, since he thought it’d be the strongest material to build the longest bridge in the world at the time (Film). But, was Andrew Carnegie a hero? Andrew Carnegie was a hero because of his business practices and philanthropy but wasn’t a hero because of his relations with his workers. One reason why Carnegie was a hero is because he …show more content…
Andrew believed in the even distribution of wealth, “the duty of the man of wealth (is to) set an example of modest [...] to produce the most beneficial results for the community” (Doc M). He was also a person who donated lots of money to charity and even tried to make up for his mistakes by funding $1,450,000 to the Carnegie Corporation which is now a foundation that gives out “about $100,000,000 a year, most of it to education” (Doc N). Carnegie’s philanthropy is a good reason why Carnegie was a hero because he believed that the rich should be giving money so it is distributed evenly instead of giving all the inheritance to a family member. This way, the community would strive more as a whole. He also donated a lot a money that helped others towards their education and access to reading in free public …show more content…
Carnegie paid his workers only about $1.81 when they worked for about 10.67 hours, which was one of the highest paying job in manufacturing. Whereas, Carnegie statistically made $9,200 ($92,000 as of today) every hour (Doc I). Also, during the Homestead Strike, Carnegie knew something bad was going to happen but ran off and left his Vice President Henry Clay Frick who used methods that were horrible to get what he wanted (Film).The relationship with his workers is a good reason why Andrew Carnegie wasn’t a hero because even though the pay for the workers were alright, they were working in horrible conditions; it was all hot, loud and gas was given off. He earned a lot of money and didn’t raise their wages for all their hard work but decided to slowly lower it for his own profits. When the laborers went on a strike to get a union, they blocked the company, not allowing anyone to go back in to continue working. Carnegie decided to hide behind Frick who gave him permission to use his own tactics. Frick decided to hire a group called the Pinkertons to try to scare off the protesters and they ended up shooting on the crowd, killing many people (Film). This shows that his relations with his workers weren’t the best, just like others who treated their laborers as a small chest

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