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Andrew Carnegie: Seamless Role Model Research Paper

Rising from rags to riches gaining a lot of power and making immense amounts of money was the successful story and life of Andrew Carnegie. Born on November 25th, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland , Andrew Carnegie was born into poor family of a mother who was a shoe maker and tanner and a father who was a handloom weaver . Immigrating to the United States in the May of 1848 , Andrew Carnegie started a whole new life there. “The Carnegies’ passage was relatively uneventful and mercifully short-there seems to have been no ship fever, cholera, or typhus… n board. ”

When reaching to the United States growing up in near Pittsburgh, and later on working in the Pennsylvania Railroad company in his later years is where the great rise of money and power started to come in for Andrew Carnegie . After working for a while in Pennsylvania Railroad, Andrew Carnegie started investing his money into railroad sleeping cars in 1856. With more advancements in making investments such as investing into oil and other companies in 1861, Andrew Carnegie finally decides to open his first steel called Edgar Thomson Works in 1875 .

By using the methods of vertical integration, Andrew Carnegie starts to buy off every spect of the steel industry to a point where he has no more competitors. In 1899, Andrew Carnegie forms Carnegie Steel by merging all the previously owned steel companies . Selling Carnegie Steel to J. P. Morgan in 1901, Andrew Carnegie becomes the richest man in the world. Carnegie began his philanthropic work in the earlier years by building a lot of libraries and making massive amounts of donations, he also carried on that work towards the beginning of the 20th century .

And on the 11th of August of 1919, Andrew Carnegie dies in Lenox, Massachusetts. Although it may seem like the perfect uccess story, there is more than what meets the eye. An individual is judged by their qualities and the different actions they take which also distinguishes them from others to become the seamless role model. Andrew Carnegie is the role model now looked upon when it comes to philanthropy. A very charitable person sure was Andrew Carnegie but every man does have his dark side. Although becoming a steel mogul, Andrew Carnegie, also referred to as a robber baron, made his mark as a ruthless business owner.

Not treating his workers in the right way and exploiting them in order to make the most mount of money he could made is what Andrew Carnegie practiced. Foul actions can only be covered up to a certain point, and Carnegie’s foul practices are overlooked most of the time. Although Andrew Carnegie was one of the greatest philanthropists who gave away vast amounts of money through donations and charities, he should also should be seen as a ruthless business owner who took drastic measures to ensure his company’s success.

Andrew Carnegie paid very little attention to the working conditions inside his steel mills, and it seemed like he saw them as a replaceable unit. One worker in 1893 said, “They wipe a an out here every little while… Sometimes a chain breaks, and a ladle tips over, and the iron explodes.. Sometimes the slag falls on the workmen. Of course, if everything is working all smooth and a man watches out, why, all right! But you take it after they’ve been on duty twelve hours without sleep, and running like hell, everybody tired and loggy, and it’s a different story. (PS).

This shows that not much attention was paid to the hard working workers. It also seems like that the workers were pushed to work long hours and they would be forced to work to a point they won’t be able to focus as much and ccidents would happen. Also in the steel mills, there was protective gear, but it is not what one would imagine. The protective gear “consisted only of two layers of wool long-johns. ” The workers’ safety was surely not the number one priority in the steel mills owned by Carnegie. This type of horrible treatment cannot be looked away from.

The culprit responsible for it (Andrew Carnegie) may have been a charitable individual, but it does not change that he had these practices take place inside his steel mills. Not only did Andrew Carnegie’s steel mills use young workers, hey conditions inside the steel mills were so harsh that they would wear a person out. A Homestead laborer said in 1894, “You don’t notice any old men here… The long hours, the strain, and the sudden changes of temperature use a man up. ” (PS). A sociologist name John A. Fitch said that the word “old” referred to a person in their forties.

The extensive and hard word put in by the people working at the steel mill would wear them out so much to a point where only certain people could handle the job. The conditions inside the Homestead steel mill was so horrible that it affected the workers’ health, and put their lives at risk. Another laborer at Homestead said, “I lost forty pounds the first three months I came into this business. It sweats the life out of a man. I often drink two buckets of water during twelve hours; the sweat drips through my sleeves, and runs down my legs and fills my shoes. (PS).

The conditions inside the steel mill is so horrible that the worker lost 40 pounds. That is absolutely ridiculous but to Carnegie it does not matter because as long as he gets his steel made he will be happy. The hot temperature and the long hours made a worker to a breaking point, and no attention was paid to the workers in the Carnegie steel mills. Aside from the working conditions of the steel mills, which were already horrible enough, the wage cuts that Carnegie put in place showed no care towards the workers.

Wages were the only incentive for the workers to keep working in the Carnegie steel mills. 14000 common laborers worked in Carnegie’s mills around in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and they all received a weekly wage of $12. 50. Considering that a weekly wage of $15 was needed to support a family for barely making it through the week. This was way to low to start out with but since workers were desperate and Carnegie only focused on making money, his worked somehow.

Since Frick joined up with Carnegie to run some aspects of the company, they both focused immediately on wage cuts, and decided on an 18%-26% wage cut. After the tax cut they both focused on putting down unions. With both plans set, the workers would have no choice but to accept what they have. Since the wage cut would rise some strikes and unions would form in order to raise the wages again, busting down all the unions would take away any problems. The ultimate goal for Carnegie was to put as little effort and money for the workers, and focus on the bigger picture of making steel nd money.

Spending more than $56 million in order to build more than 2500 libraries for the public world and donating vast amounts of money to charities, Andrew Carnegie sure gave back to the world. His charity cannot be forgotten but now what seems to be forgotten is the ways he ran his company in order to earn so much money. A ruthless business owner, not caring about his workers conditions and lowering their pay, making them suffer is how he Andrew Carnegie made money. Even though there is the bright that always shines out, one should not forget that there is a dark side of the moon.

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