The “Gospel of Wealth” was written by Andrew Carnegie during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. He was born in Scotland and immigrated to the United States in 1848. Carnegie had very little of a formal education but grew up in a family that believed in the importance of books and learning. Jumping from job to job, he became one of the wealthiest businessman in America. Achieving this by investing and buying stocks in promising ventures like iron mills and factories. Finally founding his own company known as the Carnegie Steel Company and revolutionizing the steel industry, he embodied the American Dream.
Being a Social Darwinist, Carnegie applied Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory of “survival of the fittest” to the economy of the society. Darwin stated that the weaker members of a species in nature would die and that over time only the stronger genes would be passed on. Carnegie believed the same should happen with humans. He believed that successful people were the ones with the necessary skills to attain and administer the wealth to the community. But believed that God played a role in deciding who got the skills.
Andrew Carnegie believed that the wealthy provided an important responsibly to society. Not only as leaders and innovators, but also as citizens. In 1889, the North American Review published an article by Carnegie called the “Gospel of Wealth”. Carnegie argued that it was the duty of rich men and women to use their wealth to benefit the welfare of the community. Also implying that money should not be left to one’s heirs but redistributed to the society that made the wealth possible.
This document all and all, is important because without Carnegie’s work our current society would be in shambles. The “Gospel of Wealth” is significant because its a piece of history that is timeless and accurate, that it survives to this day.
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