Andrew Carnegie: Hero or Not?

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Sara Abdelbarry
US History II
Andrew Carnegie DBQ

Hero. This word applies to a person who steps out of any planned schedule to do good deeds. They take sacrifices to help others and make an impact on many people’s lives. Heroes inspire others in the same field to emulate them. They often are good people without needing any type of recognition. America needed heroes in it’s times of economic struggle. There are mixed feelings whether Andrew Carnegie, the huge businessman, deserves the title of being a hero.

Document 2 clarifies Andrew Carnegie’s thoughts on survival of the fittest. He believes the operation of business should be in the hands of a wealthy person who is capable. Carnegie likes Social Darwinism because it earned him his place in society, being rich. He believes this theory is beneficial to everyone, meanwhile the people living in poverty would say something completely different. Another instance that shows his obsession with money is in the third document. He states he would leave a business that only gave you a money statement once a year.

The sixth document clearly shows some of Carnegie’s steel companies. He controlled many parts of the steel making process, taking part in vertical integration. He was definitely a hero in the business field, leaving a legacy in steel mills. Document 6 gives Carnegie a bad look. It gives the impression he is this rich and powerful businessman that is treating his workers poorly. He is a millionaire and donates his money for many good causes, but meanwhile, his workers are being paid very poorly. Document 7 sheds an even brighter light on how poorly his workers are paid. In a year, people were only making half of what they needed to support their families. Carnegie was making hundreds of thousands more money than his workers, and he could have put his money towards better wages rather than donations.

The tenth document really exemplified Carnegie from a worker’s point of view. Steel mill workers...
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