April 3, 2013
Carnegie and Frick Essay
During America’s Gilded Age, several industrial giants influenced the economic and political destiny of America with their wealth and power. Among these were Andrew Carnegie, immigrant steel tycoon of Pittsburgh and one of the richest Americans ever, and Henry Clay Frick, who built Pittsburgh’s coke industry and created one of the grandest private art collections ever in his New York mansion. These two men had tremendous power and left a permanent legacy on America’s economy.
Andrew Carnegie was a poor immigrant from Scotland who came to this country with just a dime. He eventually grew his net worth to $293 billion in 2007 dollars. Carnegie began he career as an entrepreneur when he began building businesses such as cars, bridges, and iron to service the Pennsylvania railroad near Pittsburgh. (Gilder Lehrman) Carnegie worked his way up from a telegraph messenger to a railroad director. He began making investments during that time, including some in steel. He built his first steel mill in the area in 1873 to service the railroad. Carnegie is described as having a bright and optimistic personality. He treated his workers well compared to some other titans of the era and believed in giving back to the country. However, he lowered his workers’ wages when his profit fell. He also stood pat while Henry Clay Frick crushed the workers’ rebellion and then blamed Frick for all the violence. Carnegie took a paternalistic approach to managing his workers. He was benevolent, but also expected them to meet him halfway.
Andrew Carnegie wasn't just a supporter of the Gospel of Wealth, he wrote the Gospel of wealth. He stressed that charity should not be giving money to individuals, but using the money yourself to make a difference. One must grow his industry, not flagrantly give money to individuals. Despite Carnegie's devotion to the Gospel of Wealth, he was also, in part, a believer of...