Was Andrew Carnegie a Hero?
Andrew Carnegie, the ambitious and skilled king of steel during the late 1800s, was the most famous man in business of his time. He certainly had his many flaws and as the most famous American of those days, his faults were highly talked about. Carnegie was not perfect and made his share of choices that many people saw as misdeeds, but that is like how everyone in the world is. Carnegie was a hero of his day because he showed the characteristics of being capable, responsible, and philanthropic.
Carnegie had the skills to be a successful business man. Even from a young age, he worked as hard as he could to support his family. Pictures from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Document A) shows where Carnegie was born in Scotland. He lived in a small cottage with his family and resided in the attic from 1835 to 1848. The following picture displays the grand and luxurious Skibo Castle that Carnegie purchased in 1897. In about less than half a century, Carnegie became rich after living in poverty. Heroes have an extraordinary capability that few others possess and for Carnegie, his capabilities lied in the world of business. However, just because of that, it doesn’t make one a hero. In addition to that, heroes do not take advantage of their skill to benefit only themselves. It is apparent in Carnegie’s article for the North American Review, “Wealth” in June of 1889 (Document B) that he sincerely believed that business being in the hands of few was a beneficial thing. It is not that he did not care about his workers at all and purposefully tried to take advantage of their labor, he really believed that good came out of the rise of the wealthy. He says, “(I)t is to this law (of competition) that we owe our wonderful material development, … while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insure the survival of the fittest in every department”. Carnegie truly thought that those who work hard and...
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