Andrew Carnegie's Sucess, and Views About Wealth and Inequality

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 968 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Words: 968|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

The Industrial Revolution was a major turning point in America’s history, and perhaps the most controversial. This era had its virtues and shortcomings in America’s history. The Industrial Revolution was only the beginning of countless new innovations, opportunities, and immigrants to American soil; however, it brought fourth many detrimental problems as well such as child labor, poor living and working conditions, overcrowding cities, pollution, long boring hours, and low wages. This largely contributed to the rise of political bosses and the detrimental problems they introduced to the country.

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The Gilded Age demonstrated hundreds of stumbling blocks to the American people, and one of them being that the wealthy were continuing to become more and more prosperous and the other poverty-stricken citizens (for the most part) became twice as more impecunious as they already were. This was a primary result of the large influx of immigrants migrating from countries like China, Eastern and Southern Europe. Political bosses like Andrew Carnegie decided to use these new disadvantaged immigrants to help expand their corporations. Andrew Carnegie was brought up in an inordinately poor Scottish home, he was an immigrant, who at the age of 13, was working in a textile mill obtaining just about $1.50 an hour, and later on in life. By the time he was 65 years old he was known by millions of people as one of the richest men in America with a whopping 200 million ( $372 Billion in present day U.S currency). Carnegie’s belief in the inequity of workers in the Gilded age, as said in his excerpt Wealth by Andrew Carnegie, “while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department.” Following up on that, Carnegie had a very strong credence that one who is wealthy should only use their earnings to help those people who need the money, such as, charities and those people who use the money to better themselves. This man was one who believed that if he paid his workers a higher amount, that he would only hurt them by rewarding them for having immoral and wicked-like behavior, and to him, this was unacceptable because people had to help themselves to get to where they wanted to be instead of relying on someone to give them what they need. In relation to the average coal miner from the excerpt “The Slow Progress of the Boy who starts in a Beaker, and ends. an old man in the Beaker”, as told by a man who was once a miner. In this fragment the coal miner starts off by working hard in a low wage mining job along with some other 16,000 other young men at just the young age of nine. In this excerpt it is interpreted that the miner was a really hard working man; however, he knew that the lifestyle he was living was one that he chose to live rather than one he was forced to have. “It is an endless routine of dull plodding world from nine years until death—a sort of voluntary life imprisonment. Few escape. Once they begin, they continue to live out their commonplace, low leveled existence, ignoring their daily danger, knowing nothing better”, in this sentence from the excerpt the miner states that it was “a sort of voluntary life imprisonment” meaning that it was his choice to be in that position of working. As Carnegie states that one who wants to be helped will help himself, and the coal miner in this case was one who didn’t want to help himself, therefore he remained in his miserable working conditions, receiving the same low wage pay, and by the end just getting used to being in that situation.

Andrew Carnegie was a self made man who grew up not having much; however, he did have very influential parents who reminded him that reading and writing was one of the most important attributes that one must possess. From being a young boy working in a textile mill to eventually becoming one of the richest men in America, Andrew Carnegie is a prime example of how “helping yourself” will allow you to be triumphant in life. Andrew Carnegie’s success and his views have influenced Americans in an immense way from the Gilded Age to the present day in that he perfectly shows what an “American Dream” will hand you if you work hard and not be dependent on anyone to just hand you anything for free. As a citizen of present day i do agree with Carnegie in that one must be able to help himself in order to become very successful because when we are handed things one does not learn to be gracious for what they have and they become selfish to those around them.

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Throughout my reading of “Wealth” by Andrew Carnegie and “The slow progress of the boy who starts in a breaker, and ends, an old man in the breaker” —as told by a man who was once a miner I do strongly believe that Carnegie’s views about wealth and inequality are one hundred percend ethical because its is a concept that can also be seen today in the society we live in. One can be raised in some of the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods and either choose to remove themselves from that situation, or they can choose to remain there and do nothing about it. One could easily choose to go farther in life and go out of their way to ensure that they become successful, like Andrew Carnegie did. Therefore, my reading of the excerpt of the coal miner it goes to prove that many men who remained working in those terrible coal mines were there by choice, and not by force.  

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Andrew Carnegie’s Sucess, and Views About Wealth and Inequality. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
“Andrew Carnegie’s Sucess, and Views About Wealth and Inequality.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Andrew Carnegie’s Sucess, and Views About Wealth and Inequality. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Andrew Carnegie’s Sucess, and Views About Wealth and Inequality [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from:
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