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Andrew Carnegie was a very wealthy and successful businessman in the steel industry who started as a poor immigrant from the United Kingdom who came to the United States hoping to turn his life around and seize an opportunity. Although disputable to say that Andrew Carnegie’s thinking and actions were ethical, every person in America can say that his ideas have significantly impacted the United States. I believe all of Andrew Carnegie’s ideology on the topics of inequality and wealth were ethical and has had a major impact on the United States structure and American society.
Andrew Carnegie’s ideas significantly impacted the United States. As more business men started getting wealthier and the working class started getting angrier with the idea of the rich man, he expressed his ideas and knowledge to all the hard-working people of America. Carnegie wanted for both social equality and the revolutionary change for wealth to be able to exist together. He believed that businessmen and the laborers should have had a fair relationship and live in peace with each other; however, that did not mean he was opposed to the drastic change of wealth brought by the Industrial Revolution*. On the contrary, he encouraged the revolutionary change that has been brought on by wealth. Although there was essentially more social equality in the past, Carnegie believed that there were fewer opportunities for the people to significantly prosper. For example , in his article Wealth Carnegie states “The poor enjoy what the rich could not before afford” (pg. 2).He saw no change in the lives between the teacher and the student. Moreover, he thought there should be a difference between the teacher and the student so that the student could also learn to become as great as the master by learning greater skills and not just stay with the same routine, lifestyle, and skills. He believed that with the change of wealth the poor gained more benefits such as access to luxurious products and advanced items that not even the bosses before them could not obtain. He believed the people who resisted or rejected the change did not accept it because they did not want to work as hard to have social equality. His major concept to have both social equality and the significant change of wealth to be fair and equal was for the wealthy businessmen of America to give back their wealth to the community, country, and the poor. For example, his ideas were for the rich to donate back for public places, education, etc. Overall, he wanted for the rich man to allow the poor to evolve to become wealthy as well. As a result, these views brought by Andrew Carnegie have significantly influenced both the Gilded Age* by using his steel to expand the railroad system leading to more economic wealth for America, and the United States by motioning present ideas such as financial aid, scholarships, charities, etc.
Andrew Carnegie’s impactful views had been greatly influenced by his background life. The most significant factors from Andrew Carnegie’s background was that he started poor, was an immigrant, and worked hard. These played a huge effect in his view and thinking because it made him think for the poor as well for the rich. It made him think for the greater benefit of America altogether. Although many may argue that Andrew Carnegie’s views were unethical due to the fact that there were many unfortunate deaths and pay that was not too great, I believe that Andrew Carnegie’s views are ethical because he was trying to better improve some of the conditions for the people working so hard every day, the people being the poor laborers. Yes, it was hard to work as a laborer; however, work is supposed to be hard. That is how Andrew Carnegie started as well. He worked in the cotton factory as a laborer and then rose to become extremely rich by investing in the steel industry while working in the cotton factory. Even though it was hard for Carnegie as well as the laborers then, he managed to keep working hard until eventually becoming wealthy. Now that Carnegie became a rich man, he tried spreading ideas of how to improve the lives of the poor by suggesting that the rich should donate back their money to the community, country, and poor so that they too can be fortunate enough to be more at ease. For these reasons, I believe Andrew Carnegie’s views were ethical.
Andrew Carnegie as a businessman wanted peace in the business world for the laborers and the bosses. His accomplishments helped achieve this goal. Andrew Carnegie’s ethical ideology did have an impactful influence on American society.
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