Andrew Carnegie’s Social Darwinism Principles

Andrew Carnegie’s example of Social Darwinism is unmatched. Social Darwinism consists of the belief that success is only possible through hard work and failure is solely due to oneself. Carnegie was Scottish, where his weaver father lived. In 1848, Carnegie and his dad moved to Western Pennsylvania. Carnegie was poor at first and gradually improved his situation. Carnegie worked in several companies, saving money and learning the business techniques by watching how they ran their businesses. Andrew Carnegie’s steel company was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by 1873. Andrew Carnegie eventually dominated the industry of steel and became the wealthiest, most famous industrialist during that time.

Carnegie started working at a textile factory when he was just thirteen years old. Carnegie earned $1.20 a day at his textile mill job. Up until 1853, he was also a telegraph messager. He earned approximately $2.50 per week as a telegraph courier. In 1853, he started working for Pennsylvania railroad. He used the resources that were at his disposal. He studied the management methods and used them to create his own business. Carnegie was promoted at the Pennsylvania Railroad because he wanted to understand how business is run. He quit the Pennsylvania Railroad after deciding that he’d saved and earned enough money. Carnegie invested not only in railroads, oil and telegraphs. Soon, he began investing in iron-and-steel. First he built bridges and then turned to steel. Carnegie’s steel industry grew into a large business by using a technology innovation. The Bessemer Process or Bessemer Convertor was the name of this innovation. In 1856, the Bessemer process originated in England. It was able to convert pig iron into a steel. It eliminated several steps required previously to convert pigiron into steel. It was now much easier to make steel, which led to a greater demand for it. Carnegie made the most of Bessemer’s process. In 1880, America was producing 1.4 million tons per year. The United States was able to produce approximately 1.4 million tons of steel per year by 1880.

Carnegie began to use tactics very similar to those used by Rockefeller in order for him gain his fortune. Carnegie has already saved a lot of money. He used the money he saved, similar to Rockefeller’s, to purchase other companies in times of economic hardship. Henry Clay Frick, Carnegie’s partner, was a steel magnate. Frick became Carnegie’s business partner. They bought several coalmines, along with railroads. Carnegie’s Steel Industry flourished due to his constant forward-looking. He was always looking for the latest technology and he spoke often to his workers about the need for innovation and growth.

Carnegie was a very successful businessman. It is not surprising that there would be problems. Homestead Steel Strike is the name of a striking against Carnegie that happened in 1892. Pinkerton was hired to replace union strikers. Pinkertons was a detective company, but they were hired by businesses as “muscle”, to stop the strike. A shooting took place during the strike. Six workers as well as three pinkertons died in the shootout. Henry Clay Frick, Carnegie’s close associate, was wounded when the strike started to be brought under control. Frick’s shooting was done by an Anarchist that believed the government was an oppressive tool for the working classes and should be eliminated.

Carnegie was a successful businessman and philanthropist. He is probably best known for the philosophy he developed on big business and its place in American culture. In The Gospel of Wealth essay, he argues differences between businessmen like him and workers like his were not a big problem, but that it showed the system to be working. Moreover, he believed that those who are very wealthy have an obligation to use their surplus to benefit the public rather than just giving it to the needy. It was his strong belief that social Darwinism would be the best way to achieve this. Deshalb, he contributed to institutions public that allow for human advancement. So, people could take care of themselves. Carnegie contributed large sums to a number of institutions including hospitals, universities, concert halls and libraries. All the institutions Carnegie funded were public-benefiting.

In 1901, Carnegie finally sold his company to J.P. Morgan. Carnegie sold his business for $450,000,000. Morgan merged Carnegie’s business with those of other steel companies to form the United States Steel Corporation. The U.S Steel Corp. was a 14billion-dollar business that accounted for two-thirds the country’s production of steel.