Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Andrew Carnegie: The Man Behind the Steel :: American History Essays

Andrew Carnegie: The Man Behind the Steel I chose to right about Andrew Carnegie for the two following reasons. The first being his Scottish heritage, and second being his close ties with the city of Pittsburgh. I happen to have some Scottish blood in me but more importantly I am from Pittsburgh. Andrew Carnegie’s story of rags to riches is slightly more inspiring than that of Henry Clay Frick, his partner. As a Scottish immigrant Carnegie made his ways through the ranks of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Upon passing on an offer for the superintendent of the Pittsburgh division of the Pennsylvania Railroad; Carnegie and his brother Thomas purchased an already running mill (Burgoyne 6). From here Carnegie built up the largest and most lucrative iron and steel works in the world. His character was often challenged by certain individuals and defended by others. It is common knowledge that Carnegie viewed himself as a man of the people since he came from humble beginnings. Conversely labor historian Harold Livesay was quoted in saying, â€Å"that certainly by the standards of ethics and conduct to which we would like to hold businessmen today, he indeed operated extremely ruthlessly († Carnegie’s character, views on labor and actions regarding Homestead will be discussed more in depth further. The Homestead Strike of 1892 is known as one of the bloodiest and most bitter labor strikes in American history. Many though would consider it to a necessary progressive movement even taking into account the many lost lives. In order to understand what exactly occurred in Homestead during the summer of 1892 it is first necessary to understand the town of Homestead itself. It is important to point out the fact that without the mill there would be no Homestead, therefore making the mill the nucleus of the town. The mill was located along the Monongahela River in the south of Pittsburgh. Not having seen the mill myself I’m sure that it would have been a beacon to Pittsburghers, encompassing 600 acres of the river’s bank (Burgoyne 1-2). The entire of economy of Homestead was centered on the mill with all other businesses depending on the revenue dispersed by the mill. Store owners, bartenders, and seamstresses all alike depended on paychecks from the mill to spend at their respective proprietorships. There for the lockout of the mill did not simply affect the mill workers but rather all 12,000 residents of Homestead (Burgoyne 1). As for Andrew Carnegie, well he became the richest man in the world. In the year 1900 Carnegie sold the company to J.P Morgan for $480 million.

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