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3026 Posts in 129 Topics- by 176 Members - Latest Member: iyannacrockett

October 24, 2014, 10:26:20 PM
Poll
Question: Based on what you know about Carnegie, was he a Captain of Industry or Robber Baron?
Captain of Industry
Robber Baron
Not worthy of either title

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Author Topic: Andrew Carnegie: Captain of Industry or Robber Baron  (Read 14400 times)
charlest
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« on: November 29, 2011, 09:59:48 AM »

After answering the poll question, explain your decision.  Why do you think he was a Captain of Industry or Robber Baron?  Comment on another person's thoughts.
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gbibisi
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 10:31:26 AM »

I said he was a captain of industry. Andrew Carnegie helped to connect and protect our country through his steel. His scientist created the bessemer procces, which allowed him to make better steel and cheaper steel. The cheaper steel was bought by the railroads so they could expand faster which gave the everyday person the ability to cross the country very easily, which makes the nation more united. The higher quality steel was bought by the navy for steel plating, which helped them better protect America. Andrew Carnegie was also very generous. He said, "I propose to take an income no greater than $50,000 per annum! Beyond this I need ever earn, make no effort to increase my fortune, but spend the surplus each year for benevolent purposes!" He took his own money and donated it to make schools and librarys for children. He was a very kind, compasionate man. 
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Dixona
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 01:19:27 PM »

I believe that Andrew Carnegie is worthy of the title captain of industry because he gave immigrant jobs when they needed them and even though they were low pay the immigrants still had money to pay for food and a roof over there heads. In my opinion Andrew Carnegie was a good man because he did a bunch of charity work and donated millions of dollars to libraries, schools, and universities. And even though the  children that worked for him didn't go to school they still had the option but there parents put them in jobs so its not Carnegie's fault for the children not getting an education. 
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santijeffrey
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 03:29:31 PM »

I have to disagree with others so far, and say that Andrew Carnegie was a robber baron, because his methods of industrialization were unfair and greedy. He destroyed his competitors for personal gain, and employed people for very little pay, even though they often worked twelve hour days. Despite the fact that donated most of his profit to charities, there were much higher priories for him to spend his money on. For example, he donated money to build schools, but none of his workers could afford their children to go to school. Instead, they had to slave away at his factories for survival. The people that benefited from his charities were the people that could afford a reasonable living anyway, leaving behind the people most in need of support such as his own "slaves." However, I do not think he can be denied the title "Captain of Industry" because he did greatly contribute to the industrial revolution, and the corporate business tactics we have today, although this is not necessarily positive like the title sounds. Instead, I think he deserves both titles, because his leadership in the business world also hurt the immigrants in ways that are hard to imagine today.
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yujingr
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 03:44:23 PM »

I think Andrew Carnegie is not worthy of either title. Carnegie was a philanthropist and contributed billions to public organizations. He was also an advocate of the "gospel of wealth" which was the idea that the rich should use their wealth to benefit the rest of society. Still, Carnegie was regarded as an innovator in his own right for his ingenious, if ruthless, cost-cutting production and organizational strategies. He himself was poor and worked low wages in childhood, but he had no empathy for other workers. He paid workers low wages and gave them harsh working conditions.  He was able to monopolize the steel industry through insidious tactics and bought out all the processes involved in making steel (vertical integration). But he brought the Bessemer process from England to America and made steel cheaper.
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Haley Rugh
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 04:48:01 PM »

     I agree with gbibisi, Andrew Carnegie was definitly a captain of industry. He created thousands, if not millions of jobs, and the steel his companies produced helped to build America. The many job opportunities that Carnegie created helped many immigrants get jobs where without him, they would have had none. Carnegie also made steel very affordable to railroad companies so that they could easily expand to cover the entirety of America. This allowed many people to move west and start new, better lives. Although some of the tactics his business used were terrible, most of them were not Carnegie's fault and regardless, he soon righted them. Henry C. Frick, his business darrierociate, ordered strikebreakers to put an end to the union's strike while Carnegie was out of the country. Frick, not Carnegie, is responsible for the violence that occurred because of his actions. Despite this, Carnegie still took responsibility for this tragedy and tried to set everything to rights. Frick was also the one who chose to cut the wages of the workers whom he was in control of so he could get more money. When Carnegie found out about everything Frick had been doing, he fired him. Carnegie was a great man who cared deeply about his workers and who tried his hardest to help them, making him a true captain of industry.
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robinsonj
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 05:03:34 PM »

Andrew Carnegie was the worst example of a greedy robber baron. As Jeffrey noted, he paid his workers very little for their backbreaking work, while his own wealth grew to be the second largest fortune in human history. The defense claimed that there is nothing wrong with making money. That is true. What is wrong is to make billions of dollars while the workers who toil in your factories get paid incredibly low wages with NO benefits whatsoever. As Jing pointed out, Carnegie's entire business was based on labor practices like low wages and the destruction of worker's rights. That was how he managed to sell so much steel for so cheap. Carnegie was never any sort of philanthropist, either. He could have made a much bigger impact if he had paid his slave-like workers more: they would have been able to support their families and possibly afford an education (if they stopped working brutal 12-hour shifts.) Instead, Carnegie poured billions into libraries that the poor didn't have time for (due to horrendous hours) and universities that only the rich could afford to attend.

You can also ignore the argument that Carnegie somehow helped the American economy. He created a monopoly which brutally crushed all competition, and drove small businesses, the true engines of the economy, out of business. His refusal to pay decent wages led to all of the economic power being concentrated in the hands of the rich, which is never helpful to the economy. Andrew Carnegie industrialized America, but at the expense of the working Americans, who suffered from his oppressive policies.
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MaxMolski
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 05:13:57 PM »

I agree with Greg and Haley that Andrew Carnegie is definitely a captain of industry. Calling him a robber baron is not giving him enough justice. He is often called one because he used the same tactics that most other business owners used, the only difference is that he was such a big name that he took more criticism for it. Another misconception about Carnegie is that he took away jobs from small factory owners to bring them into poverty. Nobody ever said that those smaller factory owners couldn't work in factories for Carnegie. Employees that worked for Carnegie were also complaining about working conditions at the only job available. If it weren't for Carnegie, they wouldn't have a roof over their heads. The biggest reason for why Carnegie is a Captain of Industry is for what he created for industry. If it weren't for his innovative steel, there wouldn't be as many railroads, skyscrapers, or even other companies in steel to buy out. Carnegie's exploiting and usage of the Bessemer Process has changed American and the world's industry. If Andrew Carnegie isn't a captain of industry, who should be?
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Edwards917
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 05:33:07 PM »

I chose that he was not worthy of either title. I would say he is somewhere in between.It is unquestionable that he used unethical methods in business to obtain wealth. As Jeffrey said, He gave immigrants low pay, had them work in horrible working conditions, and had their children slave away in his factories. Yet, at the same time it was he that gave them a roof to put over their head, and at least had given them some sort of an income rather than none. He was a major contributor to the industrial revolution. He gave money to charity, schools, libraries, etc. As Haley said, the steel his companies produced helped shape America. In conclusion, I believe Andrew Carnegie  contributed to the Industrial revolution a lot, the only problem is he did so by using unfair and unscrupulous tactics.
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NouBophai
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 05:36:18 PM »

 I agree with Mr.Molski, although some of his tactics were dirty, and the living conditions of his workers were not of our standards, one must remember the standards at the time. Back then such methods of monopolization were perfectly acceptable, there were no laws against it, how would people know it was the wrong thing to do, at the time it was a legitimate business tactic. And the living conditions in the factories were harsh, however what do you expect from 1900's technology, there was no internet, there was no way Carnegie could go to each and everyone of his steel factories to check on their conditions, and as such why do you condemn somebody for something they couldn't control. As for what the prosecution stated as proof of Carnegie's robber baron status, the Homestead Strike, that was executed by Frisk, not Carnegie who instead trusted Frisk to handle the situation. Frisk indeed sent the Pinkertons to the strikes location, however it was the union workers who shot at the Pinkertons first, and to blame it all on Carnegie as if he were some heartless monster is quite sad in my opinion. I personally read some of Carnegie's autobiography and it would be an understatement to say he regretted what happened on that day, to be honest from reading it I must say that Carnegie really did earn his riches, and he should not be condemned in death for that alone.
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ConnerDickes89
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 05:48:22 PM »

After today's Mock Trial i would have to say Andrew Carnegie was a Robber Baron.  I disagree with Greg who said, "He was a very kind, compasionate man." In cldarrier i went out on a limb and called Carnegie a disrespectful, malicious, tyrant.  Carnegie didn't care about his workers and abused them.  He had absolutely no empathy and if they complained about their job or pay he would find another immigrant to fill in for them.  They had to work 12 hour shifts just to earn $1.20 (close to nothing). Carnegie sold at a loss just to steal other companies customers. He also might have been a philanthropist but donated to libraries and universities that his workers had no darrierociation to.  Only the upper cldarrier had the time and money to go to these organizations. In my opinion Andrew Carnegie was a Robber Baron.  
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OliveKuhn
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 05:55:24 PM »

I find it interesting that many people seem to think "Captain of Industry" and corrupt, ruthless businessman are mutually exclusive. Part of Capitalistic industry has always been and always will be competition between businesses. It should come as no surprise that this competition is not always pretty. I say that Carnegie was a Captain of Industry- but I do not consider this a compliment.
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heathercardoza
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2011, 06:04:06 PM »

I believe that Andrew Carnegie was truly a Captain of Industry. He had complete control over an entire line of business which I find very impressive. He became rich from almost nothing. I do have to acknowledge that he had a few dirty tactics, but these helped him improve his business and improve the economy in which his mills were present.
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simmonsjaimie
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2011, 06:11:38 PM »


I agree with Haley, that Andrew Carnegie was a captain of industry, and not a robber baron. He was an immigrant himself, a poor one who worked his way up to being one of the richest men of his time. Once he gained his fortune, he decided that he didn't want his hard-earned money to go to waste once he died or be used all on himself, so he donated to  many libraries and schools across America. Andrew Carnegie also created a business that used steel, which was cheaper and more practical than iron. Many people blame him for refusing to hire more immigrants and give them more pay so they can live better lives, but that really wasn't his fault; he didn't invite the influx of immigrants into America. He also could only have a limited amount of workers, because there was only so much work for people to do. He actually helped the immigrants by allowing them to work in his factories, rather than insist on only allowing American citizens to work for him.
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RichaGupta
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2011, 06:23:54 PM »

I think that Andrew Carnegie was a captain of industry and not a robber baron. Andrew Carnegie was a true rags-to-riches story. He started out as an immigrant himself with low wages and used his ingenuity to invest and make lots of money. He changed the way iron was used and made steel cheaper so railroad companies could buy it and expand more quickly. Like Jaime said, many people blame him for refusing to hire more immigrants even though he was not at fault. Carnegie did nothing illegal or wrong at that time and rose to become a billionaire from nothing.
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