Andrew Carnegie

Mind Map by 16mckennap, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by 16mckennap about 5 years ago


Mind Map on Andrew Carnegie, created by 16mckennap on 02/04/2015.

Resource summary

Andrew Carnegie
1 Giving Back
1.1 "There was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it, as the founding of a public library." (40) Carnegie, through his own experience of rising from the very bottom to the top truly believed in the American Dream, the 'rags to riches' mentality. He believed that anyone, given adequate resources and a thirst for knowledge could become as successful as he did. This, of course is an impossibility but it showed Carnegie's persistent optimism that carried him throughout his life. He never gave up on his dream, and then at the end of his life, made it possible so that others could follow in his footsteps and realize that even someone of the working class could break out of the entrenched social order to make aname for themselves.
1.2 "Pittencrief Glen is the most soul-satisfying public gift [Carnegie] ever made, or ever can make." (240) Carnegie decided to help out his home village, in Scotland. He bought Pittencrief Glen, which for years had been falling apart, even since the English occupied Scotland years before, and handed it over to a board of trustees with a sizable budget. He let the people of Scotland help themselves out by allowing them to choose what they wanted for this park, rather than imposing his own will upon the people. Carnegie thought it incredible that he could give back to the place where he grew up in such a fantastic fashion after he had left with absolutely nothing.
1.3 "It was inevitable that [Carnegie] should live up to [the Gospel of Wealth's] teachings by ceasing to struggle for more wealth. [Carnegie] resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution." (211) Carnegie wrote the "Gospel of Wealth" which essentially embodied the modern day "trickle-down economics," or how in theory they are supposed to work. Carnegie believed that it was the duty of the wealthy to give back to their community by helping the poor help themselves. Carnegie donated massive amounts of money to organizations throughout the country to enhance culture and learning among all. He was driven to make amends for his failure to prevent the Homestead Strike years before.
2 The Magnate
2.1 "Nothing [Carnegie] have ever had to meet in all [his] life, before or since, wounded [him] so deeply. No pangs remain of any wound received in [his] business career save that of Homestead." (191) This was a pivotal point in the business career of Carnegie. He suffered from poor health and took summers in Scotland. The Homestead Strike occurred during such a summer. Carnegie was revamping his steel factory when the workers decided to strike. Now Carnegie was known at the time for having an unusual rapport with his workers. They loved him and he was interested in them. Most employers at the time treated their workers like dogs but Carnegie was different. His partners were in charge at the time and they did not get along with the strikers and soon the situation escalated so that the governor sent in the state militia to stamp out the strike, killing many of Carnegie's workers. Carnegie's reputation as being a man of people was destroyed after this event. He came (cont. next node)
2.1.1 from nothing and wanted his workers to know that he had not forgotten that he was once in their position. However this carefully cultivated position was lost after the strike and Carnegie was personally very wounded. Carnegie would be burdened with the guilt from this atrocity for the rest of his life and would always look for ways to revamp his image in the minds of the populace.
2.2 "Recall the familiar saying of a Western friend, never to go in where [a person] couldn't wade...Regard for this rule has kept not only myself but my partners out of trouble." (145) Carnegie's former boss and one of his closest friends, Mr. Scott asked for Carnegie to invest in a railroad venture that was occurring in Texas, along with many other influential industrial titans. Carnegie only invested for stocks that he could pay for up front, while others were loaned money to invest in the new company which they assumed would pay out high dividends so they could pay off their loans. However disaster struck and the company soon went under. Carnegie may have been able to save the company from going under as he was friends with their banker (JP Morgan) however he saw the venture as dangerous and let it die, along with the fortunes of many of his friends, including Mr. Scott. Carnegie was looking out for himself without regard for how Scott may have treated him in (cont next node)
2.2.1 the past, or what it would do to him in the future. It showed the cutthroat mentality Carnegie had developed through his business dealings.
2.3 "[Carnegie] was determined to make a fortune and [he] saw no means of doing this honestly at any salary the railroad would give and would not do it by indirection." (116) Carnegie was about to embark upon his quest to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming wealthy. His private business enterprises had grown to such a proportion that he could no longer do the job at the railroad to his abilities, so he quit. This represents a sharp diverging path for Carnegie as he had worked for the railroad ever since coming to America. However he stayed true to his original dream of becoming prosperous and powerful, so he delved into his own business, which included lots of investment (none speculative) in the manufacturing industry. This eventually led to the creation of his steel conglomerate. US Steel, which was by far the largest steel producer in the nation making Carnegie one of the richest men. This was extraordinarily remarkable as he had come from nothing.
3 Early Influences
3.1 "With introduction and improvement of steam machinery trade grew worse and worse...for the small manufacturers and at last a letter was written to [Carnegie's] mother's two sisters in Pittsburgh stating the idea of [the family] going to them was seriously entertained...for the sake of [Carnegie's parents] two young sons." (20) In the beginning of his life Carnegie faced extreme poverty. The Scottish economy was suffering and with England becoming such a powerful industrial nation (as during this time industrialization was sweeping the world) small businesses for weavers were suffering. This was the trade that Carnegie's father practiced. This was important as it gave Carnegie an appreciation for how powerful the growing industry of the world was and shaped his desire to become someone who can provide for his family and not have to have them move depending upon the whims of the economy.
3.2 " 1850 [Carnegie] got [his] first real start in life. From the dark cellar running a steam-engine at two dollars a week, begrimed with coal dirt, without a trace of the elevating influences of life, [Carnegie] was lifted paradise, yes, heaven, as it seemed to [him]...there was scarcely a minute in which [he] could not learn something or find out how much there was to learn and how little [he] knew. (33) Once moving to America Carnegie quickly gained employment, even at just two dollars a week. It greatly helped his family and fueled Carnegie's desire for learning and for knowledge. He was quick- witted and always wanted to better himself to advance in life. The man who hired Carnegie for this first job also opened one of the first libraries in Pittsburgh. He allowed all of his employees free access and they could check out one book a week, unheard of for the lower classes at this time. Carnegie thrived upon this opportunity (cont. on next node)
3.2.1 and he was able to learn much from reading and this also fueled his passion to rise up from his lowest of the low social class. Being able to help support his family as well as having this library available made this a tailor fit first job for Carnegie. The opportunity
3.3 "Death to privilege" (9) From an early age Carnegie developed into a person who resented those who were born into positions of prestige and did not work to gain respect or power. This was because Carnegie was raised in Scotland during a time where the upper English classes held a ridiculous amount of power over the Scots, who they did not let govern themselves. This helped fuel Carnegie's belief that people should not be born into wealth but rather work to earn it.
4 Shaping the Well- Known Man
4.1 "[Carnegie] insisted upon such a system of weighing and accounting being introduced throughout [the ironworks] as would enable [the manufacturers] to know what the cost was for each process and especially what each man was doing, who saved material, who wasted it and who produced the best results." (111) Carnegie developed other business interests while he was still employed at the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, where he took multiple leadership positions. However with these outside business interests Carnegie began to amass a greater and greater amount of wealth, something that he had dreamed of since he was an impoverished child new to the streets of America. He was an innovator that constantly brought new ideas to grow his business interests to make his company with a streamlined process.
4.2 "Slight attentions or a kind word to the humble often bring back reward as great as it is unlooked for. No kind action is ever lost." (73) Carnegie had been promoted again and followed Mr. Scott out of Pittsburgh to PA Railroad headquarters in Altoona. One night Carnegie was warned of an impending strike by a common blacksmith that while working in Pittsburgh Carnegie helped secure a job for in Altoona for no benefit of his own. Not long before Carnegie was much like the blacksmith, a menial worker. He did not forget where he had come from and helped out the blacksmith. This was greatly to Carnegie's benefit because he was able to preemptively break the strike and negotiate with workers before the company lost any profits from lack of work. This helped firmly cement the value that Carnegie had to the Pennsylvania Railroad.
4.3 "[Carnegie] could not resist the temptation to plunge in, take the responsibility give "train orders," and set matters going...perhaps criminal punishment..if [Carnegie] failed." (60) Ever since obtaining his first job Carnegie steadily rose in the ranks of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He eventually rose to assistant telegraph officer, which was unusual because telegraphing was a very precise and difficult job. Carnegie had seen the telegraph officer coordinate trains when some crashed before, so when the situation arose where his boss, Mr. Scott was out of the office and an accident occurred Carnegie seized the initiative to prove himself as a worthy asset to the railroad. This worked out well for Carnegie as he followed procedure precisely and eventually took over on all railroad crashed making him an invaluable asset to his boss, which boded well for his future with the company.
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