Make your own free website on

Vincent Prior
AP American History
Quiz #15

In reviewing "Andrew Carnegie: The Richest Man in the World":
Discuss the impact of the following elements on the development of American society and economics during the Gilded Age:
   New Technology in Industrialization
   New Forms of Capitalization in Industry
   Carnegie's "Gospel of Wealth"

    Many things have greatly impacted the development of American society. The United States is a country of many different ideas and thus, a very unique society. A society built by immigration, technology and good old' American ingenuity.
    Immigration is important on all level of society. Immigration allows a society to become more diverse, by allowing people of many different cultural backgrounds. However, it also brings about social stratification. This creates a hierarchy within society, prime examples of this are the Irish Americans and the Catholics. They are though to be below other immigrants in the society. Thus social ills are created and signs such as No Irish Need Apply.
    New technology is bred through this cultural melting pot and the work force that it provides. During the Gilded Age many technologies arose in the fields of railroads, communications, and industrialization. The Railroads began to expand, bringing people and goods to areas where they needed to be used for various purposes. Communications improved with telegraphs and other means by which to get things done over long distances, such as between companies or between different parts of the country. Industrializing technologies were also very important, including the Bessemer Process which helped Carnegie become very wealthy. This process reduced cost and time involved to produce steel.
    Cutthroat capitalism was also developed. Businesses would use any means necessary to get another one out of business and/or to assimilate their production into ones own realm. Out of this came an Industrial "elite" class, of which Carnegie was apart. Labor unions were formed to fight for workers rights. However, in order to get these rights, they needed to create a stratification of labor. By doing this, the union was able to make a class of skilled workers, which a business could not operate without. This gave unions more leverage and bargaining power.
    Carnegie, being as well-off as he was, created a "Gospel of Wealth" in this he stated that the wealthy had a responsibility to give for the common good of people. This is what compelled Carnegie to give much of his wealth to learning institutions such as schools and public libraries for public use. However, nowhere in his "Gospel of Wealth" did he mention the acquisition of the money. Thus, one could use whatever business practices they deemed necessary to make money, as long as they gave some for the common good.
    Many advances in the development of America's society came about during the Gilded Age. As the definition of the time states, they looked good on the outside, but sometimes they weren't what they appeared to be.