write a five to ten page paper double-spaced focusing on only one of the following suggested topics:
- Your paper on Andrew Carnegie could involve your evaluation of his handling of labor relations in his steel and iron mills, such as Homestead. In fact, you may want to focus primarily on his handling of labor relations at Homestead. If you keep to that narrow focus, you can examine the Homestead strike and your evaluation of the dispute between Carnegie and the workers before and during the strike. This focus can involve answering these questions:
What were the perspectives of the workers and management (mainly Carnegie but also Frick) during the Homestead strike? Could Carnegie have compromised on the issues between him and the union? Or was there an irreconcilable conflict which had to be settled through lockout and strike?
David Brody, Steelworkers in America, the Nonunion Era (the most important source). Paul Krause, The Battle for Homestead, 1880-1892: Politics, Culture, and Steel . David P. Demarest, “The River Ran Red:” Homestead, 1892.
- Your paper will focus on Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy and explain his choice of causes to support. Also, you will discuss whether he was just a passive donor or whether he actively involved himself in the causes that he financed. In addition to what you may discuss about his support for libraries, you can provide brief descriptions of the work of the various charities to which he made donations to show his values. For instance, explain why he founded the Carnegie Trust, Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Institutes, Carnegie School of Technology, and Carnegie Foundation. Did he contribute any ideas to them in addition to his money? Did he define their objectives and priorities or, in some cases, did he leave it up to them?
Joseph Frazier Wall’s book Andrew Carnegie (either edition is fine). Simon Goodenough’s book, The Greatest Good Fortune: Andrew Carnegie’s Gift for Today
- How did Carnegie seize opportunities to become wealthy and successful in the steel business? Do you agree with his business decisions, especially concerning his steel company? Why or Why Not?
James Howard Bridge, The Inside history of the Carnegie Steel Company. Joseph F. Wall, Andrew Carnegie (first or second edition). John Kennedy Winkler, Incredible Carnegie, the life of Andrew Carnegie. Robert Hessen, Steel Titan, the life of Charles M. Schwab Jean McHugh, Alexander Holley and the Makers of Steel
- Discuss how Carnegie’s life was shaped by the conflicting values of his mother and father: humanitarian democratic idealism vs. a self-centered realism which made Carnegie at times inclined to practice Social Darwinism.