Monday, October 27, 2008

Robber Barons- Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland but immigrated to America in 1848 at the age of 12. His first job in America, where he was paid $1.20 a week, was as a bobbin boy in a textile mill in Pittsburgh. He began to enroll in night classes to learn bookkeeping. He soon became a Western Union messenger boy who would sometimes take over when the telegraph operaters wanted a break. He soon became the city's fastest telegraph operater. In 1852, Tom Scott hired him as his secretary and personal operater. Seven years later Carnegie took over as head of the line's western division when Scott became vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Carnegie played it smart and invested his earnings from the railroads and by 1868 he was earning more than $56,000 a year in his investments. In the early 1870's he decided to build his own steel mill. He became the first steelmaker to know the actual production cost of each ton of steel. He soon learned the benefits of vertical integration. This allowed him to controll all aspects of manufacturing, from extracting raw materials to selling finished products. This all shows how he started off with nothing and then became one of the most sucessful steelmakers. He started out making $1.20 a week to making $56,000 a year. He also consolidated his power by the vertical integration. He was also very charitable by giving over $300 millon in his lifetime. His company was also the first business capitalized at more than $1 billon. His one and only philosophy was "Watch the costs, and the profits will take care of themselves." This was a result in self-discipline and hard work.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Reconstruction in the South was a complete failure. This was mainly caused from the federal government's failure to fulfill its own goals and create a biracial democracy in the South. And you can still see today that the North is still ahead of the South. We are much more poor than the North. And the reasoning behind all of this is due to the civil war and the complete failure of reconstruction after the civil war. Plus Lincoln and Johnson had two different plans for reconstruction in the South. Lincoln's 10% plan was probably better than Johnson's plan of Presidential Reconstruction. And the unwillingness of southern whites to allow blacks any significant power in southern society were main reasons that Reconstruction failed.

Dred Scott Case, 1857

Dred Scott was a slave who was taken by his master from the slave state of Missouri into Illionois and in the Wisconsin Territory, which were nonslave areas. After his masters death, Scott sued for his freedom on the grounds of his residence in free territory. In 1856, the case finally reached the supreme court. In the end the supreme court ruled that he is not a free slave.