Andrew Carnegie, known as the King of Steel, built the steel industry in the United States, and ,in the process, became one of the wealthiest men in America. His success resulted in part from his ability to sell the product and in part from his policy of expanding during periods of economic decline, when most of his competitors were reducing their investments.
Carnegie believed that individuals should progress through hard work, but he also felt strongly that the wealthy should use their fortunes for the benefit of society. He opposed charity, preferring instead to provide educational opportunities that would allow others to help themselves. "He who dies rich, dies disgraced," he often said.
Among his more noteworthy contributions to society are those that bear his name, including the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, which has a library, a museum of fine arts, and a museum of national history. He also founded a school of technology that is now part of Carnegie-Mellon University. Other philanthrophic gifts are the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to promote understanding between nations, the Carnegie Institute of Washington to fund scientific research, and Carnegie Hall to provide a center for the arts.
Few Americans have been left untouched by Andrew Carnegie's generosity. His contributions of more than five million dollars established 2,500 libraries in small communities throughout the country and formed the nucleus of the public library system that we all enjoy today.
The American Revolution was not a sudden and violent overturning of the political and social framework, such as later occurred in France and Russia, when both were already independent nations. Significant changes were ushered in, but they were not breathtaking. What happened was accelerated evolution rather than outright revolution. During the conflict itself people went on working and praying, marrying and playing. Most of them were not seriously disturbed by the actual fighting, and many of the more isolated communities scarcely knew that a war was on.
America's War of Independence heralded the birth of three modern nations. One was Canada, which received its first large influx of English-speaking population from the thousands of loyalists who fled there from the United States. Another was Australia, which became a penal colony now that America was no longer available for prisoners and debtors. The third newcomer-the United States-based itself squarely on republican principles.
Yet even the political overturn was not so revolutionary as one might suppose. In some states, notably Connecticut and Rhode Island, the war largely ratified a colonial self-rule already existing. British officials, everywhere ousted, were replaced by a home-grown governing class, which promptly sought a local substitute for king and Parliament.