Historically the human industry, as well as the economy, was not as complicated as it is right now. There has been a revolution in the social conditions of life. The distinction between the rich and the poor was scarcely noticeable during the previous generation. Back then in the human industry, goods were manufactured in small shops or domestic hearths which also formed part of the household. Political and social equality was a gift experienced by all. Apprentices were considered masters as their skills were valued a lot.
Andrew Carnegie finds this “good old times” as not good times due to lack of civilization in the past generation. According to him, the revolutionary changes that are happening are more beneficial than harmful. According to Samuel Gompas 1893, there were few laborers back then. The separation between the capitalist class and the laborer mass was unnoticeable unlike now. Capitalists had no power unlike now where they have an industrial monopoly which they have gained through the abuse of arbitrary powers. It seems like life was simple then compared to today.
Carnegie was a very wealthy businessman in the 19th century. Despite having little formal education, he was a philanthropist and industrialist. He was a big investor in his young years. All this information explains why he encouraged competition despite attesting to the fact that it causes human beings to lose homogeneity(Carnegie 1889). He supports the change in the human industry because of the return benefits it brought along. I now understand why he saw the change as beneficial not only to him but the employees as well. His article is meant for both the employers and employees to restore the excellent relationship that might have been present before but lost meaning due to the different changes in the human industry. Changes that have been brought by the rising difference between the rich and the poor.
Andrews Carnegie article is essential as it shows clearly the transition of the human industry as it was then compared to now. The article explains how people enjoyed political equality as well as social equality before the gap between the rich and the poor widened as days went by. The source is historically significant as it shows us that what we are trying to achieve today was present during the last generation. The article also explains the process the human industry had undergone to become a complex economy today and how the accumulation of wealth today came about(Winkler 1932).
Samuel Gompers was an American labor leader from 1886 to 1894. He advocated for substantial gains for workers from their employees. He supported higher pays for employees who he thought were being taken advantage of by their employers. According to him, “the laborers were placed in a position involving degradation of mind and the body.” Through this article, we understand how capitalists took advantage of their arbitrary power to acquire an industrial monopoly even at the expense of the workers. His article is meant for workers in all generations to help them know how to fight for their rights especially through forming of unions. He brings to light how workers have been abused since the 19th century up to date(Gompers 1893).
The source tries to show us that despite the modern world is complex, some of the things present today were there centuries ago just that the abuse has intensified. This oppression of workers has increased the gap between the rich and the poor which was not noticeable in the past centuries. The article is historically essential to show laborers that their fight for better treatment and pay started centuries ago to lighten their spirits.
The article, What the Laborer Wants by Samuel Gompers andWealth by Andrew Carnegie are related since they show how business owners take advantage of employees to increase their earnings. They also illustrate how important a laborer is in the process of production. The increase in laborers in today’s complex economy has caused more friction between the employment and the employer due to the aspect of competition. However, more laborers have led to more material development compared to before(DeVault 2007).
Carnegie, Andrew. 1889. Wealth.
DeVault, Ileen A. 2007. “Samuel Gompers.” .
Gompers, Samuel. 1893. What does Labour Want? Speech.
Winkler, John K. 1932. “Incredible Carnegie: The Life of Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919).” The Journal of American History 19 (1): 135.
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