Long accustomed come the excesses that the robber barons the industry, the American public was startled in 1889 once one of the wealthiest males in the country — and also in the people — issued his an excellent manifesto, “The Gospel the Wealth.” Powerfully influenced by his strictly Scottish Presbyterian heritage, Andrew Carnegie urged rich world to provide their money away, or at least most of it, and also to base your philanthropy ~ above their religious faith.

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Even through today’s standards, Carnegie’s philanthropy was staggering in size and also scope. A son of poor immigrants, Carnegie founded Carnegie coporation, group of new York v $135 million in endowment; the Hero funds, $10 million; Carnegie institute of technology in Pittsburgh, $11 million; Carnegie Endowment for Peace, $10 million; Carnegie foundation for the development of Teaching, $15 million; and also Carnegie institution of Washington, $10 million. That spent much more than $56 million to develop public libraries in an ext than 2,500 communities throughout the unified States, Canada, great Britain, and other English-speaking countries. His full lifetime gifts were estimated at $350 million as soon as he passed away in 1919. This would be more than $44 billion in 2001 dollars.

Excerpts from “The Gospel of Wealth” follow.


Poor and restricted are our methods in this life, small our horizon, our best work many imperfect; but rich males should it is in thankful because that one inestimable boon. They have actually it in your power during their lives to liven themselves in organizing benefactions from which the masses of your fellows will derive lasting advantage, and thus dignify their own lives. The greatest life is most likely to be reached, no by together imitation that the life of Christ together Count Tolstoi offer us, but, while animated by Christ’s spirit, by recognizing the changed conditions the this age, and adopting modes of express this spirit an ideal to the adjusted conditions under which us live, tho laboring for the good of ours fellows, which to be the significance of his life and teaching, yet laboring in a various manner.

This, climate is organized to be the duty the the male of wealth: To collection an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display screen or extravagance; to carry out moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent ~ above him; and, after ~ doing so, to think about all surplus profits which pertained to him just as to trust funds, which the is dubbed upon to administer, and strictly bound together a issue of duty to provide in the path which, in his judgment, is ideal calculated to develop the most useful results for the neighborhood — the man of wealth thus coming to be the just trustee and agent because that his poorer brethren, bringing come their company his superior wisdom, experience, and capacity to administer, doing because that them far better than they would or might do because that themselves.

We space met here with the challenge of identify what room moderate sums to leaving to members the the family; what is modest, unostentatious living; what is the check of extravagance. There need to be different standards for various conditions. The answer is that it is as impossible to name exact quantities or actions together it is come define good manners, an excellent taste, or the rules of propriety; but, nevertheless, these are verities, well known, back indefinable. Public sentiment is fast to know and to feeling what offends these. For this reason in the instance of wealth. The preeminence in to the to an excellent taste in dress of males or women applies here. Every little thing makes one conspicuous offends the canon. If any kind of family it is in chiefly known for display, for extravagance in home, table, or equipage, for enormous sums ostentatiously spent in any form upon chin — if these be its chief distinctions we have actually no challenge in estimating the nature or culture. So an in similar way in regard to the use or abuse of its excess wealth, or to generous freehanded participation in great public uses, or to unabated initiatives to accumulate and hoard come the last, or whether they administer or bequeath. The verdict rests v the best and most enlightened windy sentiment. The community will for sure judge, and also its judgments will certainly not regularly be wrong.

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The finest uses come which excess wealth deserve to be placed have already been indicated. Those that would administer wisely, must, indeed, it is in wise; for among the significant obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity. It were far better for mankind the the countless the rich were thrown right into the sea 보다 so spent regarding encourage the slothful, the drunken, the unworthy. Of every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity today, that is probable the nine hundred and also fifty dollars is unwisely invested — so spent, indeed, regarding product the very evils i m sorry it hopes to mitigate or cure. A renowned writer the philosophic publications admitted the various other day the he had offered a quarter of a dollar come a guy who approached him as he to be coming come visit the house of his friend. The knew nothing of the actions of this beggar, knew no the usage that would certainly be made of this money, although he had every factor to suspect that it would certainly be invested improperly. This male professed to be a disciple of Herbert Spencer; yet the quarter-dollar given that night will probably work an ext injury than all the money will do good which its thoughtless donor will certainly ever be able to give in true charity. He just gratified his very own feelings, saved himself indigenous annoyance — and also this was probably one the the many selfish and an extremely worst action of his life, because that in every respects he is most worthy.

In bestowing charity, the main factor to consider should it is in to help those who will aid themselves; come provide component of the way by which those that desire to enhance may carry out so; to offer those that desire to climb the aids by which they might rise; to assist, yet rarely or never to execute all. Neither the individual no one the race is enhanced by almsgiving. Those worthy that assistance, except in rarely cases, rarely require assistance. The really valuable men the the race never ever do, other than in situation of accident or suddenly change. Every one has, that course, cases of individuals carried to his own expertise where momentary assistance deserve to do actual good, and also these he will certainly not overlook. Yet the amount, which have the right to be wisely given by the individual for individuals, is necessarily limited by his lack of knowledge of the circumstances connected with each. That is the just true reformer who is as careful and also as anxious not to assist the unworthy together he is to assist the worthy, and, perhaps, even much more so, because that in almsgiving more injury is more than likely done by financially rewarding vice 보다 by relieving virtue. …. Thus is the trouble of rich and also poor to it is in solved. The regulations of accumulation will be left free, the laws of circulation free. Individualism will continue, yet the millionaire will be however a trustee for the poor, intrusted because that a season v a great part the the increased wealth of the community, but administering it for the ar far far better than it might or would have actually done because that itself. The finest minds will certainly thus have reached a phase in the breakthrough of the race in which that is plainly seen that there is no setting of getting rid of of surplus wealth creditable come thoughtful and earnest men into whose hand it flows, conserve by utilizing it year by year because that the basic good. This day already dawns. Men might die without incurring the pity of their fellow, tho sharers in an excellent business enterprises from which their funding cannot be or has actually not been withdrawn, and also which is left chiefly at fatality for publicly uses; however the work is no far distant when the guy who die leaving behind that millions of easily accessible wealth, i m sorry was cost-free to the to carry out during life, will certainly pass far “unwept, unhonored, and also unsung,” no issue to what provides he leaves the dross i beg your pardon he can not take through him. The such together these the public verdict will certainly then be: “The guy who dies hence rich die disgraced.”

Such, in my opinion is the true gospel worrying wealth, obedience to which is destined part day to resolve the problem of the rich and also the poor, and to lug “Peace top top earth, amongst men an excellent will.”