College Essay Examples

History Discussion 2: Gilded Age

The article in this week’s readings that I think best describes the Gilded Age is Andrew Carnegie’s “The Gospel of Wealth,” originally titled “Wealth” Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist during the Gilded Age. Despite being one of the top rich Americans during the period, he is remembered as a great philanthropist because he gave out a significant amount of his wealth to the public. “The Gospel of Wealth” summarizes Carnegie’s ideologies on philanthropy and wealth. He starts the essay by explaining how wealth had improved people’s lives. For instance, he says, “what were luxuries have become the necessaries of life.” He acknowledges hard work as the only reason for this success. He, however, argues that the wealthy era has resulted in a significant problem of the class gap between the rich and the poor. He criticizes the popular notion that the lower class is poor because of laziness and is not as ambitious as the wealthy class. He also criticizes rich people’s culture of passing their wealth to their inheritors. Instead, he suggests to wealthy people to share their wealth with the poor through philanthropic methods. He insisted that this option would result in a greater good because it would narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.

This article is suitable for explaining the Gilded Age because it points out the unseen defects of this period. The Gilded Age was assumed to be golden because of its economic success and industrialization. However, the success had created a problem of discrimination against the poor and other inferior classes, such as women, children, and immigrants. In particular, Carnegie addresses wealthy people’s selfishness, who only wanted their families to remain reach through generation inheritance instead of helping society. This article also mentions the idea of philanthropy, which I think was one of the ways of eradicating societal imbalances during the Gilded Age.

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By Sandra Arlington

Sandra Arlington is a contributing writer to the Motley Fool. Having written for various online magazines, such as Ehow and LiveStrong, she decided to embark on a travel blog for the past 10 years. She is also a regular contributor to My Essay Writer.

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