Long accustomed come the excesses the the robber barons that industry, the American public to be startled in 1889 once one the the wealthiest guys in the country — and also in the civilization — issued his good manifesto, “The Gospel the Wealth.” Powerfully influenced by his strictly Scottish Presbyterian heritage, Andrew Carnegie urged rich human being to give their money away, or at least most of it, and also to base their philanthropy top top their religious faith.

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Even by today’s standards, Carnegie’s philanthropy to be staggering in size and scope. A child of negative immigrants, Carnegie started Carnegie corporation of brand-new York through $135 million in endowment; the Hero funds, $10 million; Carnegie institute of an innovation in Pittsburgh, $11 million; Carnegie Endowment for Peace, $10 million; Carnegie structure for the advancement of Teaching, $15 million; and Carnegie institution of Washington, $10 million. The spent more than $56 million to construct public libraries in much more than 2,500 communities across the unified States, Canada, good Britain, and other English-speaking countries. His total lifetime presents were estimated at $350 million once he died in 1919. This would be an ext than $44 exchange rate in 2001 dollars.

Excerpts from “The Gospel of Wealth” follow.


Poor and limited are our opportunities in this life, narrow our horizon, our finest work many imperfect; however rich guys should it is in thankful for one inestimable boon. They have it in their power during their lives to liven themselves in organizing benefactions from which the masses of your fellows will certainly derive lasting advantage, and thus dignify their own lives. The highest possible life is more than likely to be reached, not by together imitation of the life of Christ together Count Tolstoi give us, but, while animated by Christ’s spirit, through recognizing the changed conditions the this age, and also adopting settings of to express this spirit suitable to the readjusted conditions under which we live, tho laboring because that the an excellent of our fellows, which to be the essence of his life and also teaching, however laboring in a various manner.

This, climate is organized to it is in the duty the the man of wealth: To collection an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning screen or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent top top him; and, after doing so, to take into consideration all surplus revenues which pertained to him simply as trust funds, which he is dubbed upon come administer, and strictly bound as a issue of duty to administer in the way which, in his judgment, is best calculated to create the most beneficial results for the ar — the guy of wide range thus ending up being the mere trustee and also agent because that his poorer brethren, bringing to their business his remarkable wisdom, experience, and ability to administer, doing because that them better than they would certainly or can do for themselves.

We space met here with the an obstacle of determining what room moderate sums to leaving to members of the family; what is modest, unostentatious living; what is the test of extravagance. There have 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, great taste, or the rules of propriety; but, nevertheless, these are verities, fine known, return indefinable. Public emotion is quick to know and also to feeling what offends these. So in the case of wealth. The dominion in for to good taste in dress of men or women applies here. Every little thing makes one conspicuous offends the canon. If any type of family it is in chiefly recognized for display, because that extravagance in home, table, or equipage, for substantial sums ostentatiously invested in any kind upon itself — if this be its cook distinctions we have actually no difficulty in estimating that nature or culture. So similarly in regard come the use or abuse of its surplus wealth, or to generosity freehanded teamwork in an excellent public uses, or to unabated initiatives to accumulate and also hoard come the last, or even if it is they provide or bequeath. The decision rests through the best and most enlightened windy sentiment. The neighborhood will surely judge, and its judgments will not frequently be wrong.

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The ideal uses to which excess wealth deserve to be placed have already been indicated. Those that would administer wisely, must, indeed, be wise; for among the major obstacles come the improvement of our gyeongju is indiscriminate charity. The were far better for mankind that the numerous the wealthy were thrown right into the sea 보다 so spent regarding encourage the slothful, the drunken, the unworthy. The every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity today, it is probable the nine hundred and also fifty dollars is unwisely invested — for this reason spent, indeed, regarding product the an extremely evils i beg your pardon it really hopes to mitigate or cure. A renowned writer the philosophic books admitted the various other day the he had given a quarter of a dollar come a male who approached him as he was coming come visit the home of his friend. He knew naught of the habits of this beggar, knew no the usage that would be made of this money, return he had every reason to doubt that it would certainly be spent improperly. This man professed to it is in a disciple that Herbert Spencer; however the quarter-dollar offered that night will most likely work an ext injury 보다 all the money will certainly do great which that thoughtless donor will certainly ever be able to give in true charity. He just gratified his own feelings, saved himself native annoyance — and this was most likely one that the many selfish and very worst action of his life, for in every respects the is many worthy.

In bestowing charity, the main consideration should it is in to aid those who will help themselves; come provide component of the way by i beg your pardon those who desire to boost may do so; to give those that desire to climb the aids through which they may rise; come assist, however rarely or never ever to perform all. Neither the individual nor the gyeongju is enhanced by almsgiving. Those worthy of assistance, except in rarely cases, hardly ever require assistance. The really valuable men that the race never ever do, except in instance of accident or sudden change. Every one has, that course, cases of individuals lugged to his own expertise where short-term assistance have the right to do actual good, and also these he will certainly not overlook. Yet the amount, which deserve to be wisely provided by the individual because that individuals, is necessarily limited by his lack of knowledge of the circumstances connected with each. The is the just true reformer that is as careful and also as anxious not to assist the unworthy together he is to assist the worthy, and, perhaps, even an ext so, because that in almsgiving much more injury is more than likely done by lucrative vice 보다 by relieving virtue. …. For this reason is the difficulty of rich and also poor to be solved. The regulations of accumulation will it is in left free, the legislations of distribution free. Individualism will certainly continue, yet the millionaire will be but a trustee for the poor, intrusted for a season v a great part the the raised wealth the the community, however administering it because that the neighborhood far far better than it can or would have done for itself. The ideal minds will certainly thus have reached a stage in the breakthrough of the gyeongju in which the is clearly seen the there is no setting of disposing of surplus wealth creditable to thoughtful and also earnest men into whose hand it flows, conserve by making use of it year by year for the general good. This day currently dawns. Men might die there is no incurring the pity of their fellow, quiet sharers in great business enterprises from which their capital cannot it is in or has actually not been withdrawn, and which is left chiefly at fatality for public uses; yet the job is not far far-off when the man who dies leaving behind the millions of obtainable wealth, which was cost-free to him to administer during life, will pass far “unwept, unhonored, and unsung,” no matter to what offers he leaves the dross i m sorry he can not take with him. The such together these the public verdict will certainly then be: “The man who dies thus rich die disgraced.”

Such, in mine opinion is the true gospel worrying wealth, obedience come which is destined some day to settle the difficulty of the rich and the poor, and also to bring “Peace on earth, amongst men great will.”