USF's WebQuest 

WebQuest Title:  Saint or Sinner? The Trial of Andrew Carnegie
 

Author:  John Pitcairn

 

Introduction:

Andrew Carnegie was a legendary figure in his own time -- a 19th Century icon.  He embodied the American dream: the immigrant who made it from rags to riches, whose schoolhouse was the library. The democratic American whose houseguests included Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, Helen Keller, Rockefellers, and royalty . . . as well as the ordinary folks from his childhood.  He would entertain them all together.  Although he loved his native Scotland, he prized America as a land free from Britain's monarchy and inherited privilege.  After King Edward VII visited Skibo, Carnegie's estate in Scotland, Carnegie told a friend that "all Americans are kings."  Everyone, however, knew that there was only one king of steel.

Carnegie set out, literally, to conquer the world of steel -- and that he did.  By 1900, Carnegie Steel produced more steel than the entire steel industry of Great Britain!  Carnegie was fond of saying that "the man who dies rich dies disgraced."  He made his fortune and then, unlike any industrialist of his time, began systematically to give it away.  He has gained fame as a benefactor of libraries, almost 3000 around the world.  He gave millions of dollars to support education, a pension plan for teachers, and the cause of world peace.  Carnegie wrote of the obligation of the wealthy to return their wealth to the societies in which they were made.  Carnegie, however, also wrote that such philanthropy also "provides a refuge from self-questioning."  Perhaps, he felt that by giving away his millions he would justify how he had earned them. 

While contributing significantly to the growth of U.S. industry and the American economy, Carnegie presided over one of the darkest chapters in American labor history.  He always saw himself as a friend of the working man . . . but the lives of his workers were no fairy tale existence in which everything turns out happily.

QUESTIONS: Does it matter how an individual makes their fortune if they use it primarily to benefit their community?  In our capitalism-based economic system, we seem to place great value on -- and to honor -- the making of enormous sums of money for its own sake.  In light of the many recent corporate scandals (such as that involving the Enron Corporation), should we continue to do so?  Do personal ethics and morality have a role to play in business?

In the following WebQuest, you will address these questions -- and review the innovations in technology and new methods of business that allowed the United States to become the greatest industrial power in the world -- by researching, analyzing, and evaluating the life, work, and philanthropy of one of the periods central figures: Andrew Carnegie.  As a class, you will evaluate Carnegie by conducting a mock trial to determine whether he was . . . SAINT or SINNER!

Task:

As a class, you will evaluate the life, work, and contributions of U.S. steel manufacturer and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie -- as well as review the innovations in technology and new methods of business that allowed the United States to become the greatest industrial power in the world -- by conducting a mock trial to determine whether Carnegie was . . . robber baron or captain of industry, SAINT or SINNER!

Each student will:

Process:

Each student will be required to conduct research and make a presentation (at trial) as part of their role:

ROLES

Following are the roles that will be assigned to students for the trial.  Please "click" on a role to go to the specific research assignment for that role.

3-JUDGE PANEL

 

PROSECUTION TEAM

 

DEFENSE TEAM


Resources:

You are encouraged to use both PRINT and INTERNET resources for your research. 

The library will, of course, be a rich sources of PRINT materials (books, encyclopedias, etc.).

The following INTERNET resources will be particularly useful.  Please start with these web sites.  Just "click" on the name of the site to be linked to it.  (Should you need more information, let me know right away so that I can help guide you to additional sites.)

 

ORDER OF THE TRIAL

  1. Prosecution Opening Statement (P1)
     

  2. Defense Opening Statement (D1)
     

  3. Prosecution Witness: Historian, The Gilded Age
    ▪ Direct Examination (P2)
    ▪ Cross Examination (D1)
     

  4. Defense Witness: Herbert Spencer
    ▪ Direct Examination (D2)
    ▪ Cross Examination (P2)
     

  5. Defense Witness: Historian, Philanthropy
    ▪ Direct Examination (D1)
     

  6. Defense Witness: Historian, Railroads
    ▪ Direct Examination (D2)
    ▪ Cross Examination (P1)
     

  7. Defense Witness: Scientist, Steel-Making
    ▪ Direct Examination (D1)
     

  8. Defense Witness: Historian, Uses of Steel
    ▪ Direct Examination (D2)
     

  9. Prosecution Witness: Historian, Labor
    ▪ Direct Examination (P1)
     

  10. Prosecution Witness: Steelworker
    ▪ Direct Examination (P1)
     

  11. Prosecution Witness: Historian, Pinkerton Guards
    ▪ Direct Examination (P2)
     

  12. Prosecution Witness: Historian, Homestead Strike
    ▪ Direct Examination (P2)
    ▪ Cross Examination (D1)
     

  13. Prosecution Witness: Henry Clay Frick
    ▪ Direct Examination (P1)
    ▪ Cross Examination (D2)
     

  14. Defense Witness: Andrew Carnegie
    ▪ Direct Examination (D2)
    ▪ Cross Examination (P1)
     

  15. Prosecution Closing Statement (P2)
     

  16. Defense Closing Statement (D2)
     

  17. Judicial Opinions

Evaluation:

Your TOTAL GRADE for this activity will be a combination of your WRITTEN GRADE and your PRESENTATION GRADE.

 

  BEGINNING

10

DEVELOPING

20

ACCOMPLISHED

30

EXEMPLARY

40

SCORE
WRITTEN GRADE Statement/opinion addresses only a few of the research questions adequately (if at all) OR it shows little effort in the writing, typing, or editing process. Statement/opinion addresses most -- but not all -- research questions adequately OR it is unclear, typed without enough care, and/or has many factual errors and/or typos. Statement/opinion addresses all research questions adequately AND is clearly written, neatly typed, and has few factual errors or typos. Statement/opinion addresses all research questions thoroughly AND is clearly written, neatly typed, and lacks factual errors or typos.  
PRESENTATION: STATEMENT Statement/evidence inadequate AND  inadequate projection and/or eye-contact. Statement/evidence presented adequately OR inadequate projection and/or eye-contact. Statement/evidence presented clearly and adequately OR projection and eye-contact adequate OR did not present role in character. Statement/evidence presented clearly and thoroughly. Good projection and eye-contact throughout.  Presented role in character.  
PRESENTATION: QUESTIONING Attorneys & Judges: asked 1 or fewer questions OR questions were irrelevant and/or disruptive.

Witnesses: Responded adequately to only a few questions OR acted in a disruptive/inattentive manner on the stand.

Attorneys & Judges: asked 2-3 relevant questions.

Witnesses: Responded adequately to most -- but not all -- questions.

Attorneys & Judges: asked 4 or more timely and relevant questions.

Witnesses: Responded adequately to all questions.

Attorneys & Judges: asked 4 or more timely, relevant, and focused questions.

Witnesses: Responded thoroughly and concisely to all questions.

 
        TOTAL
 

 

Conclusion:

You've now spent several days determining whether Andrew Carnegie was a "Captain of industry" or "Robber Baron," "Saint" or "Sinner."  Through that trial process, you should now have a better understanding of