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Carnegie's Model Republic

Triumphant Democracy and the British-American Relationship

A. S. Eisenstadt

Publication Year: 2007

Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) has long been known as a leading American industrialist, a man of great wealth and great philanthropy. What is not as well known is that he was actively involved in Anglo-American politics and tried to promote a closer relationship between his native Britain and the United States. To that end, Carnegie published Triumphant Democracy in 1886, in which he proposed the American federal republic as a model for solving Britain’s unsettling problems. On the basis of his own experience, Carnegie argued that America was a much-improved Britain and that the British monarchy could best overcome its social and political turbulence by following the democratic American model. He expressed a growing belief that the antagonism between the two nations should be supplanted by rapprochement. A. S. Eisenstadt offers an in-depth analysis of Triumphant Democracy, illustrating its importance and illuminating the larger current of British-American politics between the American Revolution and World War I and the fascinating exchange about the virtues and defects of the two nations.

Published by: State University of New York Press


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p. vii

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p. ix

MY GREATEST DEBT is to Dean Glenn C. Altschuler, Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University, whose wise counsel improved two earlier versions of this book. Other drafts were read by Professors Irwin Unger of New York University, Gertrude Himmelfarb of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Carnegie’s ...

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pp. xi-xv

ANDREW CARNEGIE, a world-famous industrialist and philanthropist, was also a highly renowned writer and political activist. Apart from two diaries of his travels that he published, he wrote many essays that arose out of his experience in becoming America’s greatest steelmaker and amassing the prodigious wealth that making and selling steel produced. He is best ...

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1. The Road to Triumphant Democracy

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pp. 1-14

WHEN IT BURST into the British-American world of politics and ideas in mid-April 1886, there could be no mistaking the importance and theme of Andrew Carnegie’s Triumphant Democracy. Running over five hundred pages, the ornate and massive volume commanded immediate attention. More than the great majority of his fellow captains of industry, Carnegie ...

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2. Major Themes

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pp. 15-30

THE OPENING PARAGRAPH of Carnegie’s Triumphant Democracy arrestingly summed up the theme of his volume. What he laid out in the following twenty chapters was a detailed statistical and analytical support of those opening words. The paragraph was the one virtually all of his reviewers cited—indeed, the one with which they began their reviews. In that way, ...

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3. The Antithesis of Models

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pp. 31-54

The words stood out in the concluding paragraphs of Triumphant Democracy, a fervid peroration in a chapter that summarized America’s incomparable achievement. In that sentence, Carnegie was doing more than congratulating the transatlantic fraternity that had made a political philosophy of what they saw as the irreconcilable conflict between monarchies ...

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4. Reconciling Ideals

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pp. 55-72

MORE THAN ANY other event, the American Civil War marked a change in the antithesis of ideals between the United States and Great Britain. The end of slavery enhanced America’s appeal to the leaders of British political reform and to Britain’s working classes. The victorious Union could now be hailed as an effective democratic polity, all the more so in the light of the ...

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5. The British Critique

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pp. 73-94

TRIUMPHANT DEMOCRACY appeared on Saturday, April 17, 1886. The press on both sides of the Atlantic greeted it with scores of reviews. What they said constituted a transatlantic colloquy, all the more so as Andrew Carnegie was quite literally a transatlantic figure, an inhabitant if not quite a citizen of two worlds. ...

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6. Affirming America

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pp. 95-116

IN THE TRANSATLANTIC dialogue between the kindred polities that Andrew Carnegie’s book evoked, how would his American reviewers respond to what he had written about their society? Positively, one would imagine, and for the larger part so they did. But the conversation was more with themselves than with their British compeers. The British had to defend ...

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7. The Pan-Anglian Persuasion

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pp. 117-154

THE APPEARANCE OF Sir Charles Dilke’s Greater Britain in 1868 marked a new turn in the British-American relationship. His preface sounded its principal theme: “Through America, England is speaking to the world.”1 That Dilke’s book gained a wide popularity and influence in Britain signaled a changing British perspective on the connection between the two ...

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8. Conclusion

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pp. 155-178

TRIUMPHANT DEMOCRACY embodied Carnegie. From its publication to the years of his retirement from actively participating in public affairs, he resounded its basic themes. And yet, ironically it might have seemed in light of his impassioned commitment to his book’s message to the British political world, events he could hardly have anticipated, in a sudden rush, ...


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pp. 179-198

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A Brief Note on Sources

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pp. 199-200

WHAT WERE THE SUBSTANCE and importance of Andrew Carnegie’s Triumphant Democracy? The sources I have consulted in trying to answer this question appear in the notes I have cited in my chapters. I have situated myself at the intersecting point of Carnegie and the place of his book in the British-American relationship. Because the literature on this subject is ...


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pp. 201-204

E-ISBN-13: 9780791479384
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791472231

Page Count: 220
Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 181102812
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Carnegie's Model Republic

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Social life and customs -- 1865-1918.
  • Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919 -- Influence.
  • Great Britain -- Relations -- United States.
  • National characteristics, American.
  • United States -- Relations -- Great Britain.
  • United States -- Economic conditions -- 1865-1918.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1900.
  • Great Britain -- Civilization.
  • Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919. Triumphant democracy.
  • National characteristics, British.
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