With the rise of monopolies, small companies and farmers suffered immensely likewise wages were cutback which led to many strikes and boycotts throughout the nation. However, Monopolies also lowered prices for various goods. Wealth increased due to the rich investing it and expanding new markets, which opened new job opportunities for non-skilled and skilled workers alike. Many companies also made it their duty to improve the community by funding myriad
The wealth during the 1920s left Americans unprepared for the economic depression they would face in the 1930s. The Great Depression occurred because of overproduction by farmers and factories, consumption of goods decreased, uneven distribution of wealth, and overexpansion of credit. Hoover was president when the depression first began, and he maintained the government’s laissez-faire attitude in the economy. However, after the election of FDR in 1932, his many alphabet soup programs in his first one hundred days in office addressed the nation’s need for change. Although Roosevelt’s administration was not very effective in immediately ending the Great Depression, it left a lasting effect on the role of the federal government by creating
John Morrison's Testimony of a Machinist is a Transcript of Morrison testifying in front of the Senate. The transcript covers changes in factory work environments, possible causes of those changes and effects that they have. This paper is a very good source to see the growing unrest among factory workers, why they feel disenfranchised and why they might wish to unionize. What is overlooked in this which make his arguments weaker than they could be is the fact that technology will always be advancing and must be adapted to.
However, the ideas of the privileged, who did not experience the same hardships as those of low income, were not as widely held by the poor. In their eyes, the captains of industry and the monopolies, such as Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company, were so rich and held such power over the world economy they were akin to royalty (Source D). As such, movements grew to oppose the monopolies and horrid working conditions. Legislatively, laws were created to limit their power, such as the Sherman Antitrust Act, which limited monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade (Source F), or the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, which strengthened provisions for breaking up monopolies and exempted unions from prosecution. Similarly, organized labor (such as the National Labor Union, Knights of Labor, and the American Federation of Labor) grew to oppose dreadful conditions through political action or direct confrontation.
In fact, “by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain” (CR 88) wanting to maximize his profit while minimizing his costs. So, instead of increasing the wages of their workers, they would instead keep their wages low and keep the money they earned. The owner wants an “industry that produces the greatest value” (CR 88) which would lead one to infer that they just should not give the workers a salary. However, although the company owners “neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it” (CR 88) because of the need to raise the wages of workers. The industry owners end up being “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention” (CR 88) which pushes the owners to increase the wages of factory workers to allow them to be able to purchase more products, thus further supporting industries.
Many of these businessmen had formed a political party called the “down-town” party. The goals of this party were to further their own business, specifically by putting down other interests of the nation. This party focused as well on subverting the prerogatives of the
To illustrate, in 1890, John Sherman passed a bill known as the “Sherman Antitrust Act,” which attempted to counter the growing number of trusts and monopolies in the country (Doc. 4). Although the Antitrust Act failed to stop any trusts, the act did help pave the way for legislation in the early 1900’s that would help workers and workers’ rights. In conclusion,
During the Industrial Revolution big businesses took places of small workshops, increasing to quantity but not quality. This made many people lose their jobs, and now there was only one place to work the factories. Ahead of these factories were big business owners, some born into money others worked their way up to it like Andrew Carnegie. Work at these factories became unsafe and the pay was bad, they could only blame one person and that was the owners. People of this time saw these business owners as either villain or hero, witch side of the scale do Andrew Carnegie falls on?
The Great Depression was a major turning point for the United States’s economy because it changed the relationship between the government and the economy. Before the Great Depression, the economy was a Laissez-faire style market where the government had no influence on private party transactions and businesses. After the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the people of the United States sought for reliefs from the government. The Government responded by creating tax reforms, benefiting the stock market, wheat prices, employment, and the number of bank suspensions, and providing comfort for the people. As a result of their disparity, the people put their trust in the government in hopes that they would repair the broken economy.
On May 11, 1894 a widespread strike lead by railroad workers brought business to a complete cessation; only willing to discontinue until the federal government took unprecedented action to end the strike. The Pullman Strike began “as a peaceful labor protest against a single Chicago employer (54)”, and later ended up “into a national labor boycott of more than twenty railroads and then into a violent confrontation between the federal government, the railroad companies, and American workers (55.)” With the “mix of employer resistance, government aggression, worker bitterness, and general economic desperation (54)”, the Pullman Strike presented questions towards the “rights of employers and workers in an industrialized democracy and about the role
Inability to complain about work, low wages, and charge for necessities that they thought should have been provided by Pullman all caused rage in the employees. An economic depression made life more difficult for Pullman’s employees, because They quit their jobs and sought to get fair treatment in the work environment.
Because of the nature of the depression, the people’s personal responsibility were little to blame. As Roosevelt put it, when private facilities cannot provide jobs for the public, it is the government’s role to provide relief. This marked a three term cycle between aiding the working class, and emerging social programs, that inherently strengthened the powers of the federal government. Altogether, this changed the people's interaction with government from being fairly limited before the twentieth century, to federal government control over monetary policies and workforce standards, which enacted long lasting changes in the upcoming form of government (Biles 3).
The longest and most dreadful downturn in economic history tossed millions of the hardworking people of America into poverty, for more than a decade neither the federal government or the free market were able to restore themselves from prosperity. Due to the Great Depression, an impetus was provided for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, this deal would forever change the relationship between the government and the American people. The New Deal was considered to be one of the most remarkable times of political reform in American history. In hindsight, it began to become easier to view the New Deal as the essential response to the Depression. However, the New Deal at the time was only one of the countless possible responses to an American capitalist system that had professedly lost its way.