American Labor In The Late 1800's

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In the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s the U.S economy underwent an enormous increase in its industrial and production growth of its services. Copious resources and an expanding labor force from immigrant labor, government policy, and entrepreneurs facilitated a large shift in production of manufactured goods and services. The First industrial revolution shifted production from artisans to factories, and the second revolution gave way to the expansion in the organization, coordination, which helped push the large scale of the new industry. One of the first major factors was the immigration and the technological and transportation evolution across the U.S. As stated, “...more than 25 million immigrants came to the United States between…show more content…
While working conditions played a factor the livelihoods of workers, so did the discrimination and resentment towards immigrant and African Americans laborers. With these factors playing a significant role in their working conditions it also introduced the daily realities and hardships of being a working American or immigrant in an ever evolving working force in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. One major factor that contributed to the hardship and daily realities that faced the unskilled and semiskilled American laborer like Thomas O’Donnell and others was racism. As stated in the text, “...Racism relegated them to poor jobs and substandard living conditions...” [The American Promise, 511], racism in the north was more of a widespread persecution of anyone who was not “white” in American standards. Colored workers and immigrants of all background and color…show more content…
I would have considered gaining control of the working environment by striking, unionizing, or by petitioning the government, and to the extreme if nothing else worked by rioting with the mases who were under privileged and had nothing to lose. Looking back at history these steps would have been risky but in some cases like African Americans, ideals would change and wide spread concern would evolve into policy and government action that would prevent worsening conditions. These things in my mind, would have helped or at least attempted to spread the fair and equal treatment of labors of all backgrounds and ages during the industrial age. In reality the workers in the 18th and 19th centuries used a lot of these tactics to change their own working environments. As stated in our text, “Knights of Labor, the first mass organization of America’s working class, proved the chief beneficiary of labor’s newfound consciousness.” [The American Promise, 519], strikes and riots across the 19th century helped propel organizations that represented the working class. One way that desperate working Americans actually did to make things better was to strike, in 1877 the Great railroad strike of West Virginia’s brakemen’s “[in retaliation], nearly 100,000 railroad workers had walked off the job. An estimated
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