Article Summary: The Great Railroad Strike Of 1877

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The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 7, 1877 in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Workers became angry when the company had reduced their wages for the second time within the previous year. “The strikers refused to let the trains run until the most recent pay cut was returned to the employees” (“Great Railroad Strike of 1877”). The decrease in wages was a result of the economy’s recent downfall. According to Joseph Adamczyk, “That year the country was in the fourth year of a prolonged economic depression after the panic of 1873” (Adamczyk). The invention of the railroad changed everything. It was the beginning of a new era. The railroad was a new way to transport goods, materials, and people. According to Stuart Moulder, “Prior to the last spike being driven in 1869, the only ways to get from coast to coast of the United States were a months long journey by foot, horseback or (very expensive) carriage” (Moulder). This means that the railroad was not only a new way of transportation, but also a new way of life. To put things into perspective, an article titled “The Great Railroad Strike” states that “The total miles of railroad track in the United States increased from just 23 in 1830 to 35,000 by the end of the Civil War to a peak of 254,000 in 1916.” (“The Great Railroad Strike”).
The railroad provided many jobs in the midst of a broken economy. Railroad work was hard, dirty, exhausting, and paid very little. According to “The Great
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