Battle Of Blair Mountain Essay

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The Battle of Blair Mountain was “the largest armed rebellion in America since the Civil War” (Grayson, “The Second Civil War...”). Miners in West Virginia rose up against the mine bosses, who were cutting wages and attacking the miners’ unions. Capitalism worked against the interests of the miners. The conditions of the miners were caused by the need of the capitalist mine owners to make profits. The mine owners hired detectives to attack the workers, who were trying to improve their conditions and fight for their rights. The U.S. government helped the mine owners by using policemen and the army to stop the workers’ rebellion, which was interfering with the capitalist social order and undermining the profitability of the mines. Background The period…show more content…
These agents harassed and shot at workers, while bosses (especially in the non-unionized areas) fired anyone who tried to join the union. In 1920, union members set up camps for homeless miners outside of the Stone Mountain Coal Company mines, but two detectives were sent out to evict the workers at gunpoint. In the event later known as the Matewan Massacre, a gunfight erupted by the policeman Sid Hatfield (who was sympathetic to the miners’ cause) and the detectives who had illegally evicted the homeless workers. This inspired violent revolts of the mine workers who were fighting to join the UMWA, and in Logan and Mingo counties, any worker caught supporting the union was arrested. Even more miners rebelled when Sid Hatfield was murdered in a surprise attack by detectives outside of a courthouse (Sid was there to face charges for sabotaging a coal mine). Miners marched on the state capitol led by the union organizer “Mother” Jones, and from there decided to free the imprisoned miners and force the mine owners to allow unionization in the non-unionized
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