Comparing The Conflicts Between The Noble And Holy Order Of The Knights Of Labor

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Conflicts between workers and employers are prevalent to this day. From fair wages, to better working conditions, and even to appropriate healthcare, there is always some form of questioning that needs to be addressed. Dating back to the late 1800’s the economy and labor market of the United States underwent massive changes which mainly revolved around people of all different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds becoming wage laborers. Due to these previously unheard-of changes, a conflict between the employees and employers began. Therefore, in order to resolve labor issues, through great difficulty workers created unions and protested against their employers. This was met with great backlash from not only their employers but the government …show more content…

The Knights of Labor held a notion that, “there was a conflict of interest between the wage system of labor as well as the republic system of government. The Knights believed that the government should be determined by the people/average citizen while the production should be determined by workers. By doing this they felt that they could restore independence to the American citizens.” (Rosenzweig 95-96). Due to drastic wage cuts that came with the economic downturn of the early 1880’s this group was able to grow rapidly with their victories against two of the country’s most powerful railroads. In the first instance in which they protested Union Pacific, the group called for a walkout which, “won restoration of the wage cuts meaning the wages had to go back to their original standard and in the second situation which came against Jay Gould’s Southwestern, won an agreement that forbidden any form of discrimination against union members in employment” (Rosenzweig 96). This huge victory against Gould who was a greatly hated financier, brought tens of thousands of new members to join the Knights who all shared the same intention, to improve the way they were being treated in their …show more content…

At a time where communication in itself was difficult, the Knights were able to spread their message and as a result influence people to join their group like wildfire. “One of the best ways to recognize the growth of the group was from seeing the massive attendance at their general assembly meeting which took place in Richmond, Virginia” (Gourevitch 3). The aftermath of this meeting, in which a black worker named Frank Ferrell introduced the Knights’ white leader Terence Powderly, allowed the Knights to, “spread throughout Southern states like South Carolina, Virginia, and Louisiana, setting up cooperatives, organizing local assemblies, and agitating for a new political order” (Gourevitch 3). However, like all dangerous and pioneering activities, problems were not completely avoided. Not everybody agreed with the message of the union practices which stressed the inclusion of minorities and females. For example, in “Louisiana there was tremendous early success. One district assembly in the Bayou region claimed 5,000 black members and more than forty local assemblies were spread across the state, and the membership included some of the most influential local leaders from the Reconstruction. As a result, a racist local paper called the Thibodaux Sentinel warned against the group’s efforts and said they would be met with violence and arson if they didn’t cease their

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