How Did Labor Grow In The Early 20th Century

741 Words3 Pages
As cities were growing rapidly in the early 1900’s, businesses booming and railroads being built, the population of American was increasing as well. *Immigrants from Northern and Western Europe fled to America, seeking opportunity. There came a point where when there were so many immigrants, the Geary Act was put into place. Limiting the number of people that could come into America. Although there were many opportunities in America, there were many issues that made fulfillment for many difficult, including poor work and living conditions and unfair wages. With businesses making their presence known in cities, helping to boost the economy because of the use of cheap labor and trusts, there became the need for laborers, but conditions were so…show more content…
Between the two, one having just skilled workers and the other with workers of all capabilities, the goal was to provide laborers with fair wages, better hours, and a say in business. More often than not, these laborers had to advocate for themselves. Starting off as a protest for a fair national wage, the Haymarket Riot of 1886 earned its name when a bomb was thrown at the police and eight people died. Four men, Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, and Adolph Fischer, were found guilty and were hung. After this event, labor unions including the knights of labor were torn apart. This was important to big businesses because they had a handle on the actions of citizens once again. With laborers knowing death was a possibility of resistance, they backed down. Conditions of living were just as bad as in the workplace, as Jacob Riis, a muckraker, expressed through his writing. Riis, an immigrant from Denmark, wrote about the filthy slums immigrants were forced to live in because of the unfair wages.**Although the industrial revolution brought about great change in the way we did things, such as the use of machines, the conditions in which these mechanisms were used remained the same in the late 1800’s and early 1900s. Slums were still evident in the city during the late 1800’s as they were during the first industrial revolution because of underpayment and work-related injuries still occurred day to day which left many unable to provide for themselves. Unfortunately, the idea of social Darwinism seemed to be practiced by far too many throughout the cities, because immigrants and blacks just couldn’t achieve equal treatment. Too many upper-class citizens believed that the white race was just superior to all others, so they didn’t find it necessary to aid the
Open Document