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Industrialization In The Gilded Age Essay

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The time period from when the Second Industrial Revolution was beginning, up until President McKinley’s assassination in 1901, is known as the Gilded Age. After the Civil War, many people headed out West to pursue agriculture, and many immigrants moved to urban areas to acquire jobs in industrial factories. It is in this context that farmers and industrial workers had to respond to industrialization. Two significant ways farmers and industrial workers responded to industrialization in the Gilded Age, were creating the Populist Party and the American Federation of Labor (AFL). In response to Manifest Destiny, and westward expansion, agriculture became a major industry in the Midwest, South, and West. For the farmers, industrialization had…show more content…
The life of an industrial worker was very hard. Workers had to work long shifts and get paid very little. Some worked ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week, and made less than one dollar per hour. Along with long hours and little pay, there was no regulation for breaks, safety, or age. Due to this, one in eleven workers died on the job. Eventually it got to the point where these workers were working so much, but barely made enough to support their family. The Knights of Labor was the first national labor group formed in 1869. This group wanted to gain an eight-hour workday, expel asian workers and immigrants from the far east, and stop child labor. Around the same time a new national organization named the American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed when the Knights of Labor union declined. The new organization was led by Samuel Gompers, a cigar maker that helped to form the union. The AFL advocated for most of the same things as the Knights of Labor. The American Federation of Labor used strikes and boycotts against owners to try and get what they wanted. Two major strikes that occurred were the Pullman Strike and the Homestead Strike. Both strikes were very dangerous and had millions of dollars of damage. Some of the strikes and boycotts did work and wages were raised, however some backfired and many workers ended up losing their
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