During the Gilded Age (1870-1900), workers faced numerous problems in which they attempted to fix through organizing into labor unions. But, these unions failed. Their overall goals were to have better wages and working conditions, but a shorter work day in which they did not achieve. (Document A1) The government was corrupted and controlled by big business, which caused a lack of good interpretation, regulation, and passing of progressive legislations. Big businesses also had control over the media which lead to reports in newspapers to give the reader a negative view on labor unions. Labor unions needed skilled workers to have leverage in collective bargaining, but steadily improving technologies replaced many skilled workers. To prevent …show more content…
Thus, Pinkertons, police or military would be sent to the location where more violence would cause many injuries, some possibly fatal. (Document G1) Labor unions would always be blamed for these fights, even if they had not instigated it, and so the public thought unions were violent and reckless. These strikes were made illegal due to them never being peaceful (Document H2) On top of that, many labor unions were said to be connected to communism and socialism. Many believed the unions were a threat to capitalism and the United States which terrified the public. (Document F2) To combat these opinions, Samuel Gompers, the founder of the American Federation of Labor, made a statement to show that he and his union were pro capitalism, not socialism. “Economically, you (socialists) are unsound; socially, you are wrong; and industrially you are an impossibility.” (Document G2) But this did not eliminate the bad image of labor …show more content…
A yellow dog contact would require the worker to avoid all labor unions to get or maintain their job which lead to a decrease in union members. (Document E1) Without many members, unions would lose their leverage of strength in numbers. In the Homestead Strike and Lockout of 1892, Andrew Carnegie, the owner of Carnegie Steel, hired Pinkertons. These spies would become part of the union, and discover if they wanted to do a sit in strike. This could have caused lots of damage to Carnegie’s factory, and so he locked out the workers the next day. The workers went home and then returned with weapons and fight with the Pinkertons. Numerous people were killed. (Document G1) Many owners and managements saw their workers as the equivalent of machines. “So as long as they do my work for what I choose to pay them, I keep them…” (Document A2) Management’s could easily fire and replace their workers with scabs, who were immigrants. Scabs would do the same amount of work for a lesser pay which lead to more native workers being fired, and less members in the labor unions. Losing the leverage that the number of members provided would become a tremendous problem for workers and labor
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Higher class people were considered the best and at the top, so if the higher class people were in the strike, it would make it seem like the strike was important. That is another reason why the fire was a disaster of epic
The workers were requesting unionization of the work place. In my opinion, the most persuasive argument is that of the workers and their request to have the factory unionized, which would create a contractual relationship that covers all workers in the factory with respect to wages, hours and work conditions. It would diminish Harris and Blanck’s authority. Harris and Blanck used private detective agencies to provide replacement workers. They even hired prostitutes to start fights with the workers on strike and paid off local
You touched on a critical point in your forum, as of why workers went on strike. While poverty played a significant role, in 1877, railroad employees experienced a significant pay cut, which sparked the Great Railway Strike, triggering violence and a shutdown of the railways lasting nearly six weeks. Next, the Pullman strike began with railroad owners becoming increasingly wealthier, while none of the profits trickled down to the employees. The labor walk-outs encompassed the substantial divide between social classes. Hence, rich businessmen were increasing their profits, while poor workers often remained stagnate with low wages and company issued paycuts.
In the face of power of big business and the face of the federal government, the laboring-class Americans attempted to better their lives. The laboring-class did that by improving work conditions, decreasing poverty, and trying to get increased government interactions. The laboring-class attempted to improve working conditions. Working conditions were very poor.
The feeling, shown in Nast's illustration after the railroad strike of 1877, that amalgamations simply lead to more " communistic values" and general uniformity made it very arduous to genuinely get anything done. Samuel Gompers, progenitor of the American Federation of Labor, argued that the right to strike was absolutely obligatory if any reforms were going to be made and not even this right had been officially granted to the people by regime (Document I). Gompers made it very pellucid that not even the very substratum of organized labor had been established and so up until this point the advances that had been made, were virtually frivolous. In conclusion, from 1875-1900 very few advances were made through organized labor in achieving better working conditions for workers.
In the 1840’s there was a wave of democratization created after Jackson’s presidency. It was created the value of the common man, and the importance of every person who was in the government. Of course, there were exceptions to this rule as there still certain groups like blacks or women that were viewed as inferior, but the majority of the population felt like they had worth. This led to series of reforms: hospitals for the mentally ill, schools for people with physical disabilities, the temperance movement, and labor unions. This movements fought a better society with better treatment even though there would be no economic incentives to do so.
Corporate greedy and corrupt politicians were specific problems and injustices that were present in American life during the late 1800s and early 1900s however these were addressed during the progressive era with laws and regulations. Throughout the gilded era corrupt politicians and corporate greedy allowed the upper class and businessmen to take advantage of the working class. This means that a majority of the population were hurt during the gilded age whereas a small percentage benefitted. As seen in document 1, living conditions were crowded, dirty, and unsafe.
The local townspeople gathered at the railyard to show their support for the “STRIKERS.” Violence seemed to create fear for companies and bosses; the greed of the workers spoke clearly through strikes and riots. The fight against the employers selfishness and abilities to cut workers pay flourished the beginning of unions. Unions brought workers together with common interests and opinions to show that they had numbers to fight with. In the cartoon, “One Big Union,” states at the bottom, “The hand that will rule the world-One Big Union,” and shows a large fist, along with worker’s fists raised in the air, that symbolizes unification and agreement in views of the company’s operations. Not only individual strikers committed harmful actions, but unions were a group of combined strikers that caused severe destruction throughout towns as seen in The Great Upheaval.
The riot resulted in producing an obstacle for union membership and union authority still felt in several union groups today. Prior to the Haymarket Riot, it was known that factory work was hard. Employees were exposed to dangerous conditions, low wages, and prolonged hours; therefore, in an effect to improve working conditions unions were formed. Companies opposed union so in a attempt to reduce an individual for join on they would add suspected union members on a lists, which barred them from employment. Companies were also known for disregarding laws that the government put in place to protect workers’ rights and in some cases the government historically sided with the companies during strikes giving companies a sense of power.
In 1935, the United States passed the Wagner Act which enables more workers rights and gave the right to join/form unions and participate in collective bargaining. But this was not to be passed before many workers began to form unions and were refused that ability. Many riots and strikes were put into place to try and protect their rights. Some strikes became violent resulting in deaths, while others just created trouble for the workers. These efforts without initial government backing caused many problems but many changes.
The AF of L wanted “unionism” and opposed socialism. TheKnights of Labor, another labor union, was created in 1869 and enlisted in their ranks not only alllaborers but also everyone who could be truly classified as a producer. Labor unions, the two major depressions and the three “robber barons” were three of theforemost reasons the Gilded Age got its name. The “robber barons” invested in things that wouldultimately lead to a “Golden Industrial Age” but they didn’t achieve it totally legitimately, and thecreation of the labor unions sided with the workers, but at times, grew violent in their methods.
There are many simmaleritys and differences between the Knights of labor and the AFL this will explain only a few. The Knights were established in 1869 vs the AFL established in 1886 a few years later. This means the Knights are the predisesors of the AFL. Some made compromises others started boycotts, and the following explanes all. Both the AFL and the Knights had labor unions involved with them.
The only way the immigrated worker impacted the “American” one, is that they outright replaced them. Obviously not every single American industrial worker was fired and swapped for foreign workers, but many were so anyway. This is due to foreign industrial workers usually settling for a lower wage, and, in the case of Chinese ethnics, they practically did
An excerpt from Gilded Age tells us how companies are greedy and corrupted by charging hidden fees and finding a way not to pay their workers. It also shows how companies did not take contracts to their workers seriously. (Doc 2) If the Federal Government was more involved with how business men did their work; there wouldn’t have been so much deceitfulness toward the workers from the employers. The Federal Government could have put efforts into regulating pay for employees and making sure the companies stuck to their word about any benefits.
Farmers and Industrial Workers in the Gilded Age In a time when industrialization was booming, immigrants were racing towards the “American Dream”, and cities were growing towards the sky, the United States was thriving. As a country, the United States went from rural, to mostly urban, which made America “the world’s largest industrial power” as stated by John Green. Since the U.S. had become mostly urban, this left the very few rural workers (farmers), and even some of the industrial workers unhappy. This period of industrialization is called the Gilded Age than spans from 1865 to 1900.The farmers and industrial workers responded to the Gilded Age in significantly negative ways including unions against their authority, strikes and political