Philip Dreyfus Labor Radicalism

660 Words3 Pages
The Industrial Revolution, a time of technological advancements and changing society, yet also a period marked with unfair and unsafe working conditions. In response to dismal working conditions labor unions emerged and although the workers’ pleas were the same, they were not united in their plight. It emerged as a struggle between American born workers and immigrants, they learned though, that if they united, they were much stronger than they were when divided. Three historians explored the topic of labor radicalism in this time and examined how laborers interactions with each other. The first historian, Philip Dreyfus, specializes in political radicalism and ethnic and class identities. The second historian is Thomas G. Cole; he focuses on labor unions in the Progressive- Era. The third historian, Thomas G. Andrews specializes in the social and environmental history of the American West. Each bring a unique view to the topic. Philip Dreyfus wrote the article “The IWW and the Limits of Inter- Ethnic Organizing: Reds, Whites, and Greeks in Grays Harbor, Washington, 1912” which described the divide between American born and immigrant workers. His thesis states, “The most intractable problem…show more content…
Cole had a similar thesis in Chapter 2: “Wobblies take the Docks” of his book, Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive- Era Philadelphia. His thesis states, “Momentous for both its commitment to industrial unionism and racial inclusiveness, Wobbly ideology and tactics proved more powerful than the divided and primarily local waterfront employers.” In this chapter he examines the labor movement of the longshore men and argued that the movement was much more successful when major unions such as the IWW ran the strikes instead of the local unions. Several different labor unions tried and failed to successfully rally the longshoremen, but the IWW succeeded because it forced laborers to put aside their racist attitudes and focus on the final
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