Imagine working sixteen hours a day in an unsanitary, dangerous, place for a big business gaining two dollars. This is what laboring-class Americans had to go through during the Gilded age. Politically, the first largest American labor union was formed during the Gilded age and many other organizations formed as well as violent strikes. Socially, different ethnics joined together to share their thoughts and realize the evils of big business and of the federal government. Mentally, most we 're losing their personal life while some were financially stable and glad.
The Labor movement in the United States grew out of control and lost the need to protect the common interest of most workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, easier hours and safer working conditions. 20th-century labor improved because of American Federation of Labor, the Knights of Labor and Amalgamated Association all helped change America and give people proper working conditions The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers (AAISTW) was an early steelworkers labor organization, which represented primarily English-speaking, white skilled workers. The Amalgamated Association had a little over 24,000 people making it one of the largest unions in the American Federation of Labor.
The Industrial Workers of the World came into existence in 1905 was a revolutionary unionism known for its radical and militant approach. Its goal was to ensure that unity and completeness was afforded to both skilled and unskilled workers and not solidarity by occupation. Efficiency was not a concern of the union, for they took issue with the fact that the employers reaped monumental monetary gain, while the workers barely made enough to take care of themselves or their families. Its goal was to form one union, which would be opened to all workers, without any barriers. This was known as the “One Big Union.”
At the end of the 18th century, a new aged had arrived, known as the Gilded Age, it is where the economic, social, and political atmosphere was heavily influenced by industrialization. Before the Gilded Age, United States was still expanding their territories, Southerners were still living in small farms, while England and other European countries were more advanced in industrialization. Then 30 years later, after the Civil War, America was one of the countries in the world to lead in industrial power. The dramatic development, changed everyone’s life, people that used to live in farms moved to the urban cities in search of new opportunities, wave of inventions such as the telephone was made, and industries boomed. Industries affected the economic, social, and political atmosphere, affluent industries was manipulating iron, oil, railroads and even the workers; which increased the gap between the wealthy and the poor.
The economic growth during the Gilded Age affected the United States in both negative and positive ways. As a positive, the growing population formed an expanding market from the east coast to the west coast. The economic growth directly affected the supply and demand for basic essentials for the needs of the country. As the population traveled west, supplies and goods that were needed also traveled west. The expansion of the railroads during the Gilded Age, in my opinion, alone was the most major change for our country.
“In the United States history of unions, early workers and trade unions played an important part in the role for independence” (Union Plus). In 1866, the National Labor Union (NLU) ambitiously tried to achieve equal rights for women, African Americans, and mandate eight-hour work days. They managed to convince Congress to adopt the eight-hour work day, but only for federal employees. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) with approximately 1.4 million members was successful in wage negotiation, and enhanced work conditions for its members. “A combination of factors contributed to the debilitating Panic of 1873, which triggered what the public referred to at the time as the “Great Depression” of the 1870s” (OpenStax College, 2014).
Factories were paying far too little for someone to feed their whole family for that little, so many either would die or would turn to crime to survive; these laborers wanted equality. Men, women, and children were working and got employed in factories to work, and the dangerous and strenuous labor that children were put through to help the family expense caused many young children to die. Workers individually could not stop corporations, but collectively they could make an impact on their wages. The corporations eventually had to succumb to the pressure of labor supplies because the National Trade Union convinced the majority of the labor force to work from 12 hours a day to 10 hours. After the labor unions won, workers worked less, and they still had the same salary.
In developing countries there has always been a difference in how companies and the people that worked for them agree about working conditions and salaries. This brought about what we now call labor unions, which today and in earlier years negotiated working conditions and other issues concerning labor. The Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor were two of the unions formed during the time that labor issues were being debated. The Knights were considered to be secretive and more radical than the American Federation of Labor, which was considered to be a formal federation of labor unions.
Industrialization played a big part in the shaping of American society. This time period was considered the "Gilded era " from 1869-1901. There were both cultural and economic changes during this time, such as the transcontinental railroad, businessmen, the depression , and the living conditions of the lower class. The transcontinental railroad produced an increased demand in manufacturing since the businesses would now grow and trade in larger amounts.
During the nineteenth century economic changes increased the amount of European industrial workers. Conditions under which they lived and worked improved along with the availability of jobs for women. Ultimately, the industrial revolution and the agricultural revolution lead to migration to cities for factory work. Theses changes in conditions for industrial workers were caused by the debate between government involvement in economics and if workers themselves have to take the initiative to create changes. English economists argue that the government should not get involved in helping the poor.
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.
Many people were unemployed and even more people took any job they could find because they needed to pay for their loved ones. Many people like railroad workers were being very unfairly paid. To highlight the fact that railroad workers were unfairly treated they only got paid 35% and when the railroad company announced that they would be cutting pay by another 10% this angered railroad workers even more so they went on strike. Many people depended on the railroad workers to get to their jobs because railroad workers had to fix and make railroads so this upset others. Not only were railroad workers unfairly paid so were coal miners, they demanded more pay and better working environment
As stated in our text, “Knights of Labor, the first mass organization of America’s working class, proved the chief beneficiary of labor’s newfound consciousness.” [The American Promise, 519], strikes and riots across the 19th century helped propel organizations that represented the working class. One way that desperate working Americans actually did to make things better was to strike, in 1877 the Great railroad strike of West Virginia’s brakemen’s “[in retaliation], nearly 100,000 railroad workers had walked off the job. An estimated
The laborer, toiling in factories and industry, did not fare much better than the small farmer. Immigration increased dramatically, providing the necessary workforce for industries. Socialist ideas, however, along with low pay, and the ability of some workers to enter the middle class (in part through the creation of a managerial class), kept labor unions from effectively protecting workers from exploitation. Low wages, long hours, job insecurity, hazardous working conditions, and gender, age and racial discrimination characterized the working life of many(?)/most(?)
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