1900 1930 Labor Movement Essay

1021 words - 4 pages

Late 19th century America was a time of both prosperity and poverty. Although it is often remembered by the luxurious lives of those like the Rockefellers and Carnagies, the majority of the population was a struggling working class. Entire families worked for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week in dangerous, unsanitary factories just to have enough money for dinner and the issue of upgrading these working conditions quickly came to the forefront of American reforms. The movement towards organized labor from 1875-1900 was unsuccessful in improving the position of workers because of the initial failure of strikes, the inherent feeling of superiority of employers over employees and the lack of governmental support.Since there was no groundwork to rationalize and show examples of the success of organized labor, it was nearly impossible to make it work at this time. If unions were going to work, striking would have to be effective and clearly, they weren't.In the 1860's, the National Labor Union was formed to unify workers in fighting for higher wages, an 8 hour work day and various social causes and it set the stage for many failing unions to come. In 1877, railroad workers in this union from across the country took part in an enormous strike that resulted in mass violence and very few reforms1. Afterwards, a editorial in The New York Times stated: "the strike is apparently hopeless, and must be regarded as nothing more than a rash and spiteful demonstration of resentment by men too ignorant or too reckless to understand their own interests" (Document B). This editorial, which was clearly in favor of labor reforms, was acknowledging that this method of fighting was not going to work for the laborers at this time. A failure of this magnitude so early on in the movement should have been enough to put it to halt, however, year after year, strikes were breaking and little was being done in the workers favors. In 1892, workers at the Homestead Steel Plant near Pittsburg walked out on strike and mass chaos the lives of at least two Pinkerton detectives and one civilian, among many other laborers deaths (Document G). The violent acts at Homestead not only failed to gain rights but since non-strikers were killed it led people to think of laborers in a negative light. After all these strikes were defeated it was clear that organized labor was not successful and was not the right way to improve conditions for workers.The industrial era gave more power to employers than ever before. Almost all Americans had the attitude that employers were on a higher level than employees in every way and even the idea that many workers need to ban together to equal one employer demonstrated inferiority. In 1883, in a testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor and Capital, a machinist said that "100 men are able to do now what it took 300 or 400 men to do fifteen years ago" in trying to explain his insignificance to the company he worked for (Document D). Since this was such an...

Find Another Essay On 1900-1930 labor movement

The Venona Project Essay

1176 words - 5 pages different forms of government and incompatible political clash between communism and democracy. Despite the Soviet Union being allies to the United States during world Wear ll, almost overnight they became enemy number one. Tin the 1930’s anti-communism created a powerful emotional and political movement in America. During this time and into the 1940’s a significant amount of boisterous social and labor struggle occurred in America. The creation

A Closer Examination of Distinct American Groups from 1877 to1930

1557 words - 7 pages Any serious examination of American history between the years 1877 and 1930 will show completely different experiences among a wide range of distinct groups. Our coursework has given us just a glimpse into the lives of some of these groups. They, among others really deserve a closer look During this time frame the population of the United States rose from approximately 50 million to 123 million people ("History"). This is an astonishing

American Women Leaving the Home and Going to Work

2182 words - 9 pages a higher wage. By the early 1900s, three women who were born in nineteenth-century Russia had managed to make their way to the garment shops on New York's Lower East Side. From there, Rose Schneiderman, Fannie Cohn and Clara L. Shavelson also found their way to the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) (Fennel 773). These women were instrumental in the early labor movement that brought much needed improvement to the conditions

Analyze the impact of various events on the American Industrial worker between 1865 and 1900

685 words - 3 pages I. Background information on industry and workersA. Between the period of 1865-1900, industry exploded in growthB. There were many contributors that included government action, labor unions, immigration, and technological changes.1. Government action tried to help the workers by decreasing corporations' control over employees2. Labor unions tried to increase benefits and make working easier3. Immigration helped by having a cheap, abundant labor

Labor Unions

4635 words - 19 pages Labor Unions Labor Unions: Aging Dinosaur or Sleeping Giant? The Labor Movement and Unionism Background and Brief History Higher wages! Shorter workdays! Better working conditions! These famous words echoed throughout the United States beginning in “1790 with the skilled craftsmen” (Dessler, 1997, p. 544). For the last two-hundred years, workers of all trades have been fighting for their rights and “seeking methods of improving their living

New Immigration

655 words - 3 pages were not able to proceed without an annual check-up. After this, they were separated from there families and were constantly uprooted. It was also very difficult for them to adjust to a culture, one not similar to theirs. Some immigrants were accused by organized labor of lowering wages and living standards, though other groups of immigrants rapidly became a major part of the labor movement. Disagreement was early revealed by such organizations

The Great Migration

848 words - 3 pages escape racism, but they were able to infuse their culture into American society. During the twentieth century, economic and political problems led to movements such as The Great Migration and The Second Great Migration which impacted the United States significantly. The Great Migration was the movement of two million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Midwest, Northeast and West between 1910 and 1940. In 1900, about ninety percent of

The Harlem Renaissance

1140 words - 5 pages where the first black middle class was created. In the early 1900’s the African American middle class began to publicize for racial equality. During this time W.E.B DuBois was the head of the civil rights movement. Soon after, he began to work closely together with other civil rights workers and activists. Together they discovered the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also known as the NAACP. This group would try to

How Successful Was Organized Labor in improving the positions of workers in the period from 1875 to 1900?

1505 words - 6 pages From the period of 1875-1900 organized labor enhanced the position of workers to a certain extent. Organized labor is defined as bunch of workers united as a single who would then bargain with employers to improve economic status and working conditions and through the use of organized labor political standings of workers. Organized labor had a good affect on workers since the hours at work was gradually decreasing due to labor unions while the

How the Rich Benefit from the Poor

5306 words - 21 pages towns and cities to become the wage seeking labor force necessary to run rapidly expanding industries. This extensive movement of communities had a considerable result on labor prices and ultimately constrained these people to become the urban poor. The effect of the Industrial Revolution on American society was substantial. Income following workers increased the population of large towns and cities severely. From 1860 to 1900 the number of urban

Censorship and Hollywood

3203 words - 13 pages , because of their bad influences on children.The starting point of my first argument on the pre-production censorship system adopted by the Hays Office, goes back to the mid 1900's where the origins of entertainment films at Nickelodeon theaters had both adult and children under its influence during the Victorian age and Progressive reform movement. Every age group of people were being entertained and amused by what they were watching until it

Similar Essays

The Labor Movement Essay

2247 words - 9 pages : Washington, DC. Galenson, W. (1960) The CIO Challenge to the AFL: A History of the American Labor Movement, 1935-1941. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA. Galenson, W. (1996) The American Labor Movement, 1955-1995. Greenwood Press: Westport, CT. Karson, Mark (1958) American Labor Unions and Politics, 1900-1918. Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale, IL Lane, A. (1987) Solidarity or Survival? American Labor and European Immigrants

Paid Domestic Wok Essay

568 words - 2 pages immigrants coming through Angel Island trying to find labor in the early 1900's all the way up to the late 1900's with Latino immigrant women working domestic jobs. Many similarities of the racialized labor these groups have faced can be concluded considering the historical stigma attached to them.In class we learned about the process of Asian immigrants being associated with low class, low skill jobs when they came to America in the early 1900

Paid Domestic Work Essay

568 words - 2 pages immigrants coming through Angel Island trying to find labor in the early 1900's all the way up to the late 1900's with Latino immigrant women working domestic jobs. Many similarities of the racialized labor these groups have faced can be concluded considering the historical stigma attached to them.In class we learned about the process of Asian immigrants being associated with low class, low skill jobs when they came to America in the early 1900

Child Labor Essay

1685 words - 7 pages heard. Hearings occurred and labor was given a chance to tell their side of the story and, for the first time, employers were able to defend themselves before the public. It was declared that the 1900's were an age of industrial violence. Local conditions were already improved due to the progressive movement in city after city as early as the 1890's. As a result of the cities being under the dominance of state government, the reformers had to