This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Early Strikes Of The American Labor Movement

3753 words - 15 pages

Early Strikes of the American Labor Movement

In the mid-nineteenth century and early twentieth century, industry in America was growing at an alarming rate. This growth brought about basic changes in the way things were produced and in the lives of those who produced them. It was the Civil War that first started to change industrial landscape of the nation. "More than a million dollars a day were spent on weapons, ammunition, machinery, clothing, boots, shoes, [and] canned goods" (Meltzer, 3). The high demand for so many different items brought bigger, newer and more efficient factories. The factories were producing cheaper products than the small, independent, hand-made specialists were. As a result of this industrialization a shoemaker, for example, no longer made the whole shoe. Instead the "new" shoemaker only made the heel, or shoelace. "Mass production left no place for the individual craftsman" (Meltzer, 4).
The new assembly line organization had several side effects. One was condition for the workers. Factories often provided inadequate housing which lead to bad living conditions. The working conditions were usually dirty, uncomfortable, and unsafe.
By 1900 nearly one out of every five in the labor force was a woman. Conditions for women and children were often much worse. "They [women] were used to hard work. In the home they put in 12 hours a day or more, cleaning, cooking, sewing, rearing children, and helping with the men's chores as well," (Foner, Women 8). Industry owners sent people to rural parts of the country to recruit women. They promised the women high wages, leisure hours, and silk dresses. Instead, the women worked 14 to 16 hours a day for an average wage of $1.56 a week. They received no silk dresses. "Some of the hands never touch their money from month's end to month's end. Once in two weeks is payday. A woman had then worked 122 hours. The corporation furnishes her house. There is rent to be paid; there are also the corporation stores from which she has been getting her food, coal… and [other] cheap stuff on sale may tempt her to purchase..." (Meltzer, 21). Factory employers also cheated women, believing they were defenseless. Some employers did not pay them at all, or deducted a large part of their pay for "imperfect" work. An 1870 survey showed that 7,000 of the working women could only afford to live in cellars and 20,000 were near starvation.
For children in the nineteenth century, idleness was considered a sin. And the factory was a God sent protector against the evils into which idleness might lead children. In the 1830's in Massachusetts, children in the factory worked 12 to 13 hours a day. In 1845, the mills in Lowell set hours for children from sunup to sunset. In New England two fifths of all workers were children. The Census of 1870 reported 700,000 children ages ten to fifteen at work. By 1910, nearly 2 million children ages ten to fifteen were at work. In...

Find Another Essay On Early Strikes of the American Labor Movement

The Abolitionist Movement of Slavery from the Early 19th Century to the American Civil War

1557 words - 7 pages together with many other abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison to end one of the nuisances that flawed the United States, slavery. In 1845 he published an autobiography “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave”. ( In the 1830s the abolitionist movement took on new energy and momentum. American abolitionists took to heart, in 1833, when the British unchained

The Labor Movement Essay

2247 words - 9 pages along with other key factors in American society. In times when human rights and the rights of the individual were national priorities, the labor movement prospered, in times where businesses and profitability were the priority, the labor movement faltered. In the post-civil war era, 1865-1876, the U.S. was just getting used to dealing with large numbers of unskilled manufacturing labor, which was derived from European Immigrants, and southern

The History of the Labor Movement up to the Present

2212 words - 9 pages Research the history of the Labor Movement up to the present. Labor Unions were made to help the worker. The first know labor union was in New York in 1768 when New York Journeymen protested wage agreements ( Staff). Then later in 1794 a bunch of journeymen otherwise known as shoemakers formed together to form what was the first known Union ( Staff). Labor Unions actually started with skilled workers. Not many factory

The History of the American Labor Union

2711 words - 11 pages John Ellis Williams Mr. Richard Baker Principles of Microeconomics Monday & Wednesday 1:00 PM 31 March 2014   John Ellis Williams Mr. Richard Baker Principles of Microeconomics MW 1:00 31 March 2014 The History of the American Labor Union Beginning in the late 1700’s and growing rapidly even today, labor unions form the backbone for the American workforce and continue to fight for the common interests of workers around the country. As we

The Role of Labor in American History

9022 words - 36 pages been described as a stabilizing force in the national economy and a bulwark of our democratic society. Furthermore, the gains that unions have been able to achieve have brought benefits, direct and indirect, to the public as a whole. It was labor, for example, that spearheaded the drive for public education for every child. The labor movement, indeed, has served as a force for American progress. American Labor's Second Century Now, in the 1980s

Immigrants and Immigration Movement of the Early 20th Century

1118 words - 4 pages helped to cause prohibition, since many Americans did not approve of their drinking habits. However, like most immigrant groups, they eventually assimilated into American society after both nationalities become accustomed to each other's culture. Jews were also at the forefront of the immigration movement in the early 20th century. Before the 19th century, few European Jews immigrated to the US. By 1840, there were only about 15,000 Jews

Rise of the Early American Gentry

2361 words - 9 pages class. And rule they did; the gentry wasted no time in dominating the political, social, and religious scenes in the Chesapeake area. The gentry used their wealth to gain their positions, and frequently used their prestigious positions to gain more wealth.During the American Revolution the gentry became the leaders of the movement and later the leaders of the new country. During the Revolution the lines between the gentry and the emerging middle

The Development of Early American Cities

1070 words - 4 pages Early cities, from late 1600 to mid 1800, in the United States were thought of in two different ways. First, they were though of as a promise land which held opportunity for all inhabitants. They could become a place where prosperity and new and exciting things could take place. Second, on the opposite spectrum, they were thought of as an immoral breading ground which could poison people and the entire United States. People like President

The American Indian Movement

1915 words - 8 pages The American Indian Movement is an organization in the United States that attempts to bring attention to the injustice and unfair treatment of American Indians. Aside from that, the AIM works for better protection and care for the American Indians and their families. They have been changing the American perception of Indians since the late 1960’s, as well as aiding our awareness of their existence. The AIM was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota

The American Indian Movement

2676 words - 11 pages American Indians once lived a prosperous and full life, relying on the bounty of land and nature. Colonization by white settlers disrupted this peaceful existence, uprooting tribes from their land and forcing them to assimilate to new cultural and religion views. Years of mistreatment and abuse led to the organization of the American Indian Movement to fight for their rights and liberty. Through the AIM, Indians attempted to gain recognition

The Influence of the Three Strikes Laws

2272 words - 10 pages to the benefits just do not add up. As early as 1997 Vitiello had argued that the Three Strikes law does not work to reduce crime and that California would still see a decline in crime without the Three Strikes law and that there is a growing body of literature and other alternative that would cost considerably less than the Three Strikes Law. This was unfortunate because for over a decade no one decided to take heed. The Three Strikes

Similar Essays

Labor Press Paper: Labor Movement Of The Late 1820’s And Early 1830’s

1181 words - 5 pages Suppressed by the wealthy elites and mainstream newspapers, the growing Labor Movement of the late 1820’s and early 1830’s, created the labor press papers that projected the voice of the working man which had previously been muffled. Headed by The Mechanics Free Press and the Working Man’s Advocate, the labor press looked to achieve political power for the working class and to criticize politicians for their total disregard of the working-class

Strengths And Limitations Of The American Labor Movement

1499 words - 6 pages -sitting politicians within them. Because of this no political party is willing to help advance worker power as was in the time if the war. Now we will look at possibly what could have been done different to have kept unions at its highest level. Done Differently In order for the labor movement to have possibly strengthened its purpose, labor should have refrained from being narrowly focused on trying to persuade corporations and the

Highlights Of The Labor Movement Essay

930 words - 4 pages This essay details the history of the labor movement from the late 1800s to the present.During a meeting of national unions (1886) the American Federation of Labor was created. The cause, differences in opinions regarding the mixing of skilled and unskilled workers. The federation was formed by about 150000 workers. Unions maintained control over their workers while sending complaints and disputes to the AFL to be resolved. The AFL maintained a

American Early Labor Unions Essay

1324 words - 5 pages industrialism grew was because of the American and immigrant work force. Workers during the gilded age into the progressive age were not being treated well from theire employees. During this time many workers worked for low wages, many hours and unsafe working conditions. Many workers were angry at their employers, so they began to form labor unions and organizations where workers fought to win certain rights from their employers. As workers moved from