L Abor Unions Essay

776 words - 4 pages

Labor Unions were started because of the poor treatment of workers, unsafe, unfair, and unsanitary working conditions that took place in the 19th century. At first it was difficult for these immigrants and unskilled workers to organize a labor union at all, and eventually led achieving some important things such as ending child labor, equal pay for men and women, stopping human body parts from being ground into you hamburger meat, and an 8 hour work day. Since Businesses at this time pretty much ran the country, it was difficult for labor unions to convince these business men to change their mind. However their persistence paid off, and we have the labor unions to thank for our safe and comfortable working conditions we still enjoy today.
The improvement of the American economy in the 19th century was one of the vastest improvements then ever seen. With the assistance of technological advances, an abundance of natural resources, extreme growth in population, little to no government regulation, and strong entrepreneurial energy, the economy improved more rapidly than ever before. The improvement of transportation, agriculture, and technology, were also contributing factors to the U.S. becoming one of the strongest countries in the World as it is today.
Big businesses and huge corporations began to dominate the economy, and quickly set a standard for American life. Men like Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller were practically the poster children for owning big businesses in the 19th century. Rockefeller owned every facet of the oil industry, where Carnegie felt competition was beneficial to society, but still bought out every struggling company in the steel industry. “Rockefeller further solidified this control over the oil industry by establishing a monopoly or trust, which centralized control of a number of oil-related companies under one board of trustees.”- These men were so wealthy they wrote a check to the bail government out of debt, more than once.
Federal and State politicians encouraged these entrepreneurs to start these businesses, and encouraged growth by placing high tariffs on foreign imports as an attempt to eliminate competition; the government had no say in regulating these big businesses such as steel and oil.
With the growth population there was also a growth in the demand for employment from men, women, and children. With big businesses on...

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