Poor Working Conditions Essay

867 words - 3 pages

The age of industrialization brought many changes to American society. Industrialization had a huge impact in the development of the nineteenth century. Industrialization was important because it led to new technologies and inventions that tremendously improved every day life. The technical innovations and the inventions of railroads brought people into the cities. Due to this, industries grew and more jobs were available. The need for workers put women and children into the workforce, providing cheap labor, and resulting in poor working conditions. The texts “Modern America is Born” by Milton Meltzer, “Robber Barons and Rebels” by Howard Zinn, and “Hostile Employers See Yourselves as Others Know You” by Samuel Gompers, talks about poor working conditions that happened during industrialization.
The working conditions in the late 1800s and the early 1900s were very poor. In 1869 the completion of the first transcontinental railroad was a new development in America. The railroad was built mostly by immigrants that would work for low wages. The employers that then worked on the railroad had certain issues. In “Modern America is Born” the author states, “For decades both freight and passenger trains suffered from two devices that kept service slow and dangerous […] The brakeman had to stand between the cars so he could slide the link into the socket and drop the pin to hold the cars together […] An even worse part of the job was the manual braking of the cars to slow or stop them. The brakemen had to balance himself on top of the onrushing cars to twist the hand brake” (Meltzer 20). The employers that worked on the railroad had a hard time controlling the machinery, if it was not done right, the railroad could cause deaths to people (both passengers and employers). In the 1900s new inventions and innovations were made. This was also the time period of robber barons. Robber barons are business leaders who earn their money in a dishonest, greedy or wrong way. In “Robber Barons and Rebels” the author says, “In industry after industry they created empires by keeping prices high and wages low, by crushing their competition, and by getting help from the government in the form of favorable laws and taxes” (Zinn 6). These “Robber Barons” did not care about their workers just themselves; their workers’ wages were low, and higher class people helped them through their greedy needs.
In 1911 a major incident occurred in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, due to poor working conditions. The factory had a fire and more than one hundred workers, mainly women died. The factory was like a sweatshop, the text “Hostile Employers See...

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