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Question: Analyze The Impact Of Any Two Of The Following On The American Industrial Worker Between 1865 And 1900. Government Actions Immigration Labor Unions Technological Changes

918 words - 4 pages

Between 1865 and 1900, American industry workers experienced both good and hard times. Labor Unions were forming, and these new creations often produced better lives for the workers. However, waves of immigrants were also coming into America, which resulted in the threat of job stability. Labor Unions and Immigration both had momentous effects upon the industry worker, for better or for worse.After the Civil War, which killed much of the working population, people began to appreciate their skills more and more due to the lack of human resources. Labor Unions began forming, demanding better pay, hours, and conditions. Labor Unions did receive some of what they bargained for, but their greatest gain was the augmented participation people began to take in expressing their convictions.Some of the prominent Labor Unions were the National Labor Union, organized in 1866, the Colored National Labor Union, the Knights of Labor, and the American Federation of Labor. Although these unions targeted different portions of American society (some included blacks, some didn't, some were elitist, some were lower class...), they all had major goals in mind; all fought for reform in the American industrial workforce.The National Labor Union fought for the arbitration of industrial disputes and the eight hour workday. They were able to win the eight hour workday. The Knights of Labor, an esoteric, clandestine, group, campaigned for economic and social reform. They wanted producers' cooperatives and codes for safety and health. They also fought for the eight hour workday. The American Federation of Labor sought better wages, hours, and working conditions. They also wanted the trade agreements. These Labor Unions negotiated with employers and held strikes, which gradually led employers to grant better lifestyles to the workers.The success in these Labor Unions lay not only in their arguments themselves, but in the myriad of strikes that occurred. Employers were often hurt financially by so many workers. Many employers simply realized that it would be more economical to make agreements with their workers than to engage in warfare. By 1900, the public began to acquiesce the right of workers to organize, bargain collectively, and to strike. Labor Day was made a legal holiday by act of Congress in 1894. However, there were still many disagreements between the employers and Unions and constant battles were going on. Although Labor Unions were not immediately successful during this period, they were a significant stepping stone in that they encouraged the working class to become more vocal in their working circumstances. Labor Unions in this epoch however did achieve some changes, such as better wages, less hours, and a national holiday. These gains were small compared to the precedent the Unions set for America.Another aspect that had an important effect on the...

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