The Molly Maguires Essay

1420 words - 6 pages

Who were the Molly Maguires? Did they really exist? These are questions asked by many people today. Some historians wonder if the Molly Maguires really did bring their secret society from England to the United States, or if the incidents blamed on them were just random accidents on which officials needed to place a blame. We may never actually know...
     There are many ideas about how the “Molly Maguires” got their name. One of the most popular is that Molly was a poor widow, who was evicted from her home after the landlord’s agent apparently, “severely abused her and her daughter”. The group adopted this name in homage to the Molly and her bravery. Another theory is that Molly’s home was used as the first meeting place of this new secret society, so they used her name as their title. Yet another speculation for this name is that Molly was a huge, fierce Irish woman with a pistol strapped to each thigh, who led gangs of young Irishmen dressed in women’s clothing on night raids. One of the most famous Irish theories is that Molly was a crazy old woman from Count Fermanagh, who imagined that she had great armies and organizations of men under her control. However, no one really knows exactly how the title” the Molly Maguires” came about.
The “Mollies”, as they were sometimes called, were miners in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania who organized into a union during the 1860’s and ‘70’s. These miners were mostly Irish. Their union was called the Workingmen’s Benevolent Association. Many members of this union were also members of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.
     The Ancient Order of the Hibernians was a semi-secret fraternal society, that was begun in Ireland as a completely secret and anonymous association. This group was determined to be the most powerful charitable and immigrant-aid group lodge in the country.
     A question the reader may now be asking themselves is, why were they fighting? The Mollies, as stated in the beginning of this paper, were miners who formed unions because of their frustration dealing with their working circumstances. It was not the actual conditions of the mines; it was the conditions of the worker’s lives that pushed them to extreme action. Salary was low, the company store was overpriced, and the living conditions, horrendous. In addition to the low pay, the miners worked extremely long days. In 1868, 20,000 miners protested for the eight-hour workday to unfortunately, no avail. A year later, The Workingmen’s Benevolent Association.
The WBA struck first for a minimum base of objectives (i.e., better hours, better pay, etc). Their strike showed general unification even though it was unsuccessful in achieving basically, anything.
     While the Workingmen’s Benevolent Association’s members were of many different nationalities, the Irish continued with their local chapters of the Ancient Order of the...

Find Another Essay On The Molly Maguires

Irish in America Essay

1710 words - 7 pages organization. An example is a group of anthracite coal miners in Pennsylvania, the Molly Maguires, who, in the 1860’s, violently resisted their Scottish, English and Welsh mine bosses, who were said to be cruel and discriminating. Ten Mollies were found guilty on 9 counts of murder and hanged in 1876.(26) Despite the outcome, this episode did not deter later labor involvement. However Irish organizational practices became non-violent, taking on a more

Law of the Jungle Essay

1405 words - 6 pages , circulated the names of such sympathizers to fellow employers creating black-lists, and engaged the service of strikebreakers on a widespread scale. (Slone/Witney, 2010) In response to such attacks by the employers, both unionists and nonunionized workers retaliated. Secret societies were formed were formed, the most infamous Molly Maguires were known for their murders and acts of arson. Unfortunately most if not all of the good these societies

Immigrants: Becoming American And Defining What It Means To Be An American

1959 words - 8 pages development of a civil service that hired on the basis of merit rather than political patronage. In 1885 the American economy was still changing rapidly. Factories moved from small scale to large scale and employer/employee relationships had not yet been established. This created a situation where the wealthy wanted to be on top and the poor wanted to protect themselves. It was at this time that the group known as the Molly Maguires emerged. This group

Reality and Illusion in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Reality, Appearance and Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the

Sub-plots in Hamlet

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras

Hamlet as Victim and Hero

1301 words - 5 pages Hamlet as Victim and Hero      Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Shakespearean tragedy, tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who gained the knowledge of a terrible incident that his kingdom had suffered. Claudius, the king of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle, had killed his own brother, the king, who was also the father of Hamlet, and married his brother's widow. Hamlet suffered these traumas to a severe degree, and his only relief was to defeat his

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has

Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield

898 words - 4 pages Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield   Efficacy lies at the heart of human desires for immortality. Characters throughout literature and art are depicted as wanting to step aside and see what their world would be like without their individual contributions. The literary classic A Christmas Carol and the more recent, but ageless, film It’s Wonderful Life both use outside influences (three ghosts and Clarence the Angel

Essay on Identity in Song of Solomon

2172 words - 9 pages Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon         Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages.   O

Similar Essays

The Molly Maguires Essay

4556 words - 18 pages The Molly Maguires People of many different nationalities settled in Pennsylvania to work in the coal mines. Conflicts developed not only among people of different cultural backgrounds but also between laborers and owners of the mines. The struggle between labor and management is illustrated in the story of the Molly Maguires, an Irish group which settled in eastern Pennsylvania. The Molly Maguires were perhaps the most gruesome

L Abor Unions Essay

776 words - 4 pages had to endure were often extremely unsanitary and very dangerous. With such poor health and safety conditions American industry had the highest accident rate in the world(pg.769). Before labor unions, There was few, if any attempts at improving these poor working conditions Molly Maguires was the first attempt at a labor union. They were a group of vigilantes who used intimidation, beatings, and killings to right perceived wrongs against Irish

The Labor Movement Essay

2247 words - 9 pages of the nation against organized labor. In 1876, the trial of the "Molly Maguires" was a public repudiation of vigilante efforts against mine owners. The Maguires were accused of using intimidation, beating and killing to combat the anti-union efforts of mine owners. Ironically, the Maguires were copying their methods from the owners themselves. Despite this, twenty-four Maguires were convicted in 1876, and twenty were hanged. The following year

Irish Immigration In America Essay

1775 words - 7 pages the close of the century. Of these reformers, some of the best known was "Molly Maguires" - coal miners that violently revolted against their Anglo-American bosses, and Torrance Powderly. Women too had their voice in on things as well. Mary Harris Jones worked for fifty years in organizing labor unions and improving worker's wages and conditions. Even the most influential of Irishmen nor the greatest and countless contributions couldn't