Chapter 13 Section 4

Report
Chapter 13 Section 4
The Great Strikes
Gulf between rich and poor
• 1890- 9% of Americans
held 75% of national
wealth
• Many resented
extravagant lifestyles of
the very rich
• Many drawn to
socialism
Socialism
• Favors public
(government) control of
the means of
production
• Believed society, not
individuals, should take
charge of the nation’s
wealth
• Equal distribution of
wealth
Socialism
• Most American
opposed Socialism
• Goes against free
enterprise, private
property, and individual
liberty
Rise of Labor Unions
• Emerged after the Civil
War to help members
through bad times
• Soon became the
means for expressing
workers’ demands to
employers
– Shorter work days,
higher wages, better
working conditions
Knights of Labor
• Formed in 1869
• Organized all working
men and women, skilled
and unskilled, into a
single union
• Also recruited African
Americans
• Sought equal pay for
equal work, 8 hour work
day, & end to child labor
Knights of Labor
• Membership eventually
dropped when a series
of strikes turned violent
• Gone by 1890s
American Federation of Labor
• Formed in 1886
• Led by Samuel Gompers
• Craft Union (only for
skilled workers)
• Women and African
Americans rarely
recruited
• Focused mainly on
wages, hours, and
working conditions
AFL Tactics
• Strikes
• Boycotts
• Collective bargainingworkers negotiate as a
group with employers
– Has more power than a
single worker acting
alone
The Wobblies
• Many opposed the AFL
• Broke away and formed
the Industrial Workers of
the World (IWW) or the
Wobblies
• Focused on unskilled
workers
• Radical group-included
many socialists
• Many of their strikes
turned violent
Reaction of Employers
• Forbade union meetings
• Fired union organizers
• Forced new workers to
promise not to join
unions
• Refused to bargain
collectively
• Refused to recognize
unions as the
representatives of their
workers
Great Railroad Strike of 1877
• July 1877
• Baltimore & Ohio RR
cut wages by 10%
• Some workers went on
strike and tried to
prevent others from
working
• Turned violent
• Riots broke out and
spread to several cities
Great Railroad Strike of 1877
• President Hayes had to
send in federal troops
to restore order
• Violence continued
between rioters and
troops
Debs and the American Railway Union
• Debs thought the
violence of the 1877
strike was the result of
disorganization
• Proposed creating an
industrial union to unite
all railroad workers,
skilled and unskilled
• Soon created the
American Railway Union

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