American Industrial Workers Essay

Decent Essays
Between 1865 and 1900, American Industrial workers revolutionized the work force. Industrialization changed the way labor was viewed, and influenced the industrial growth in the late nineteenth century. Workers took advantage of the new technologies emerging in this era, labor unions were also, forming, and immigration provided a steady work force. The abrupt surface of industrial technologies in the late nineteenth century led the way for the ethic of American workers. Among these technologies was inventions that improved communications. Cyrus W. Field laid a transatlantic cable to Europe. Alexander Graham was able to improve the telephone within the next decade. That invention took off with 1.35 million being sold by 1900, and 13.3 million…show more content…
These unions were thought of even before the civil war, but they never had enough power to cause any turmoil in the economy. They even faced opposition during the recession from the public. Every time a confrontation between the union and the employers became hostile, the public almost instinctively pointed the finger at the workers, and rarely ever at the employer. The knights of labor was the first labor union that actually attempted to create a truly national labor union. Led by Uriah S. Stephenson, the Knights of Labor was open to all who were “toiled”, or involved in the workforce, including women. They only excluded lawyers, bankers, liquor dealers, and professional gamblers. The knights of labor had a clear mission and that was to support an eight hour work day, and the termination of child labor. The even wanted greater reform such as the “cooperative system” to replace the wage system already in place. They believed that the workers should be able to run the workplace for themselves, without having to answer to a supervisor. The knights of Labor started off a secret union, but once Terence V. Powderly was put in charge, they began to go public. They were very successful in 1886, when they claimed 700,000 smaller unions. They organized several strings of strikes they would take part in order to achieve their end goal. However, these strikes ended in defeat and ultimately contributed to the downfall of the mega union. The knights of labor disappeared slowly, and then all at
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