In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, labor was anything but easy. Factory workers faced long hours, low pay, high unemployment fears, and poor working conditions during this time. Life today is much easier in comparison to the late 1800s. Americans have shorter days, bigger pay and easier working conditions. Not comparable to how life is today, many riots sparked, and citizens began to fight for equal treatment. Along with other important events, the Haymarket Riot, the Pullman Strike, and the Homestead strike all play a vital role in illustrating labor’s struggle to gain fair and equitable treatment during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
These “newcomers” did not deserve to come here and steal their jobs. Mike Trudic’s account from his childhood referred to his father’s hunt in America to desperately find work, “At the end of a week he was taken ill and died. It said he died of a broken heart”(Mike, 188). There were just too many workers and not enough jobs to be filled. Another first hand source provided by Rose Cohen, called Out of the Shadow, depicts the story of a jewish girl in New York and the experiences her family goes through in order to reach a sustainable lifestyle. The struggles included descriptions of harsh working conditions and anti-semitism, which created difficulty for immigrants who were trying to assimilate into the American culture.
In the late nineteenth and twentieth century many immigrants were migrating to the United States for an economic advantage and some by contract labors from various agents, much different from their predecessors. Thomas Bell’s novel “Out of this Furnace” is a generational novel of the characters Kracha, Mike, Mary, and Dobie, coming to America expecting to receive the American Dream and have a better life to soon return back home with riches. However, immigrants and many working class individuals undergo long hours and strenuous work, with minimal amount of pay. Not to mention, the living conditions were horrendous for the average person and particularly worse for arriving immigrants. There was a division between the classes which ultimately
The book “Out of This Furnace” by Thomas Bell tells stories of three generations of an immigrant family in the 19th century. The first part of the book is about the story of Kracha, our first protagonist. Kracha left Slovakia to come to America for more opportunities. As Kracha settled in America, he married Elena. Life in the United States was rough for the Kracha’s family, and it turned out just as difficult as in his homeland. Kracha worked different jobs and realized that they were all low wage. He ended up working at the Mills.
The early 19th century in America saw the rise of industry and a booming economy, however, with industry came businessmen who saw an opportunity for power and profit. Even with help from the government, it would be a long time before the American people saw an improvement in the condition of the laborers and the regulation of corporations. Fast forward to the 21st century; two hundred years have passed and people are still struggling at the hands of a corporation-run economy. Throughout history, American laborers have been at the mercy of an industry controlled by a small few that did not have the best interest of the people in mind.
To begin, the "Robber Barons" of the late 1800's treated their workers poorly. First of all, according to the political cartoon by Keppler and Schwarzmann, business owners paid their workers $6-11 a week (Doc A). This conveys that business owners were not giving enough money to pay their workers. Also, in the article of the Homestead Steel Mill by PBS.org it states,"… for the rest of the year, they worked like animals,"(Doc F). This reveals that in Carnegie's Homestead Mill, many worked
The book Out of This Furnace is a work of historical fiction written by Thomas Bell, in which the lives of four different individuals are told and woven together, and consequentially describe the changes taking place in different generations of immigrant workers in America. Beginning with Kracha, then leading to Mike, then Mary, and finally Dobie, this book does an excellent job of showing how the American immigrant's life changed mid 1800s to the 1920s. As seen in each generation, immigrants became as a whole more and more liberal in their beliefs and lifestyles. Many of their beliefs change, however, one of the most interesting is the development of the labor unions, and how they are viewed by the workers in that time period.
“Out of this Furnace” is a fictional novel by Thomas Bell which is based on true events from the 18th century. It is a well-written tale of Slovak immigrants who came to the United States in search of better opportunities than they had in their old country. The story revolves around four main characters: Djuro Kracha, Kracha’s daughter Mary, Mary’s husband, Mike Dobrejcak, and, their son Dobie. As history tells us, many early immigrants who moved to America had either of these motives: financial prosperity, social status and societal freedom. Similarly, as the story unfolds, we see that all of these characters became subject to harsh conditions and that each of them went through their own version of struggle. This novel has succeeded in enlightening us about the great effort that these Slovak immigrants made against the issues that encountered them in America. They faced numerous hardships in the form of underpaid and unsafe jobs, poor residence and other types of inequalities.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a vast amount of recent immigrant workers were faced with a horrendous situation within the working class due to the selfish acts of greed from big business corporations. The impactful results of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City during 1911 brought a devastating memory of horror, but at the same time a memory of an event that leads reforms. The Shirtwaist Factory Fire brings hope that even great tragedies such as it can provide change. The results from the fire drove socialist, trade unionists, and progressive reformers to finally get the push they needed to overcome the longstanding obstacles to reform. Reformers focused on various approaches to improving the situation
For many Americans, the late nineteenth century was a time of big business, marked by economic and social evolution. In the period between the 1880 and 1920, the American economy was growing at a rapid pace. Many European immigrants without industrial skills flooded into American factories and steel mills. These new comer's came in search of better economic opportunity, which paved the way for Heavy, low paying labor that became the job description of the era for many immigrants. One such story of immigrants of the time is Thomas Bell's Out of this Furnace. This not only a story of three generations of Slovaks and the challenges they faced but also about the Americanization and evolving of
The working conditions in early American factories often cost people their limbs or their life. People were severely underpaid, received no benefits or breaks, and forced to work 18+ hours per day without rest. Marxism brought forth new ideas of business structure, and Josiah Wedgewood cornered the market with ideas of vertical integration. Worker’s rights and labor laws became not just desirable, but necessary. The Knights of Labor attempted to reform the entire business model and economics of marketing structures, while Trade Unions fought for rights and regulations to make the current system workable. After the Haymarket Square Riot the Knights of Labor fizzled out after being blacklisted from industry. Though the trade unions suffered a temporary slump, ultimately the numbers prevailed. Times were tough for most people, but it is the struggles of the revolution that led to the labor laws, sanitation laws, women’s rights, and social structures we have today.
In spite of the fact that industrialization in the United States raised ways of life for some, it had a dull side. Corporate managers, in some cases alluded to as "burglar aristocrats," sought after exploitative and out of line business rehearses gone for taking out rivalry and expanding benefits. Assembly line laborers, large portions of them late migrants, were much of the time subjected to severe and hazardous working and living conditions. Political debasement enhanced legislators to the detriment of the lower and regular workers, who attempted to make a decent living. The crevice between "those who are well off" and "the poor" was augmenting.
Chavez describes how migrant workers today are seen as a threat to American employment and how they face discrimination. This quote form Chavez’s story similar to the discrimination the “Okies” face in The Grapes of Wrath. “The town men, little bankers, hated the Okies because there was nothing to gain from them. They had nothing (Steinbeck 233). This shows how Steinbeck’s portrayal of migrant workers is consistent with migrant workers today, by illustrating how in The Grapes of Wrath, the “Okies” are discriminated against because they are seen to have nothing by the townspeople. This is consistent with migrant workers today because they are seen as people who
Throughout the early 1900s, working-class men and women struggled to survive. Factory owners exploited their employees, requiring them to work unreasonably long hours in unsafe environments for little pay. Since working-class men and women were often poor, they relied on their jobs to generate an income. However, the conditions in which they were forced to work infuriated them. Machines in factories were typically unsafe, and workers hardly received any break time. As a result, working-class men and women began to form unions, like the Industrial Workers of the World, in an attempt to gain power over inconsiderate factory owners and fight for more rights. The work of unions to receive better treatment from their employers initiated the Worker’s
The Destiny of the Republic has taught me many things. Alexander Graham Bell struggled with people claiming themselves as the inventor of the telephone. “When [a] company began to attack Bell personally, suggesting that… [he] had stolen the idea, he set aside his hatred of lawsuits and fought back” (Millard 79). When a company tried to steal his invention and besmirch his name, Bell fought back and won. Bell taught me to always fight for what I believe in. I will do this by becoming informed about topics that are important to me, so that I can fight for my stance. I will gather more information about abortion, gun control, immigration, and many other topics so that I can defend my stance. Bell’s backbone and resistance has also taught me not to let anyone bully me or push me around. Bell stood up for himself and did not let his