How Successful Was Organized Labor in Improving the Position of Workers in the Period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the Factors That Contributed to the Level of Success Achieved.

1353 Words6 Pages
The years following the Civil War and Reconstruction was an era somewhat gilded. The Second Industrial Revolution came about with new inventions, and revolutionized how factories and jobs were worked. Factory workers in this time period were working in poor conditions and had no power whatsoever. Often they were abused and their wages were cut very low. The mass immigration also did not favor laborers as it made them so easy to replace. In order to fight back laborers would join labor unions in order to protest; however, during this time the labor unions were not that affective during 1875 and 1900 because although they had their efforts many of them would not work to their advantage; efforts would give them a bad reputation, go out of…show more content…
The Knights of Labor also had troubles as they began to divide up within themselves among the skilled and the unskilled workers. Finally, when they were recognized by the government, for example the Supreme Court, they passed the Interstate Commerce Act; however this act was not enforced. Also this did not help out the primary cause for labor unions. Gomper's testimony (Document I), claims that workers find that improvements in methods of production and distribution are constantly being made. Workers, therefore, he argues need occasionally to strike or all advantages will go to the employers and all injuries to the employees. Rights, he says, have been gained by the people through sacrifices and persistency. Samuel Gomper was the founder of the American Federation of Labor. The AFL did survive the 19th century because it primarily included skilled workers. The AFL kept out of involvement in politics and built up strike funds, focusing on "bread and butter" issues. It survived the depression of 1893 (which was just ending when this testimony was given) when many other unions failed. The AFL also excluded most women, African Americans, unskilled workers and some immigrants. Gompers was one of the first American union leaders to focus on collective bargaining and the strike as a political weapon. Document D was another testimony, from a machinist. He goes on to explain how the conditions in factories have changed. Many jobs were

More about How Successful Was Organized Labor in Improving the Position of Workers in the Period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the Factors That Contributed to the Level of Success Achieved.

Get Access