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Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge In The 1920's

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The first quarter of twentieth century America was the height of labor reform and mass striking. Many people associate industrial striking with laborers such as miners and factory workers, but even higher-level jobs were covered by the looming veil of rebellion and reform. September of 1919 was a violent and chaotic time for the city of Boston, as the local police force stood aside to let criminals and rioters do the heavy lifting towards a better working standard. While the police force did not quite get what they desired, it put then governor of Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge in the national spotlight.
The strike was a result of various shortcomings and oversights by the local government in aspects such as payroll, hours, and responsibilities.
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There was a local meeting to see if the officers and the commissioner were okay with a non-affiliated union without the right to strike, which both parties disagreed with, and Coolidge showed strong disaffection for. The Boston Chamber of Commerce supported a union, and newspaper outlets did as well, but none of this would sway the unmoving commissioner and governor. The newspapers were in favor of a compromise because mass hooliganism and rioting were imminent without a conclusion or accepted solution. The department began planning their last effort at getting what they felt they deserved and not even for improved conditions or wages, but the simple insurance of being in a labor…show more content…
Due to the lack of peacekeeping experience in the volunteers, they had no other option than to open fire on the crowds. In total, nine people were dead by sunrise (Source 2). After the second night of the strike, national newspapers reversed their opinions of the police, including The LA Times, writing "...no man's house, no man's wife, no man's children will be safe if the police force in unionized and made subject to the orders of the Red Unionite bosses." (Source 3) Coolidge would have no sympathy for the strikers, calling them "deserters" and "traitors", despite a fair number of them being World War 1 veterans that defended The United States and its ideals overseas. Even Samuel Gompers, the chief of the AFL was worried with what would happen next if he couldn't persuade the Boston police to return tot he bargaining table before more people and property could be harmed. Curtis would not sway to his neutral suggestion and refused the officers a chance to work for the force again. The entire force was replaced after this incident. National troops were summoned to pull the brakes on the strike and break up any
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