Labor and the workers search for powerschool

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Labor and the workers search for powerschool

  1. 1. Labor and the Workers Search for Power 1. Labor organizations before the Civil War a. 1820s and 1830s-Workingman parties to try to control local politics, mostly dominated by upper and middle class people, mostly skilled laborers who wanted to reform the system, did not see themselves as disadvantaged 2. Labor organizations after the Civil War a. Industrialization undermined the status of skilled workers, less need for highly trained artisans, skilled labor was a very small part of the workforce b. Factory work became unskilled work, laborers performed simple tasks for low wages c. Urbanization led to increase in city size and amount of available workers d. Women and children became a larger portion of the workforce, women age 18-24 and children as young as 5, by 1910 25 % of all American children were employed full-time in factories e. Horatio Alger-working is good for the soul, went from 16-18 hour workday in the 1830s to 1880s-agitated for 10 hour workday f. Owners believed that workers should not earn more than subsistence wages i. High wages hurt profits, need profit to open more factories and create more jobs ii. Extra money led to wasting wages on alcohol, gambling, and prostitution iii. Average income in 1890 was $380, subsistence income was estimated by Census Bureau was $530. g. Knights of Labor-1869 Uriah Stephens, led by Terrence Powderly, industrial union on national basis, open to all workers i. Most significant national labor organization with local chapters ii. Open to any worker except lawyers, bankers, gamblers and liquor deals iii. AA made up 10% of membership iv. Wanted reform in working conditions v. Too inclusive and goals really broad h. American Federation of Labor
  2. 2. i. Promoted independent trade groups, improve economic status of workers through strikes and boycotts to force collective bargaining ii. Largest union until 1950s when it merged with the CIO iii. Mainstream voice of labor iv. Wanted better wages, shorter workdays and workweeks, worker safety, less concerned with reform v. No unskilled laborers could join vi. Samuel Gompers, 1886, president until 1895i. Pretty unsympathetic to immigrants, they were exploited by all

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