Chapter 13: The Expansion of American Industry Section 3: Industrialization & the Worker

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Chapter 13: The Expansion of American Industry

Section 3: Industrialization & the Worker
I. Growing work force

A. 14 million immigrants came to the U.S. from 1860-1890

B. 8-9 million Americans moved to cities in the late 1800’s
II. Factory Work

  1. Most states had a 10 hour work day law by 1860, but it was

Rarely enforced. Most workers labored for 12 hours a day

  1. Piecework: workers were paid a fixed amount for each completed unit, not for total time. Work faster, make more money!

  2. Sweatshops: name for the places where most piecework was done. Called this b/c employees worked long hours for low pay in poor conditions.

  3. Increased Efficiency

    1. Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, 1881

    2. Increased the speed of the machines

    3. Gave employees more work

    4. Division of Labor: each employee performs one small step in the production process over and over. EFFICIENT!!!

  4. Environment

    1. Lives were governed by the clock

    2. Strict discipline – fines!!

      1. being late

      2. refusing to do work

      3. TALKING!

    3. Child labor was attacked in the 1890’s and early 1900’s

    4. loud, poorly ventilated, bad training, faulty machines, etc.

III. Working families

  1. 20% of children ages 10-16 worked by the end of the 1800’s

  2. Left school b/t 12-13 to help their families survive

  3. Effect of Social Darwinism

    1. Led people to believe poverty was the result of weakness

    2. Also that charity would only encourage idleness

Chapter 13: The Expansion of American Industry

Section 4: The Great Strikes
I. Rise of Labor Unions

A. Knights of Labor, 1869: wanted to organize all workers, skilled

And unskilled, into a single union. African Americans as well.

  1. Pushed for broad social reforms

      1. equal pay for equal work

      2. 8 hour work day

      3. End to child labor

  1. Membership peaked over 700,000

  2. Faded from the national scene by the 1890’s

B. American Federation of Labor, 1886: Formed by Samuel Gompers

1. Craft Union: wanted to organize only skilled workers in a

Network of unions; each devoted to a specific craft

2. Women and African Americans were not welcome

    1. Focused on wages and working conditions

    2. Used strikes and boycotts to force owners to negotiate

    3. Collective Bargaining: process where workers negotiate, as a group, with owners to negotiate a contract.

  1. Reaction of Employers

    1. disliked and feared unions; took measures to stop them

      1. forbid workers from joining unions

      2. fired union organizers

      3. “Yellow dog contracts” workers promised not to join the union or strike.

      4. Refused to recognize or negotiate w/ the unions

II. Railway Workers Unionize

  1. Great Railroad Strike of 1877

    1. Began when the B&O Railroad cut wages 10%

    2. Workers struck all over the country, ending in violent clashes with militia in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago and other cities

    3. President Rutherford B. Hayes sent in federal troops to restore order and repress the strikers

    4. Set the precedent for employers to rely on federal and state troops to settle labor unrest

  1. The American Railway Union

    1. Prior to the 1877 strike rail workers were organized into


    1. Eugene Debs wanted to organize all rail workers into a new

Industrial Union

      1. organized all workers from all crafts in a given


    1. The A.R.U. formed in 1893 to protect the wages and rights of all employees of the railroad – skilled and unskilled

III. Strikes Rock the Nation

  1. Haymarket, 1886: national demonstration for an 8 hour work day

That resulted in violence, especially in Chicago

    1. scabs: negative term referring to workers brought in to

replace those on strike. Allowed businesses to stay open

    1. Anarchists: radicals who oppose all forms of gov’t

    2. Led the American public to associate unions with violence, and to some degree, radicalism

  1. Homestead, 1892: strike at a Carnegie Steel plant protesting a cut in wages

    1. Used Pinkertons – private police brought in to break up


    1. Also resulted in violence and several deaths.

    2. Though Carnegie believed in the workers right to unionize, U.S. Steel remained non-union until the 1930’s

  1. Pullman, 1894: strike at a railroad car production plant protesting a large wage reduction, layoffs, and the price of goods in the town

    1. Received support from Debs and the A.R.U.

    2. Railroad traffic was disrupted, including mail service

    3. RR owners again turned to the federal gov’t for help

    4. Used the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to win a court order forbidding union activity that halted RR traffic

    5. Set a precedent for the courts to see labor unions as illegal trusts that were restraining trade

6. Limited union gains for the next 30 years

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