Presentation on theme: "Events that made Chicago famous. Bell Ringer Background In 1886, Chicago had 18,400 members of the Knights of Labor. Roughly 2/3 of whom were immigrants."— Presentation transcript:
Events that made Chicago famous
Background In 1886, Chicago had 18,400 members of the Knights of Labor. Roughly 2/3 of whom were immigrants. The K.O.L. was the largest and one the most important American labor organizations during the 1880’s, with as many as 700,000 members in Promoted social and cultural uplift of workingmen. Rejected socialism and radicalism. Fought for the 8-hour workday and against child labor.
Background cont’d Anglo-Americans distrusted European immigrants and therefore distrusted labor unions as well. To Anglo-Americans: socialism, communism, and union agitation were motivated by un- American agitators (immigrant labor unions). This led to the stereotyping of immigrants and organized labor. Union leaders were also labeled as violent anarchists.
Socialism Advocates for public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production. Socialist societies are founded on the principles of equal power relations, self- management, dispersed decision making, and elimination of bureaucratic and hierarchical forms of administration and government.
Communism Aims for a classless and stateless society in which there is common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, and the end of wage labor and private property for the means of production and real estate.
Anarchism Under this philosophy, the state is undesirable, unnecessary, immoral and harmful. Seeks a stateless society. Seeks to diminish and even abolish authority when it comes to human relations. Wanted to end government with a “momentous deed.”
Anarchism cont’d Were the world’s first “high profile” terrorists. Famous acts of violence, assassinated: U.S. President William McKinley Czar Alexander II of Russia Empress Elizabeth of Austria This movement did a lot to discredit the labor unions, most of whom, including the K.O.L. repudiated it. The media gave the public a false sense that all unionists embraced these sentiments.
Atheism Many Anglo-Americans stereotyped unionists as atheists. Atheism: rejection of the belief and existence of deities (god or gods). As a result, in the late 1880’s Anglo-Americans saw many threats to the U.S.: labor unrest/violence, socialist/communist attacks on capitalism, immigrant influence, and godlessness. Because of this, government almost always sided with management in labor disputes.
Why was organized labor unhappy? Poor working conditions: low wages, long hours, no benefits, hazardous working conditions, child labor, monopolies, poor living conditions. Why would any of these radical political movements be appealing to labor unions? Put the power in the hands of the people. Working conditions were so bad, laborers were frustrated and looking for new answers. Many of these movements originated in Europe and were popular at the time.
Setting the stage In the 1880’s unionists were involved in strikes, fights, and shoot-outs. Business owners and policemen were just as much to blame for labor violence. Often times policemen who were brought in to break strikes treated the unionists violently without provocation. Most union employees were exploited. This was an age of “unbridled laissez-faire capitalism.”
Bell Ringer On a piece of paper, write down 2 causes of the Haymarket Riot.
Haymarket Aftermath 7 local men were charged with murder. American Albert Parsons was also charged. Each were German immigrants, only one spoke English. There was NO evidence that any of these men either threw the bomb or even made the bomb. Each suspected even presented a credible alibi.
Aftermath cont’d The prosecution, claimed that it was anarchism that was on trial (again, stereotyping against unionists and immigrants). The prosecution argued that “encouraging acts of violence was the same as committing acts of violence.” What do you think of this?
Aftermath cont’d It took a jury only 3 hours to find all 8 men guilty of murder. One man received a 15 year sentence, the rest got the death penalty. Pleas for pardons were denied 4 of the men were hanged, one committed suicide. Two men had their sentences reduced to life in prison, and later were pardoned by the Governor of Illinois in 20,000 mourners showed up at the funeral of the 5 men who died/were executed.
Business’ Response Paid for the building of Ft. Sheridan where soldiers would be stationed to come down to Chicago and break strikes and put out riots.
Labor Movement The Knights of Labor denounced the bombers and their tactics. But were still considered anarchists, immigrants, socialists, and communists by most Anglo-Americans. Huge decline in membership In 1886: 730,000 members nationwide In 1888: 260,000 members nationwide The Haymarket Riot in effect killed Chicago’s labor movement.
Anti-Immigrant Haymarket contributed to further anti- immigrant feelings not only in Chicago, but nationwide. The fact that the suspected bombers were German immigrants only confirmed (to many Anglo-Americans) the immigrant stereotype (that immigrants were radical, dangerous, atheists, and un-American).