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We Who Built America: Working People,

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Presentation on theme: "We Who Built America: Working People,"— Presentation transcript:

1 We Who Built America: Working People, 1860-1890
Chapter 28 We Who Built America: Working People,

2 A New Way of Life Industrial America Factories and technology
Big businessmen lead growth Labor does the actual work Working class grows faster than population Factories and technology Larger factories; fewer personal relations More dependence on machines Fewer skilled workers Poor pay, conditions

3 A New Way of Life (cont.’d)
Wages Actual wages decline Real wages rise Skilled workers make more Unskilled workers often in poverty Hours Government employees: 8 hour days Skilled workers: 10 hour days Unskilled workers: 12+ hour days Frequent layoffs due to business cycle

4 A New Way of Life (cont.’d)
Conditions Large number of industrial accidents Little to no compensation when hurt Courts favor employers Occupational diseases not employer’s responsibility

5 Who Were the Workers? Workers Child labor Women workers
Skilled workers: native-born white males Unskilled workers: children, women, immigrants Child labor 1900: 1.8 million children work full time Children do all but heaviest jobs Many children in tenement sweatshops Children receive lower pay Women workers First industrial workers female Heavy labor favors male employees Women need wages for families Women receive lower wages

6 Who Were the Workers? (cont.’d)
Black workers Most industrial workers white African Americans mainly in South African Americans mainly on farms African Americans also servants

7 Organize! Need to organize Most workers accept conditions to keep jobs
High absenteeism Sometimes workers use sabotage

8 Organize!(cont.’d) History of Industrial violence
Molly McGuires in coal mines Pinkerton Detectives combat organizers Violent strikes common 1877 railroad strike led to pitched battles 1892 Homestead Strike led to siege 1894 Pullman strike led to property destruction American Railroad Union Eugene Debs Unions gaining strength Initially just local trade unions 1866: National Labor Union NLU started by William Sylvis Focuses on political action, fails

9 Organize! (cont.’d) Knights of Labor Terence Powderly
Uriah P. Stephens starts organization First a secret organization with Masonic undertones Welcomes all workers Masonic undertones repel Irish Catholic workers Terence Powderly New leader of Knights of Labor Drops secrecy, Masonic undertones Knights grows rapidly, has successful strikes Haymarket riot creates negative association; Knights fail

10 Organize! (cont.’d) Samuel Gompers and the AFL
1886: Gompers starts American Federation of Labor Includes only skilled workers Focuses on basic issues Prefers negotiations to strikes AFL continues to grow Employers still hostile to unions Bosses found counter-organization A few accept the reality of unions

11 Nation of Immigrants Immigration Birth pains of a world economy
Always a part of U.S. Grows in late 19th century More from Southern Europe, Asia Industrialists need laborers Pay fares in return for labor contracts Immigrants tend to be cheap, docile workers Immigrants asset to growing economy Birth pains of a world economy Industrialization causes population growth Cannot compete with cheap American food Leads many to immigrate to America Promoting immigration Advertising Mostly men and often temporary

12 Old Immigrants The Irish Chinese immigration begins with Gold Rush
Immigration continues from British Isles Irish Catholics often suffer discrimination Irish Catholics quickly adapt Irish Catholics become formidable political force Chinese immigration begins with Gold Rush Chinese keep to themselves Chinese labor needed to build railroads, etc. Economy takes downward turn American blame joblessness on Chinese Denis Kearney leads anti-Chinese movement Congress passes Chinese Exclusion Act 1882

13 Old Immigrants (cont.’d)
Germans come for political reasons More Americans have German ancestry than English Have money to set up farms Bring their culture to new world Scandinavians Also farmers Northern Europeans prosper in New World Adapt quickly Bring their own culture

14 Old Immigrants (cont.’d)
Sephardic and German Jews Small groups present little threat Quickly adapt to American life Reform Judaism Often successful businessmen Cling to their religious heritage New Jewish immigration Post-1880 immigrants tend to be poor, illiterate, peasants Orthodox Fast pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe Little in past life prepares them for industrial, urban U.S.

15 Discussion Questions What were conditions of the workers like in the late industrial period of the 1800s? How were conditions different for women and child workers in industry in this period? Who were Terrance Powderly and Samuel Gompers? Why did the Knights of Labor fail, while the AFL succeeded? Examine immigration into the United States during the industrial period. Why were some immigrants able to eventually thrive, while others faced a constant struggle?

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