Apush Dbq Labor Unions

Topics: Capitalism, Trade union, 19th century Pages: 2 (652 words) Published: November 20, 2011
AApushJose Porretti
The struggle between laborers and their capitalist managers in the late 19th century is famous for its wild strikes, violent results, and colossal size. The workers felt displaced by the new machines and inventions that took over their jobs. This caused a great deal of tension and sprawl, and a call for attention at the poor quality conditions the workers had to deal with. Thus, a rise in labor Unions and organized labor which attempted to improve said conditions started to occur. However, they failed to reform these circumstances because of government intervention and several different techniques used by industries hindered any sort of restructuring.

The causes of the clash between the two sectors of society are very important in determining whether or not the results were successful in the end.  So, what are the causes? Technological advances were booming and diminishing the need for laborers (Doc. D).  The progress in these fields generated first, a new class of worker that did not needed to be “skilled” to do his/her job.  Secondly, it caused a decrease in the amount of workers needed to run a factory, since now the job of 3000 people was performed by one machine. It then took a hundred men what it took 300-400 men to do fifteen years before. This produced a rapid drop in the wages of the workers, as well as a worsening of the working conditions. Also, around the time of 1877, a new economic panic overcame the nation. This generated a huge drop in the living conditions of the middle class as workers were paid less than what they needed to live (document A). All of this caused workers rebellions and strikes. Some examples of which are the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, the Great Southwest Railroad Strike of 1886, the Haymarket Square Riot and finally the Pullman Strike, at the end of the 19th century.

 In all of these, as well as in most demonstrations of the time, companies, along with the unconditional support of the...
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