andres feelings Essay

Submitted By andrerodriguez28
Words: 785
Pages: 4

During the late 19th century, America was experiencing both a time of prosperity and poverty. Although some of the richest people in history were found in this time period, the majority of the population was a struggling working class. Families worked in terrible conditions, and were struggling to make ends meet. This called for organized labor, or Labor Unions. But in most cases, Labor Unions proved unsuccessful in improving the position of workers in this period for many reasons. Most of the unsuccessfulness came from failed strikes, the lack of government support, and the built-in feeling of superiority of employers over employees. The Labor Union strikes were the most projecting forms of worker insurrection against employers. In the 1860s, tension between employers and employees started increasing over the topic of the wages and work hours. During the 60s, employees went on countless strikes to fight for an 8 hour work day which became official in 1868. Afterwards, the country thought the complaints of workers would end after the grant of the eight-hour day, but most workers still toiled upward of nine to twelve hours a day. Viewing document A, the average work hours a day were at a stand-still of about ten a day up until the 1890s when strikes broke out again in Labor Unions like the Knights of Labor. During the first weeks of May 1886, more than a third of a million workers of this Union demonstrated for the eight-hour work day by walking off their jobs, along with strikes, these actions helped workers positions improve a lot, eventually forcing the Unions and government to lower the work hours and increase the daily wages leading up to the 20th century. Looking at document A, you can see the daily wage increase from 169.2 in 1875, to 172.5 in 1891, along with the work hours shortening from 9.9 hours to 9.4. Analyzing documents B and g, the unsuccessfulness of strikes is presented by both documents. The Editorial of New York Times in document B tells us how the strikes were nothing to worry about and were hopeless. And that the mean who participate in strikes are just ignorant and reckless. Document G, shows us a list of men from Coroners list of the killed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The deaths of those men are the results of unsuccessful strikes and insubordination to the government. What document C is trying to depict is that based on capitalism, the economy operates on free markets and not big businesses controlling everything. Another big factor of improvement for workers positions was the working conditions of the workplace. One big factor that affected the working conditions was the machines. Observing document D, the testimony of the machinist to the Senate Committee on Labor and Capital shares with us how unskilled workers a decade before the 1880s would have to work one specific part of the machine with no information on how to work it, and at the same time receiving worse wages because of the division of labor. Eventually leading up to the 20th century,