Triangle: the Fire That Changed America Essay

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Sawyer White Klurfeld C-ODD Spring Book Assignment 4/04/11 Some disasters are so impactful, that they forever change the course of history. On March 25, 1911, one such event took place. The infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire occurred that day, and left one hundred and forty-six people dead in its wake. While many at the time thought the story would soon pass, and with it all the potential bad publicity, the story of the fire spread quickly, and outraged many people. As a result, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire ended up changing many …show more content…
Head of the state Senate and Assembly, respectively, these two men, known as the Tammany Twins, ensured that Tammany dominated New York state’s legislature. Together, they worked to stop the practices that led to the Triangle fire. “The change was shocking, from the Tammany of the shirtwaist strike to the Tammany of the Factory Commission (pg.213).” The Commission accepted union leaders and reformers into its ranks in order to appease groups which were once the enemy of Tammany Hall’s power. The fire did what years of reformers had failed to do, get the government on the side of the workers. In the election of 1913, Tammany Hall combined the Democratic Party with the agenda of the Factory Commission, and for the first time endorsed pro-labor candidates. As a result, they won the governorship and two-thirds of both houses. In 1909, business and government in New York were working together against the workingman. The Triangle fire in 1911 changed this. Management lost power, and New York’s leading political machine had to completely switch allegiances to stay in control of the government. This complete reversal was a result of the Triangle Fire. However, the influence of the fire did not stop there, it also led to workers gaining much safer conditions. The terrible safety conditions and standards of the