American Industrial Workers From 1865 To 1900

Decent Essays
From 1865 to 1900, the American industry boomed due to abundant raw materials, large labor supply, new technological inventions, emergence of entrepreneurs, federal government assistant and expanding domestic markets. The American industrial workers during this time period, 1865 to 1900, faced a shift from the typical agrarian society to an industrial society, and were greatly impacted, although negatively, by the introduction of new technologies (technology changes), immigration and labor unions.
Some of the major advances in the communication in the era included transatlantic telegraph cable, development of telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, invention of radio, the typewriter, the cash register and the calculating machine. Similarly, new
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Most of the immigrants came from England, Ireland and northern Europe in the 1870s to 1880s, however later in the century, it shifted towards Southern and Eastern Europe. The immigrants came to escape poverty, lured by the opportunities and advertisements by companies. The immigrants increased the labor force, providing a steady supply of new workers for the industries entrepreneurs, as they were willing to work for lower wages. Ethnic tension between the immigrants and the American industrial increased due to job displacement, as the higher paid British were being replaced by the new immigrants. Similarly, Chinese and Mexicans competed with Anglo and African Americans, while Italians, Slavs and Poles emerged as major source of labor for the mining industry. Thus, the increased competition stirred tensions among the immigrants and the workers. While, the influx of immigrants coming in the country impacted the employers, the entrepreneurs beneficially, as they got labor for cheap price, the impact of the new immigrants remained negative for the industrial workers, as the immigrants competed with the workers job, due to their willingness to work with lower wages. The huge influx of immigration also greatly increased the population in the urban cities, leading to congestion, filth, diseases and …show more content…
While it stood for a good cause, their efforts often included violence and strikes. The Knights of Labor was the earlies form old labor union in 1869, organizing workers from various jobs into a united union for better treatment, however it disappeared by 1890, after their failure. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) then came in play afterwards, which was an association of mainly skilled workers. The Haymarket square bombing and riot of 1886 skilled workers. The Haymarket Square bombing and riot of 1886 resulted in the conviction and execution of the anarchists, who were now viewed as violent, and regarded badly by the public, which remained an obstacle to the goals of AFL. The Homestead Strike in the mid-1880s further damaged the image of the unions when the riot had to be intervened by the government. Similarly, the Pullman Strike saw the president ordering federal troops to break the strike, which damaged the unions’ image greatly, which consisted of skilled workers. Thus, although the labor gained few victories for the American industrial workers, such as the abolition of child labor and eight hour workday, with compensation for injured workers on job, the bigger impact on the industrial workers remained negative mostly. The tensions increased greatly between the ethnic/racial groups, and the public saw the union in a negative

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