The Haymarket Massacre

712 Words 3 Pages
The jury was made up of businessmen, clerks and relatives of the deceased policemen. One witness of the bomb being thrown said he saw Spies light the fuse of the bomb and threw it at police, while another said that he was just lighting his pipe (Salt Lake Herald). August 20, 1886 the jury decided that seven out of the eight men would get the death penalty, while the Neebe, the last one of the tried men, got life in jail. The government didn’t allow for freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom to gather in assembly, or the right to a fair trial. Directly afterwards, a massive amount of chaos ensued. A reign of terror spread across Chicago. Individuals who didn’t understand what was going on were arrested and tortured because of suspicion. …show more content…
Many thought that the massacre hindered the labor movement rather than benefiting it. Quite a few well known newspapers accused the labor movement for the bomb and the shootings. There were approximately 50 killed civilians and over 100 were also injured. People were afraid to get medical help because they could get arrested, causing many other deaths (Soucek 54). No one really knows who threw the bomb, but one theory is that the Pinkerton agents, who were hired by McCormick Harvesting Plant to break up protests, had thrown the bomb to control protesting workers and to discredit the labor movement as only wanting to hurt people. Governor Altgeld said at the trial “the bomb was, in all probability, thrown by someone seeking personal revenge” (Soucek 55). Another important point is that May 1 is international May Day, a holiday celebrating the lives lost in the labor movement. Sadly, President Cleveland though celebrating May 1 would cause everyone to remember the riots and the communist factor, so he moved it to September, our current labor day (Steven 1). It’s sad that there’s always that underlying fear of revolt, even though everywhere else in the world celebrates May 1 as May Day. There are some very arguable points to the side that the Haymarket Affair only hindered the labor rights …show more content…
It was the event that brought together all of the past riots, it highlighted the bad treatment that was directed to the workers, and the consequential attention that was received in its aftermath. The main cause of the labor movement was to end the 8 hour work day. Because of the Haymarket Affair, the government established the 40 hour week, along with many other requirements for employers. Without the massacre, there wouldn’t have been such global attention about the unfair trial given to the 8 men convicted of treason. The Haymarket Affair displayed the unjust treatment of immigrants and social leaders, leading to a change from a biased society to one that has fair conditions and labor

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