2000 Ap Us History Dbq--Unions

Topics: Employment, Industrial Revolution, Trade union Pages: 3 (1102 words) Published: April 1, 2009
"How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the factors that contributed to the level of success achieved."

“It is impossible for capitalists and laborers to have common interest.” The Second Industrial Revolution skyrocketed with new inventions and machines and changed how factories and jobs were worked. As the industries grew, so did the need for unions among the workers. To a certain degree the unions were successful in improving the position of the workers. They were not highly successful as they would be defeated and have to go back to square one, but mildly a success. Developing from the needs, the effects of the workers’ unions were successful. Big business and industrialization were taking over the economic system and agriculture was becoming less important. Technological advances were booming and diminishing the need for laborers (Doc. D). A trade could have been divided into many small tasks which require much less skill. It then took 100 men what it took 300-400 men to do fifteen years ago. Government was not helping laborers, in fact they used court injunction as a weapon against strikers. (Doc. H). They said that national government has the power to regulate interstate commerce and therefore can regulate the weaving rail line's intruders and force obstructions to leave (Doc. H). Labor Unions viewed many practices of their employers to be unjust. They saw with their own eyes the excessive wealth and leisure of the upper class that resulted from their daily toil of at least ten hours of hard labor. Their own fruits of their labor amounted to barely enough to survive until the next paycheck. Often they were abused and their wages were cut as low as $10/week. Even with these hours and wages many of them were perpetually in debt and went without some necessities. These abuses were targeted by the demand for a minimum (livable) wage law and the work day to be mandated to eight...
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