Child labor was common at the turn of the century,
and many families needed the income earned by their
children to survive. The 1900 census counted 1.75 million
individuals aged 10 to 15 who were gainful workers.
At that time, these children comprised 6 percent of the
labor force. There were no national laws that governed
child labor, and while some States enacted and enforced
such laws, most did not. By 1999, Federal and State law
regulated child labor; and Federal law effectively prohibited full-time workers under the age of 16.
- Knights of Labor (#14)
The Knights of Labor (K of L) (officially "Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor") was the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence V. Powderly. The Knights promoted the social and cultural uplift of the workingman, rejected Socialism (an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy), demanded the eight-hour day, and promoted the producers
ethic of republicanism. In some cases it acted as a labor union, negotiating with employers, but it was never well organized, and after a rapid expansion in the mid-1880s, it suddenly lost its new members and became a small operation again.
It was established in 1869, reached 28,000 members in 1880, then jumped to 100,000 in 1885. Then it mushroomed to nearly 800,000 members in 1886, but its frail organizational structure could not cope and it was battered by charges of failure and violence. Most members abandoned the movement in 1886-87, leaving at most 100,000 in 1890. Remnants of the Knights of Labor continued in existence until 1949, when the group's last 50-member local dropped its affiliation.
- Haymarket Riot (#19)
Refers to the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in...