Great Railroad Strike

Topics: Protest, Rutherford B. Hayes, Trade union Pages: 7 (788 words) Published: September 24, 2014
Fabiana Byles
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
September 21, 2014
Scharfenberg
The Strike of the Railroads
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was a huge protest of railroad workers that spread across the United States. These strikes were started due to wage cuts in the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad. This was a violent protest in the B&O station in West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Maryland and Ohio. Labor was able to unionize by the workers working together in demonstrations but they were separated when they got dismissed and/or sent to jail. According to the Britannica School High, “Leaders were frightened” of these demonstrations. The strikes only grew more and more because the federal army was unable to break it apart. The strikes also died down because they were not organized but instead just came out of the blue. There were no leaders that led these demonstrations. The Great Railroad Strike was a part of the Labor Movement. The Labor Movement was when workers would strike due to their lower wages and The Great Railroad Strike was all about this. On July 20, militiamen were sent to Cumberland, Maryland where many strikers completely stopped trains. These militiamen killed 10 in the crowd. In Lebanon and in Reading, a mob tore up tracks, wrecked cars and set fires. By the end of July the protests had spread up the northeast cities such as Albany and Buffalo in New York as well as some western such as Chicago, and Newark in Ohio. Many state governors didn’t have enough militia to control the demonstrations so they asked President Rutherford B. Hayes for military support. According to Credo Reference, “Hayes eventually deployed troops, but his action only restored law and order and did not deal with the underlying labor conflict.” By July 29, troops had started to end these protests although railroad workers did not get their wages they had hoped for. Many of these participants lost their jobs were sent to jail. It hadn’t occurred the way they planned it to be.

More than 100, 000 workers protested in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. By the time strikes finished 1000 people went to jail and over 100 had been killed. There was no possible way for these workers to unionize because they all got separated, some in jail, some fired, but a way they did unionize was by working together and fighting for their wages. The strikes didn’t accomplish much since the industrialists continued to cut wages. In just a few years it was almost as if this great strike never occurred.

This image shows the railroad workers halting trains that were going along the stations in which they worked at.

Fabiana Byles
September 22, 2014
US History
Scharfenberg

Introduction
Thesis: the railroad workers did not like the wages that they were paid. Their protest demonstrations spread across the B&O Railroad, which went through many states.

What was the Great Railroad Strike? The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was a huge set of protests along the railroads. They fought because their bosses lowered their wages

I. What the Great Railroad Strike has to do with the Labor Movement. What was the Labor Movement? : This is when workers protest or strike against their bosses in order to raise their wages The great Railroad Strike was when the railroad workers protested against their bosses in order to raise their wages

II. Leaders, Issues, Workers involved and Outcomes
Many state governors didn’t have enough militia to control the demonstrations so they asked President Rutherford B. Hayes for military support. According to Credo Reference, “ Hayes eventually deployed troops, but his action only restored law and order and did not deal with the underlying labor conflict.” By July 29, troops had started to end these protests although railroad workers did not get their wages they had hoped for.

III. Fears of the Business Owners
According to the Britannica School High, “Leaders were...


Cited: Mr. John Grady Powell. “Great Railroad Strike of 1877,” Credo Reference. (Accessed September 21, 2014)
Mr. Joseph Adamczyk. “Great Railroad Strike of 1877,” Britannica School High. (Accessed September 21, 2014)
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