Gilded Age (Reconstruction-1900)
1870s-1900 dubbed "Gilded Age" by Mark Twain
1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today
Because like gilt (thin layer of gold over base metals) it was shiny on surface but cheap and tawdry underneath.
Period of rapid industrialization
Wealth and big business looked good
Wages rose ($380/yr 1880- to $564/yr. in 1890)
But huge gaps between rich and poor
Including poor immigrants from Europe
Rich bought votes and favors in Congress
Then fleeced consumers and workers
Politics looked smooth
But corruption and patronage beneath the surface
Coincided with Victorian era in Britain and Belle Epoque in France
Succeeded by Progressive Era (from 1890s)
POST CIVIL WAR
In only 8 years
Postwar industrial production increased 75%
For 1st time: Workers outnumber farmers
Only Britain’s industrial output was greater than US
Government was very friendly to big business
Low taxes on investments
High tariffs on manufactured goods
Great influx of immigrants (1865-1873)
More than a million immigrants
Most settled in industrial cities in North and West
Causing suspicion to rise against non-native whites
(See link: Presidents after Civil War)
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES (1877-1881) (R.)
Compromise of 1877 (End of reconstruction)
Bland-Allison Act 1878 (Silver)
Great Railroad Strike of 1877 (see below)
JAMES GARFIELD (1881) (R.)
Assassinated by a supporter who didn’t feel he had received enough for his support.
CHESTER ARTHUR (1881-1885) (R.)
Helen Hunt Jackson -- A Century of Dishonor (1881)
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) (After 1875 Page Act that banned immigration of Chinese women)
Pendleton Act (1883) (Ending spoils system)
GROVER CLEVELAND (1885-1889) and (1893-1897) (D.)
Two, non-consecutive terms
Haymarket Square Riot (1886) Ended Knights of Labor
American Federation of Labor (1886)
Wabash v. Illinois (1886) (Only Fed. govt. can regulate interstate trade v. Munn v. Ill 1876)
Interstate Commerce Act (1887) (Regulating railroad rates)
Dawes Severalty Act (1887) (Indians on 160 acre plots)
BENJAMIN HARRISON (1889-1893) (R.)
McKinley Tariff (1890) (Tariff to protect U.S. industry)
Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890)
Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
Jacob Riis --"How the Other Half Lives" (1890)
Battle of Wounded Knee (1890) (To end Ghost Dances)
Populist (People's) Party (1892)
Homestead Strike (1892) (Carnegie, Frick, Pinkertons)
Sierra Club (John Muir) (1892)
GROVER CLEVELAND (Second Term) (1893-1897) (D.)
Panic of 1893 (Borrowed money from J.P. Morgan)
Repealed Sherman Silver Purchase Act
Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani overthrown (1893)
Pullman Strike (1894) (Debs, American RR Union)
Coxey's Army (1894) (Protest of unemployed to DC)
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) ("Separate but Equal")
WILLIAM MCKINLEY (1897-1901) (R.)
Election of 1896 (Bryan v. McKinley with Hanna)
Dingley Tariff (1897)
Gold Standard Act (1897)
De Lome Letter (1898) (Yellow Journalism)
Teller Amendment (1898) U.S. won't colonize Cuba)
Spanish American War (1898) (US gets Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico)
Open Door Policy (1899) John Hay to countries in China
Wizard of Oz (1900)
Williams v. Mississippi (1898) (poll tax, literacy tests okay)
McKinley Assassinated by an anarchist
CIVIL SERVICE EXAMS
Pendleton Act (1883)
Passed by Chester Arthur after assassination of James Garfield by an angry office seeker
Applicants for federal jobs would be selected based on exam scores
First applied to 10% of federal job, eventually expanded to all federal jobs
Prohibited civil servants from making political contributions
Civil Service Commission
Set up to enforce the Pendleton Act
George Washington appointed people based on merit
But politicians after Washington began giving jobs to supporters
"Spoils System" worsened under Andrew Jackson (1828)
In 1828, there were 20,000 federal employees
In 1883 there were 130,000 federal employees
And Industrial Revolution required more knowledge and skilled employees
Run by Political machines
Not municipal governments
Tammany Hall (Democrats) (Five Points, NY)
Got support from immigrants (esp. Irish)
Democratic Irish rioted against draft during Civil War
Because didn't want to compete for jobs with freed blacks from South
Orphanages, hospitals, shelters for poor
Turkey’s at Thanksgiving
Jobs (Irish were police, Italians were firemen)
In exchange for votes
They understood mass politics
And how to mobilize their supporters for votes
"Vote early and vote often"
Political machines were financially corrupt
As chiefs of city, bosses had power to distribute contracts for work done around city
Example: Central Park
Corrupt politicians bought property around park before built, sold for huge profits
Then asked for kick-backs from the people who received the commissions
Buildings would be build for $1000s more than they were worth
Rich ignored activities because property values were sky high
William Magear "Boss" Tweed (r. 1868-1873)
Most famous of the political bosses
Siphoned off more than $50 million from 100s of city projects.
In Oct. 1902, Lincoln Steffens wrote first Muckraking story
"Tweed Days in St. Louis," published in McClure's Magazine
Bessemer Process (patented 1856)
First inexpensive process for mass-producing steel
Removing impurities from pig iron.
Used by Andrew Carnegie
Invented 1876 by Thomas Edison (The "Wizard of Menlo Park," New Jersey)
First lit up headquarters of New York Times and offices of financier J.P. Morgan.
Allowed longer workdays
Many factories worked around the clock (day and night shifts)
Other inventions by Thomas Alva Edison
Edison held over 1000 patents
Moving pictures (film camera and projector)
Phonograph (record player)
Only wealthy could afford phonograph
Invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876
Improved communication and provided job opportunities for women as operators.
Roll film camera invented by Eastman Kodak in 1884
Put cameras in the hands of millions of people for the first time.
Westinghouse Air brakes (1868)
Allowed trains to stop more reliably and safely.
After Civil War
35,000 miles of rairoad track
400 independent railroad companies (passengers had to change trains frequently)
Trunk Lines (major lines, built with subsidies by federal government)
Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) (Baltimore to Ohio River and St. Louis)
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, then to NYC and Chicago)
Under J. Edgar Thompson (1852-1874) best-run RR.
Used to transport troops during Civil War
Nation's largest and richest railroad.
First to use Westinghouse air brake
Erie Railroad (Hudson River to Great Lakes)
Run by corrupt "Erie Ring"
"Jubilee Jim" Fisk
New York Central
Created from dozens of short lines in New England and New York
By "Commodore"" Cornelius Vanderbilt
Pacific railway Act 1862
Gave Union Pacific (UP) and Central Pacific (CP) the right to build railroads on federal owned land - from Omaha to Sacramento
For each mile of track they built, they got ten square miles of public land to sell
Government loaned them $16,000-$48,000 per mile at low interest rates
2/3 of workers were Chinese
Credit Mobilier was construction company owned by same men who owned UP
Owners skimmed $44 million of the UP's construction expenses by padding bills
CP also engaged in fraud but the owners burned the company's books
Last spike driven connecting the lines at Promontory Point, Utah, May 10, 1869
Standard Gauge 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
Because Roman roads in England had ruts of 4 ft. 8 1/2 in. - the space across 2 horses.
Westinghouse air brake, patented 1868
Before the air brakes
Trains used old brake system that required operators (brakeman) in each car to simultaneously apply a hand brake at the signal of the engineer.
George Westinghouse invented a fail-safe brake system
That applied compressed air pressure from reservoir tanks
Connected by a pipe to individual brake cylinders on each car.
When the engineer released the compressed air in the reservoir, it rushed to the individual cylinders
Which closed the brake shoes on the car wheels.
Since it was solely controlled by the engineer, there was no need for brakemen.
Time zones ("railroad time")
Proposed by Charles Dowd 1879, adopted by Congress 1883
Divided United States into four time zones to accommodate railroads
Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) developed plan to make factories more efficient
Employers must eliminate all brain work from manual labor (only management should make make all decisions)
Hire experts as managers
Develop rules for shop floor
Workers must do what they are told without asking questions or making suggestions.
Tasks should be timed, workers rewarded if faster.
Pay workers by the "piece" not by the day
More incentive to work harder and faster
Adopted by most factories but not a complete success
Workers resistant, expensive to enforce
And growing gap between managers (white-collar) and blue-collar workforce
Set stage for assembly line (Henry Ford)
First used by Swift in the meat processing plants
Was the first one to best maximize Eli Whitney’s concept of interchangeable parts
By creating an assembly line in his Ford automobile factory
12-14 hours a day workers doing same task over and over again
Workers doing the same task over and over again
Dangerous --> resulted in 500,00 injuries a year
Ford Model T began in 1908
Only came in black for efficiency
Competitor, General Motors (GM), made cars in many colors.
By 1910 -- Ford factory producing nearly 12,000 cars per year
By 1913 – Ford began using an assembly line
Production rose dramatically to 250,000 per year
Allowed him to lower the price
So that everyone could have a Ford automobile
Raised wages so that his employees could own a car.
Consequences of mass production of cars
Companies rose up around car industry
Steel, Rubber, Oil, service stations, roads, inns.
Kids making out away from parents
CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY/ROBBER BARONS
Name (both refer to big business owners)
"Captain of Industry" -- positive name
Captains of Industry are innovative, clever
"Robber Barons" -- negative name
Robber Barons are corrupt, greedy, exploit workers
Easy for wealthy business to make huge fortunes
Because of weak governments
That either ignored them
No or weak regulation of industry, monopolies
Or helped them
By enacting high tariffs, building roads,
Courts ruled in favor of big businesses against workers
Captains of Industry/Robber Barons
Came from Scotland a poor 12-year old 1848
Encouraged by Republican tariff, he entered the steel industry.
Built massive steel mill outside Pittsburgh (Homestead)
Using state-of-the-art Bessemer converter
Which made steel refining dramatically more efficient.
Steel became a major U.S. industry.
By 1900 U.S. steel produced as much as other top producers (Germ. and Br.) combined
Carnegie sold his steel company to Wall Street Banker J.P. Morgan
Bought Carnegie Steel
Used the company as a foundation for the new US Steel Corporation in 1901
JP Morgan saved the country from bankruptcy in 1895 (after Panic of 1893)
When he loaned the US treasury more than $60 million
Showed the close relationship between government and big business
John D. Rockefeller
First oil well in US drilled in 1859 in Pennsylvania
1863 Rockefeller founded company that controlled most of the country's oil refineries by eliminating competition (Horizontal Integration)
Forced railroad companies to give him rebates lowering prices. Other companies couldn't compete.
By 1881, Standard Oil Trust controlled 90% of oil refinery business.
Cornelius (the "Commodore") Vanderbilt
Descendant of Dutch indentured servant who migrated to NY in 1650
Ran his own Staten Island to Manhattan ferry service in NY at 16
At time when Gibbons fighting steamboat monopoly --> Gibbons v. Ogden 1824
Built his own steamship business from Albany to New York City, undercut rivals
Took over first railroad in 1847 then took small railroad lines, merging them and converting them into networks (see New York Central above)
1869 created Grand Central Terminal (Grand Central Station, NY) - the largest railroad station in the U.S.
By 1870 he was the most powerful and richest railroad man in the world - worth $100 million, more than in U.S. treasury
HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION (Monopolies/Trusts)
Businesses were free to engage in all kinds of uncompetitive practices
Like building monopolies or trusts
Company that is so big
That it buys out all its competitors
Allowing them to dominate an industry
And charge anything they’d like
Example: Standard Oil, run by John D. Rockefeller
Control all parts of a single industry
In order to cut out the middle man
Used by Andrew Carnegie (wealthy steel magnate)
Bought all the companies he needed to produce his steel
Raw materials to distribution
Made steel, shipped it and sold it himself
Legal as long as other companies can compete
Wrote Origin of Species 1859 about evolution of animals
"Survival of the Fittest"
By 1870 – the scientific community and secular Americans accepted it a fact
Theory extended to humans by Herbert Spencer.
Claiming humans, too, existed in different stages of evolution
Believed Africans and Asians were earlier creatures
Justified colonization of Africa, Southeast Asia and, to some extent, China
Also justified the growing gap between rich and poor
Wealth and success by tycoons was part of natural selection
The wealthy were smarter and had worked harder than everyone else.
God have given them riches because of their genius and tenacity
Smaller, weaker companies would naturally succumb to bigger, stronger companie
Therefore unrestricted competition allowed "fittest" to survive
Government regulation would damage the benefits of this efficient form of natural competition.
Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy
Main character, aristocratic Julian West, thought he was superior to working classes.
Julian looked down on frequent strikes which delayed construction of his home.
Julian falls into a 100-year sleep - he wakes up in the 20th century.
Where there is pubic ownership (not private)
Government shares all money equally.
Everyone gets a college education
Everyone can choose a career
Everyone retires at age 45.
There is no poverty or hunger.
Ragged Dick (1868) by Horatio Alger
Alger's fourth book
Story of a poor bootblack's rise to middle-class.
One of many books about a poor, hard-working, honest youth who escapes poverty
Called the "Horatio Alger myth"
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1869) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872) by Jules Verne
"Father of Science Fiction"
Wrote about innovations and technological advancements
Years before they were realities.
In 1889, Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochran Seaman)
Who set out to mimic the 80-day journey of Phileas Fogg around the world
For an article in Pulitzer's New York World
She finished it in 72 days.
Progress and Poverty (1879) by Henry George
"An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Wealth: The Remedy"
Henry George was appalled by shocking poverty in the middle of wealthy cities.
Explored the connection between poverty and economic and technological progress.
Why was their poverty when there was so much wealth in the U.S.?
Solution: single tax
Believed that land and all natural resources belong to all
No person or company should own land
they should only be able to rent it.
The rent should be paid to the public (the rightful collective owner of all land)
Businesses and individuals would own all profits that resulted from their efforts.
GOSPEL OF WEALTH
Carnegie’s belief in the Gospel of Wealth
Law of competition benefit society.
Hard work and perseverance lead to wealth.
But wealthy should not be selfish.
Heirs of large fortune should not squander money on unnecessary luxuries (conspicuous consumption)
Giving to charity, though,
Didn't guarantee that the money would be used wisely
Charity kept the poor impoverished
Instead, the duty of the rich was to live modestly
And recirculate surplus wealth for the good of society
And enrichment of the community.
By bettering society, rich would go to Heaven.
When Andrew Carnegie retired from the steel industry in 1901
He devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy
But in a responsible way
Not giving directly to the poor or spent in ways that "encouraged the slothful, the drunken, the unworthy”
Many Captains of Industry believed "Gospel of Wealth" was too radical.
Believed poor people were poor because they were lesser people than the rest (Social Darwinism)
Industrial revolution led to creation of new class of largely unskilled industrial workers
Workers had little protection from the greed of employers
Government and courts ignored workers complaints
And supported big business
See Homestead Strike, Pullman Strike, Coxey's Army
Coxey's Army (called themselves "U.S. Industrial Army")
In 1894 500 unemployed workers affected by Depression caused by Panic of 1893
Marched in protest to Washington DC
Led by Jacob Coxey -- hoped to persuade Congress to authorize a program of public works.
The marchers were arrested for walking on the grass of the U.S. Capitol.
Public didn't support workers because:
Social Darwinism - the belief that the wealthy were more evolved than the poor.
The strong faith in individualism and self-reliance
(Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcendentalist)
People like Hamilton, Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie
All came from humble backgrounds
And pulled themselves up.
Horatio Alger stories: rags to riches
Old Immigrants (1840s and 50s)
From north and western Europe
Irish after the potato famine (mostly unskilled, poor, Catholic)
And Germans after 1848 Revolutions (mostly skilled and literate, Catholic and Protestant)
Came as families
Quick to assimilate
Experienced in democracy
Mostly tall and fair
New immigrants (1880-1920)
Lower steam ship fares and faster transatlantic travel = 25 million new immigrants after 1870
Landed on Ellis Island, NY (1892-1954) and Angel Island (S.F.) (1910-1940)
Mostly between 15 and 30 years old.
From south and eastern Europe
Italy, Russia, Poland, Greece
As well as Asian locales
China and Japan
Catholic, Jewish, Eastern Orthodox
Illiterate and unskilled
“birds of passage”
Making money then return home
Clannish, didn’t assimilate
Short and dark
Some for political regions
Russian and Ukrainian Jews came seeking refuge from religious oppression by governments at home (pogroms)
More opportunities to move up the social ladder
“rags to riches” American dream
America as the land of opportunity
Where anyone willing to work hard, save money and be smart
Could become rich
Most came for economic reasons
Southern Italy - resources were scarce, vineyards decimated by disease
America’s industrial growth
= high demand for labor
Unfortunately, expectations fell short
Roads were not literally paved with gold
And social mobility was much more difficult than it seemed
Jacob Riis – NY – “How the Other Half Lives”
Statue of Liberty
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
1875 Page Act - Outlawed immigration of Chinese women
1882 Chinese Exclusion Act
Limited the number of Chinese immigrants allowed into U.S.
Renewed in 1892 an 1902
1907 Immigration Act
Created Dillingham Commission
To study effect of immigration on moral welfare of nation
Concluded immigrants from southern and eastern Europe posed serious threat to American society and had to be reduced.
Also created "Dictionary of Races and People"
KKK resurgence in 1920s
This time targeting immigrants as well as black people
Branches all over the U.S., not just South
LIFE IN CITIES
Water shared sink (chemicals to make it safe – but undrinkable)
No bathrooms (public bathhouses or rivers)
Dumbbell tenements – so every room had a window
No bathrooms – had to go to bathhouse or bathe in river
14,000 homeless in NY in 1890
Many children or “street Arabs”
Work difficult to get
Thievery, pickpockets etc.
Five Points Gang
Mulberry Bend gang
Hell’s Kitchen gang
Demanded protection money
Trains – El (steam-powered passenger trains – elevated)
To make money from distant properties
And on Sundays – when required to run
Coney Island NY
Revere Beach Boston
Willow Grove Philly
Elevators (Elisha Graves Otis)
“safety elevators” with spring-triggered catch if cable broke.
Top floors now desirable
Skyscrapers, Roebling Brooklyn Bridge 1883
Ignited real estate boom in Brooklyn
William L. Jenney
Made taller structures possible
1885 steel “I” beam girder
Built high without massive supporting walls
Singer Building 1906 -- Record at 41 stories
Metropolitan Tower 1908 -- 50 stories
Woolworth Building 1913 -- 60 stories
GOLD AND SILVER
To finance Civil War
Union government printed paper money (called "greenbacks")
Not backed by specie (gold and silver)
Specie Resumption Act 1875
Congress withdrew all greenbacks from circulation
Critics of paper money (bankers/lenders)
Said paper money violated law of supply and demand and unstable
Supporters of paper money (farmers/borrowers)
Benefited from inflation (higher prices for crops = easier to pay back loans)
Formed "Greenback Party"
1878 elected 14 members to Congress incl. James Weaver
Greenback party died out by end of 1870s
Silver Money (Bimetallism)
Coinage Act of 1873 (aka Mint Act or Fourth Coinage Act)
In 1871, Germany stopped mining silver
Caused a drop in demand and lower value of silver
To align with international standards Grant passed Act
Moved U.S. off bimetallism in favor of gold standard
Hurt miners, farmers and debtors who couldn't cash in on silver (called Act "Crime of 1873")
The move was partly responsible for the Panic of 1873
Bland Allison Act (1878)
Passed by Congress over Hayes's veto
Allowed a limited coinage of silver
Between $2-$4 million in silver each month
With 16 to 1 silver-to-gold ratio
Farmers and debtors wanted more.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890)
Increased coinage of silver (farmers and miners still not satisfied)
Populist Party (1892)
Farmers demanded free coinage of silver
Demand was part of the Populist's Omaha Platform
1892 Populist candiate James Weaver (won 22 electoral votes, but lost election)
Panic of 1893
Decline in silver prices encouraged investors to trade their silver dollars for gold dollars
Caused gold reserve in U.S. Treaury to fall to a dangerously low level.
President Cleveland had to repeal Sherman Silver Purchase Act
Didn't stop gold drain.
Cleveland borrowed $65 million in gold from J.P. Morgan to support the dollar.
Election of 1896
Democrat favored unlimited coinage of silver
Democrat candidate (and Populist supporter) William Jennings Bryan
Gave "Cross of Gold" speech.
Former Democrats who favored gold standard ("Gold Bugs") formed separate National Democratic Party or joined Republicans
Republicans (McKinley with support from Mark Hanna)
Raised money from business leaders who feared "silver lunacy" would lead to runaway inflation.
Gold standard, 1900
McKinley won 1896 election
Country's economy was reviving
Gold discoveries in Alaska in 1897
Which increased the money supply --> causing inflation = good for farmers
Prices rise, factory production increased, stock market climbed
McKinley made gold the official standard U.S. currency 1900
PANICS AND DEPRESSIONS
Panic of 1873 (under U.S Grant)
Between 1868 and 1873 more than 33,000 miles of tracks were laid.
Boom caused by government land grants and subsidies to the railroads
Railroad industry was the nation's largest employer outside agriculture.
Large infusion of cash from speculators caused abnormal growth in industry.
Too much capital involved in projects with small returns.
Caused business failures
Coinage Act of 1873 (see above)
Moved US. to gold standard -- the U.S. would no longer buy silver or convert silver into silver coins.
Hurt Western mining, farmers and debtors (called the Act the Crime of '73)
Jay Cooke and Company (bank)
Bank had invested heavily in railroads
Had planned to build the second transcontinental railroad (North Pacific Railway)
But plan failed forcing Cooke and Co. to declare bankruptcy
Set off a chain reaction
Factories laid off workers
New York Stock Exchange closed for 10 days.
Dozens of the nation's railroads failed.
Construction of new rail lines stopped.
Voters turned against Republican Party (esp. in South)
Northerners were less interested in funding Freedman's Bureau
Depression decreased interest in funding Reconstruction
Railroad construction stopped in South (leaving many states in debt and taxed)
Price cuts to railroad workers caused Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Panic of 1893 (Under Grover Cleveland)
Like 1873, stemmed from overbuilding railroads and shaky railroad financing.
Big railroad companies bought out smaller companies risking their own economic stability
Big companies like Philadelphia and Reading Railroads over-extended
Run on gold
Many mines opened (with rail connections) flooding the market.
Decline in silver prices encouraged investors to trade their silver dollars for gold dollars
Caused gold reserves in U.S. Treasury to dwindle
Grover Cleveland borrowed gold from banker J.P. Morgan and repealed Sherman Silver Purchase Act.
Blamed on Grover Cleveland(Dem), led to Republican victories after Cleveland
Coxey's Army (1894)
March of jobless demanding the governemtn spend $500 million on public work projects to create jobs.
Pullman Strike (1894)
Pullman Palace Car Company cut workers wages 25%, caused strike
Not exctly a union.
The Molly Maguires was a secret group organized by Irish miners.
Named for an earlier group of protesters in Ireland who had disguised themselves as women and roamed Irish countryside beating landlords.
American Mollys were founded in 1866.
Some of the Moly's restored to intimidation, arson and murder
To combat bad working conditions of coal miners.
In 1876, 20 Mollys were brought to trial and executed for killing 16 people
Combination of factors led workers to protect themselves
By organizing into labor unions
And using strikes as their key weapon to force employers to bargain
Still only about 5% of population in unions
Because of strong belief in self-reliance and independence
Little bargaining power
Businesses could simply fire the Poles working in a factory
And hire Italians or blacks to take their place
Also lack of unity
Immigrants, races and 20% women and children.
KNIGHTS OF LABOR
Started as a garment cutters association
Was a Protestant union that met secretly
Until Terrence Powderly (a Catholic) became the Grand Master Workman in 1879
No longer secret
Began inviting many people to join
Women and men, white and black, skilled and unskilled, European immigrants
Chinese, bankers, lawyers, liquor dealers and professional gamblers
Group grew to 700,000 members by 1886
Sought out 8-hour workday and higher pay (bread and butter issues)
But also went beyond
Abolition of child labor
Equal pay for equal work
Political reforms (like graduated income tax)
Wanted to replace the capitalist system
Powderly didn't see strikes as effective
But gave in a couple of times
Like the strike that began in Chicago on May 1, 1886.
Haymarket Square Riot 1886
May 4, a rally was held by labor leaders to protest Chicago police brutality at strike at McCormick Reaper Works
When police arrived, a bomb exploded
Possibly by anarchists (radicals who don’t want any government)
Police and crowd members opened fire --> 7 police, 1 civilian died
Knights were particularly, though unfairly singled out for blame
Union soon collapsed
Reputation of labor unions worsened
Considered anarchists, socialists, extremists, cop-killers, foreigners
Who want to overthrow capitalist system of free enterprising
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR (AFL) 1886
Created same year as Haymarket Square riot in Ohio
Different from Knights of Labor
Association of craft works
Have a certain skill
Under its leader, Samuel Gompers
The union would be very discriminatory
Only skilled, white, male crafts workers could belong
Only concentrated on bread and butter issues
Wages, 8 hours 8 hours sleep and 8 for what we will, and better working conditions.
Because unskilled can be replace
And no blacks, whites etc. to have a better image.
Used strikes to manipulate exployers
From marginalized to maintream
1955 joined with Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
Largest union today
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD (IWW) (WOBBLIES)
The IWW or "Wobblies" was an international labor union
Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1905.
It was a general union -- promoted idea of "One Big Union"
Believed that all workers should be united as a social class to supplant capitalism.
IWW had ties to socialists and anarchist labor movements.
GREAT RAILROAD STRIKE 1877
To make up financial losses since panic of 1873
Major railroads cut employees wages
July 1877 workers of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad walked off job in West Virginia to protest reduction in pay
Strike spread to New York and Pennsylvania railroads
Hayes asked to send troops to put down riots
People had joined the riots because of unfair practies of railroads
HOMESTEAD STRIKE 1892
Carnegie Steel (Pennsylvania)
Responsible for building America's cities (skyscrapers)
But in order to keep profits had to keep cutting costs (incl. wages
Mill workers had a strong union: Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers
At first Carnegie supporter workers' right to organze
But then decided collective bargaining was too expensive
In 1892 Carnegie hired Henry Frick
Ruthless businessman with reputation for getting what he wants at any cost
To keep plant running efficiently, workers worked 12-hours a day/6 days a week
Dangerous (many accidents)
Men exhausted and wanted livable wages
Frick wouldnt let a Union exist at Carnegie Steel
Posted sign saying he wouldn't negotiate and conditions wouldn't improve
Locked out members of union
Wouldn't be admitted unless abandoned union and signed new contracts.
2,000 steel workers barricaded plant to prevent Frick from bringing in replacement
Frick called in Pinkerton Detective Agency (private law enforcement agency)
Gunfight between workers and Pinkerton Detectives
9 dead, many others injured
Workers held ground
Frick appealed to Pennsylvania's governor
who sent state militia
Strike over, union died
PULLMAN STRIKE, Illinois 1894
George Pullman marketed luxury Pullman cars at Lincoln's funeral
Made millions inventing the sleeper car
Town for his workers
So he could pump the money he was paying them
Back into his own pockets
Workers not get full pay
Used portion of it to pay for rent int the company town
And coupons for other things
No freedom of press etc.
1890s had made millions
Panic of 1893 – not making as much as he was making
Decided to cut the wages of his 4,000 workers
But kept the rent and prices in Pullman town the same
Workers decide to go on strike
Not part of a union = Wildcat strike
Think Pullman’s going to come to the negotiating table -- but he doesn't
In comes Eugene v. Debs
American Railway Union joins Pullman worker
National strike against the RRs (27 cities, 250,000 workers)
Railroad companies react by hiring scabs (strike breakers)
African Americans who were not allowed in the American Railway Union.
Tell the government that the mail is being hindered (not entirely true
Grover Cleveland gets involved
Sends 12,000 US troops to break union and strike
Sherman anti-trust act
Debs to prison for 6 months
Strike fails – Pullman never sat down to talk
Formed in Omaha out of Farmer's Alliances in 1892
Wanted free and unlimited coinage of silver
Graduated income tax
Accomplished with 16th Amendment, 1913
Public ownership of railroads and telegraph
Accomplished during World War I
1869 Grant proclaimed 8-hour workday for government workers
1912 election, Roosevelt campaigned for 8-hour workday
1916 Adamson Act est. 8-hour workday for interstate railroad workers
1926 Ford Motor Co. adopted 5-day, 40-hour workweek
1937 Congress passed Fair Labor Standards Act, part of New Deal, maximum workweek of 44 hours or overtime.
1940 - Fair Labors Standards Act amended to 40 hours.
Direct election of senators.
Accomplished with 17th Amendment
Australian secret ballot
One term limits for presidents
Link to John Green's Crash Course, Gilded Age.
#GildedAge #RobberBarons #PoliticalMachines #Railroads #Taylorism #VerticalIntegration #HorizontalIntegration #Rockefeller #Carnegie #SocialDarwinism #GospelofWealth #HomesteadStrike #OldandNewImmigrants #Tenements #KnightsofLabor #AmericanFederationofLabor