Try Domination to Solve Their Problems
|Early I.W.W. Pamphlet
- Business owners were unwilling to accommodate
to solve the workers' problems because there were plenty of workers
to replace workers with problems.
- Moving was often not a solution to workers' problems because it
was often not possible or acceptable to many of them.
- The advantage for workers of forming a union is to have a better
chance of getting the employer to listen to the workers' requests.
- When the cost of meeting the strikers' demands
is less than the cost it will lose during the strike, a company
is likely to give in to the demands of a union on strike.
Local Union Organization
- People who were blacklisted were not able to find a job because
employers gave their names to other employers.
- Unions sometimes join together in strikes to gain more power.
Resistance to Unions
- A yellow dog contract is a workers' promise to not join a union.
- Three things workers realized about their attempts to gain power:
a. Businesses will oppose all possibility for workers to gain power.
b. Government will support business owners but not workers.
c. Isolated local unions did not have power to be against owners
National Labor Unions
- Two ways that unions tried to organize on a national level:
a. Joining together to represent workers with same type of company.
b. Including many different types of workers from across the nation.
- Two ways the unions tried to gain power for the workers:
a. Solving problems using accommodation by pressuring the government
to make laws that helped workers.
b. Continuing with their strikes to gain domination over employers.
Unions Working for Legislation
National Labor Union (NLU)
The NLU only lasted several years because it couldn't
get any laws passed and help the workers get higher wages or better
Knights of Labor
- Some member of the Knights of Labor quit the union because the leader,
Terrance Powderly, criticized the strikers.
- A strike with over 1,400 workers in Chicago against the McCormick
Harvester Company ruined the Knights of labor by killing many policemen.
- An anarchist is someone who disagrees with all government systems
and believes they cannot represent people.
Unions Using Strikes
The Molly Maguires
- The Molly Maguires were union workers in a secret organization that
was part of the Workingmen's Benevolent Association.
Pittsburgh Rail Strike
- The Pittsburgh Rail Strike of 1877 was important because
(1) it marked the first national strike by railroad workers;
(2) the first use of federal troops to put down a union strike.
- Workers on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad took
over the rail yards and prevented trains from leaving when the company
announced the 10% cut in the workers' wage.
American Federation of Labor (AFL)
- Workers in sweatshops (factories that manufactured clothing) belonged
to the AFL.
Homestead Steel strike
- Workers at the Carnegie Homestead Steel Plant went on strike because
a new manager broke the company's wage
agreement with the workers and lowered their wages.
- Their strike was not successful because the workers in Carnegie's
other steel mills were not part of the union and they continued to
produce steel and make profit
for the company.
- Pinkertons are private police hired by companies to guard the buildings
- National guard is the same as state militia.
- Workers decided to strike against the Pullman Car Company because
it cut back the wages of its workers and refused to reduce rent for
the workers' housing.
- The effect of their strike caused the supporters from the American
Railway Union to be arrested and the workers to gain nothing.
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
- The IWW was different because it tried to organize unskilled workers
while the AFL was limited to skilled workers.
- It was hard for the IWW to organize its members because many
of the workers were scattered
across the West and had jobs that needed them to move from place
Why Unions Had Limited Success
- Unions were successful in solving the problems for only high skilled
- Unions helped other workers by pressuring businesses to improve
wages and working conditions.
- Many African Americans worked as strikebreakers because they were
not allowed to join most unions.
- Reasons why unions were not successful:
a. Most workers did not belong to a union.
b. Legislators did not pass laws that helped solve workers' problems.
c. Courts supported big business owners.
- Some workers didn't join a union because they believed that they
had to take care of their own business.
- The Supreme Court hurt unions by using the antitrust parts of
the Act against them.
Try Accommodation to Solve Their Problems
- The democratic process is to work for influencing the government
to pass new laws.
- The farmers used the democratic process because farmers did not
want to strike against big businesses but wanted them to meet their
The democratic process
- Two reasons why legislators might vote for a new law:
a. Strong need from many people.
b. Threat from many people that they won't vote for them at the
next election unless the new law is passed.
- A coalition is an organization with different groups that are
cooperating to solve the same problem.
- Coalitions are used when there aren't enough people in a group
to influence the legislators.
Local level organization
- Granges started because farmers wanted to start local organizations
to organize and solve problems using the democratic process. Granges
helped farmers to have social meetings for those who lived isolated
from neighbors; to discuss and lecture on farming techniques and
money management; and to offer libraries to get more information
on how to be a better farmer.
State and regional level organization
- Granges at the state and regional level organized to form loan
agencies, marketing associations, and stores.
- But, these Grange's efforts were not usually successful because
they didn't have people with experience in running marketing and
- Another way the Grange tried to help farmers to solve their problems
was to get local and state politicians who would be supporters of
farmers' interests elected.
- Legislation sponsored by the Granges had little effect because:
a. A state law that had been changed for the benefit of farmers
did not apply to other states.
b. Big businesses were able to get the courts to declare
many of these states' laws illegal.
c. The railroads simply ignored these state laws because there were
no penalties written into the law.
- Farmers stopped relying on the Granges as organizations to solve
their problems because they realized that it was not effective in
solving their problems.
- An alliance is an agreement among two or more to cooperate.
- Farmers again tried to organize at the state and regional level
because of the worsening economy in 1883.
- The Alliances were different because they were more aggressive
than the Granges.
National level organization
- Rural farmers and urban low-income workers, both white and African
Americans were united and organized to form the coalition of the National
Farmers Alliance and Industrial Union.
The Populist Party
- The Populists wanted the government to control railroads and banks
because it would lower transportation costs and interest rates.
- Nonperishable crops are crops that can be kept for a long time,
such as corn, wheat, and cotton.
- Subtreasuries are large government warehouses to store nonperishable
- The Populists' idea for subtreasuries would make it unnecessary
for farmers to accept low prices from distributors:
a. The government paid the farmers 80% of the value of their nonperishable
crops immediately to pay their loans without taking out a high interests loan.
b. The government stored their crops until prices were higher before
selling their crops.
- The idea of direct election of senators supported the Populists
to form a coalition with workers, consumers, and other people.
1892 presidential election
- The success the Populist Party had in the 1892 elections:
a. James Weaver, a selected candidate for President, received many
votes though he lost.
b. A dozen of their members were elected as the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Democrats nominated William
Jennings Bryan instead of President Cleveland in 1896 because many
people blamed Cleveland for making the economy turn bad.
- The Democrats' main proposal in the election of 1896 was to permit
the unlimited production of silver coins.
- The Populists had to make a choice of either supporting the Democrats
who wanted to lower interest rates or continuing the Populists'
ideas for the subtreasuries, the federal income tax, and the direct
election of senators during the 1896 election.
- Two reasons why support for the Populist Party decreased:
a. Populists in the West and South couldn't agree on the direction
of their party.
b. Strong discrimination toward African Americans in the South during
- Fewer people voted in the presidential elections after 1896 because
many poor people became discouraged about using the democratic process
as a problem-solving tool.