Views on the Economy and Labor (1865-1898)

Economy and
Labor (1865-1898)
Laissez-faire Policies and Competition
 Laissez-faire
 No
government intervention in the economy
 No
regulations (Hands off)
market will govern itself
 Many
felt this policy promoted long term
economic development
in times of recession government should
be hands off
Expansion of the Labor Force
Domestic Migration
 Rural
to urban
International Immigration
25 Million between 1865 & 1915
Eastern Industrial Cities
1870s & 1880s
England, Ireland, and Northern
By the end of the 1800s (New Immigration
Southern and Eastern Europe
Italy, Greece, Poland
The West
Dominated by Mexican and Asian
(Chinese) immigration
What Was Driving International Immigration
Push Factors
Pull Factors
Escaping poverty and oppression
Economic opportunities
Recruitment of international
Employers would actively
encourage migration to industrial
cities and western lands
Newspaper advertisements
Ex. Railroad recruitment of
Increasing Ethnic Tensions
 Immigrants
from Southern and Eastern
 Displaced
the old immigrants (English and Irish)
from industrial jobs
 Displaced
 Willing
Northern European workers in eastern
to accept lower wages
 Immigrants
from Mexico and China
competed for jobs in the west
Child Labor On the Rise
By 1900
 1.7
million children under the age of 16 were employed
in factories and fields
 Families
needed the additional income
way to keep mothers/wives at home
Reformers take notice
 Public
outraged leads to the passage of child labor laws
 Limited
 Laws
were ignored and did not impact child labor in agriculture
Labor vs. Management
 Transition
 Battled
 Most
 Low
from artisan to industrial production
over wages and conditions
wages did not provide a level of comfort
job security
 Boom/bust
cycles of the economy
 Technology
 Seasonality
 Poverty
was always just a step away
Labor vs. Management
Working conditions
 10-12
hours a day 6 days a week
 Unsafe
and unhealthy factories
 Accidents
were frequent and severe
Losing limbs, death
Loss of control of labor
 Modern
corporation = labors lost control of their own
 Subjected
 Factory
to total control of managers
efficiency > condition of laborers
Labor vs. Management
 Growth
of Labor Unions
 Labor
unions existed before the Civil War, but
were small craft unions
 The
National Labor Union (1866)
 William
 First
attempt at uniting separate unions into one
 640,000
 Molly
H. Sylvis
members (no women or children)
 Militant
labor group
Labor Strikes & Unions
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
10% cut in wages
Disrupted trans. from St. Louis to
100+ die in the weeks following
The Knights of Labor (1869)
First national labor organization
 Loosely
One union for all
Welcomed women
Wage system vs. cooperative system
Labor Strikes & Unions
The American Federation of Labor
Association of various smaller craft
Better wages & conditions
Embraced the ideas of Capitalism
Desired a bigger slice of the pie for
Generally hostile to women joining
Women only drove down pay b/c they
are weak
Supported higher pay for women
8 Hour work day
Labor Strikes
May 1, 1886
calls for a general strike
May 4, 1886
 Haymarket
 Strike
at McCormick Harvester Company in Chicago
Middle-class America shocked
Anarchy becomes synonymous with labor unions
Weakens the labor movement
Labor Strikes
The Homestead Strike
Steel strike at one of Carnegie’s mills in Pittsburgh
Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers
Labor union weakened
The Pullman Strikes