Jump Start. If Social Darwinism works for Big Business, could it ever work for their employees? If so, how?. Working Conditions in the ‘Gilded Age’. ‘ I’m taking what they’re givin ’, ‘cause I’m working for a livin ’. Huey Lewis & The News. Problems of the Monopolies.
If Social Darwinism works for Big Business, could it ever work for their employees?
If so, how?
‘I’m taking what they’re givin’,
‘cause I’m working for a livin’.
Huey Lewis & The News
Artificially high prices from lack of competition
Economic instability – supply outpaced demand causing periodic recessions
Increasing income gap between wealthy and the poor
Increasingly angry workforce – strikes and introduction of Socialism to equalize “class” distinctions.
- Concentrated on Political power & candidates for office
- Organized individual Workers – all races & jobs – equal pay, injuries and avoidance of strikes – Last resort
- Too broad - died out after failed strikes damaged faith in leaders
Labor Unions vs.
American Federation of Labor (AFL).
This photo shows the devastated ruins of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s 28th Street roundhouse in Pittsburgh, soon after it was burned to the ground by strikers that July.
Plant manager Henry Clay Frick cuts wages
- SCABS – workers hired to replace strikers.
- Strikers and armed Pinkerton Guards shoot it out &
strikers keep plant closed.
- National Guard ends strike & union loses power.
Pullman Strike – Pullman, IL - - During the “Panic of 1893” Pullman laid of ½ of employees & cut wages of the rest by 45%...didn’t lower rent of homes!!
- After depression workers came back but not the pay/
- Eugene Debs called a strike & was arrested at the end
- President Grover Cleveland sends troops to end violence
Mineworkers Strikes – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones
ILGWU - Seamstresses, “Shirtwaists”
used the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to win court decisions vs. labor.