AP US History What are some apparent contradictions regarding the views of social Darwinism and the gospel of wealth? Can these ideas coincide?
Capitalism and its Critics • Herbert Spencer (English philosopher)- society benefited from the elimination of the unfit. • William G. Sumner (Yale)- similar ideas in the book Folkways • Business supported social Darwinism yet used business practices to eliminate “cutthroat competition”
Gospel of Wealth • Andrew Carnegie- trust funds for the good of the community • Russell Conwell (Baptist minister)- Acres of Diamonds… found wealth in their own backyards • Horatio Alger- rags to riches • Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women- spoke for women via nonconventional advancement i.e. not through marriage.
Immigrant Workforce • Changing tide of immigration from mainly Irish and Asian to Eastern Europeans (Italians, Poles, Russians, Greeks, Slavs) • 25 million from 1865 to 1915 (4 times as many as previously arrived 50 years earlier). • Labor Contract Law- allowed for business to recruit immigrants by paying for their passage to the United States. • After repeal continued recruitment through foreign born labor brokers… Greek and Italian Padrones • Clashes between old immigrants and new began as old immigrant work was replaced with cheaper new immigrants
Income and Work • Average income $400-500 a year ($600 dollars would have been a stable income) • Income was particularly susceptible to the business cycle- often wages were cut due to economic hard times.
Industrialization… • Fredrick Winslow Taylor • Time & Motion Studies… Principles of Scientific Management • Piecework- paid by production rather than by the hour • Technological changeover from skilled labor to machine work- lack of pride in the work. • Decrease in need for skilled labor led to the use of women in children in the work place.
Women in the workplace • Generally were not working in heavy manual labor areas or where skilled labor was needed. • Concentrated mainly in the textile industry (aside from domestic service). • Women worked for lower wages.
Children in the Labor force • 1.7 children between 10-15 worked (10% girls, 20% boys) • 60% of child labor was in agriculture (no restrictions applied) • 38 states passed child restrictions… minimum 12 years and 10 hours max- but few employers adhered to this.
Critics… • Lester Frank Ward (sociologist)… in Dynamic Sociology- civilization was not governed by natural selection, people could use intelligence to shape society… and government should intervene in positive planning to help. • Socialist Labor Party- led by Daniel De Leon… precursor to American Socialist Party • Henry George- Progress and Poverty: single tax on land • Edward Bellamy- Looking Backward
Emergence of the Union • Craft Unions prior to the Civil War • Weak and disbanded in heard economic times- workers were largely blamed for economic problems. • Molly Maguires- militant coal miners in the western Pennsylvania: blamed for violence
Knights of Labor • Noble Order of the Knights of Labor- Uriah S. Stephens (all who toiled) • 8 hour work day and end to child labor (really wanted long range change to working conditions- cooperative system) • Terence V. Powderly- opened the union out of secret membership. Grew to 700,000 but lost credit after a series of railroad strikes dropped them to 100,000.
The American Federation of Labor • AFL- rivals to the Knights of Labor • Unlike the Knights- broken into trade/craft unions • Samuel Gompers… wages, hours, conditions • Immediate demand to have an 8 hour day (May 1, 1886 or a general strike).