History - Part 1 Essay question I will choose ONE of the...

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Part 1:  Essay question.  I will choose ONE of the following questions to be on the exam.  80 points. 1.  Historian Samuel P. Hays wrote, “Businessmen, farmers, and workers individually could not cope with the impersonal price-and-market  network, but they soon discovered that as organized groups they could wield considerable power.”      Write an   essay  about this statement.  Your essay should  explain the difficulties  that  businessmen, farmers, and workers  experienced.  Your essay should  describe and evaluate ways  that businessmen, farmers, and workers organized groups to deal with the industrialism and  the expansion of the market economy:  how  did  businessmen, farmers, and workers  organize?   what  did they hope to accomplish?  how  successful  were they? Your answer should draw upon assigned reading and lectures. Workers – HOW DID THEY ORGANIZE? – Workers organized through labor reform, trade unions, and industrial unions. These unions often went on strike to protest wage cuts, the 8 hour work day, and poor working environments. Sometimes these strikes turned violent such as the Haymarket Square incident of 1886 and the Homestead Strike of 1892. The Knights of Labor was the largest labor reform movement group in the last decades of the 1800s. After the Knights of Labor fell apart the American Federation of Labor, a trade union, took its place. It was best supported by the people and was the contained the right formula for the American Labor movement. WHAT DID THEY HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH? – The Knights of Labor goal was to bring an end to child and convict labor, equal pay for women, a progressive income tax, and the cooperative employer-employee ownership of mines and factories. Their ideal was that all people would be “producers” laboring together for the “cooperative commonwealth.” Trade unions catered to laborers everyday needs. Apprenticeship rules regulated entry into a trade and the closed shop – kept out lower wage workers and incompetent laborers. Trade unions tried to achieve improvements for the individual laborer, to prevent overwork, unemployment, and an easier life with the 8 HOUR WORK DAY. All that trade unions wanted was a larger share for the working people. But the industries did not like this idea and American employers were vehemently opposed to collective bargaining. So in the 1890’s they unleashed a fierce counterattack on the trade union movement. HOW SUCCESFUL WERE THEY?- The Knights of Labor had around 700,000 members in the early 1880’s. They won a strike against Jay Gould’s Southwestern railway system in 1885. However the Knights at first banned women, Chinese, and blacks. The unions gave a voice and an organization to labor that could not be organized and did not have a voice before. Many such strikes were won, and trade unions began to sprout up everywhere. Some strikes were not so successful including the
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