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term paper full written example - You load sixteen tons...

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You load sixteen tons what do you get Another day older and deeper in debt Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go I owe my soul to the company store o Merle Travis "Sixteen Tons" The advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 1850’s helped create a new solidified working class consciousness among American laborers. Most workers in the new industrial nation sought representation in the form of labor unions, which helped protect their rights and interests. However, not all workers supported the notion of collective association. The miners of the southern West Virginia coalfields are a perfect example of a labor class that should have been the first to support unionization but instead largely rejected it until the legislation of the New Deal. Mining unions and socialist political organizations spent immeasurable amounts of resources to bring collective representation to the diggers in West Virginia, who were generally considered to be one of the most oppressed groups of workers in post-Reconstruction America. Ultimately, their efforts continually failed. By examining the plight of coal miners as well as the oppressive efforts of coal operators to keep their workers in near slave-like positions, it becomes possible to paint a clear portrait of the West Virginia union struggle. While their unique cultural history of fierce independence caused the miners to resist unions, the coal companies simultaneously forged deeply entangled allegiances with federal and local political bodies. When the miners could finally take no more and attempted to unionize, it was too late, as the government and industry were already each other’s strongest allies. These factors worked in tandem to create an impossible situation for union organizers to infiltrate. Eventually only the liberal legislation surrounding the New Deal in 1933 could truly bring national unions to the coalfields of West Virginia. Like many regions in the United States after the Civil War, the penetration of the railroad into Appalachia around the turn of the twentieth century heralded the end of an isolated way of life for her inhabitants. Traditionally an agrarian region populated by subsistence farmers and hunters, the Appalachian Mountains were hiding a great untapped resource that the emerging industrial nation could no longer afford to ignore. West Virginia coal, later termed "super coal" was not only plentiful and unusually easy to harvest, but also burned cleaner and hotter than any other steam coal in the nation. As soon as the railroad was able to extend into the mountains, southern West Virginia began to be carved up along lines of corporate colonialism led by out of state investors and coal operators.
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The nature of the West Virginia social structure changed drastically with the introduction of coal mining. The infiltration of an enormous out of state work force drastically altered the demography of the region. Additionally, the acquisition of farmland by coal companies made it impossible for individuals to continue their agrarian lifestyle. Eventually, most inhabitants of the new coal regions had no choice but to enter the mines.
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course HISTORY 10 taught by Professor Marcrichards during the Spring '08 term at Western Washington.

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term paper full written example - You load sixteen tons...

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