history 17 Chapter 15.docx - Jessica Dillard Dillard 1...

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Jessica Dillard Dillard 1 Professor Braatz History 17 10 November, 2018. Chapter 15 1.What was “self-help,” and why was it such a threat to the capitalist economy? Born out of the desperation in the post war depression era “self-help” took a few forms, one of the most prevalent being the organization of the workers through labor unions and the ability to strike. When a large number of workers would strike commerce would cease in some cases entire regions would be impacted by strikes. As labor unions grew and workers became interconnected through their unions the power of the strike both inside and outside (sit down strikes) was clearly demonstrated in the complete disruption and interruption to business as usual. Without business function by definition there can be no capitalism.The threat to the economy is the stalemate “self-help” created in business and the economy as a whole. The concept of self-help really equated to self-organization the power of the masses over the power of a few. Furthermore the labor movements were a threat to industry as a whole and viewed by the Capitalists as a revolution. Given that crimes against the dissenters were not punished by the authorities as in the murder of Frank Everett it is veryclear that resistance to the establishment was a threat.There were many isolated grass roots slef-help events as cited below:“That rebellion was real when Roosevelt took office. Desperate people were not waiting for the government to help them; they were helping themselves, acting directly. Aunt Molly Jackson, a woman who later became active in labor struggles in Appalachia, recalled how she walked into the local store, asked for a 24-pound sack of flour, gave it to her little boy to take it outside, then filled a sack of sugar and said to thestorekeeper, "Well, I'll see you in ninety days. I have to feed some children . . . I'll pay you, don't worry." Extreme poverty drove the self-help movements happening all over the country. Initially they were largely uncoordinated but as poverty stricken families grew more desperate the self- help became coordinated and bolder as time marched on without relief.

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