O rise of labor unions what will happen to capitalism

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o Rise of labor unions - What will happen to capitalism? o Debs and the rise of socialism Labor - How did the rise of big business and the gospel of wealth affect the average worker? - Paradox: o Rise in the standard of living o Diminishing personal autonomy in the workplace o Worker as machine-factory Situation for Industrial Laborers - Rise in immigration - Ethnic/Racial tensions - Lack of job security, workers are interchangeable - Difficulties adjusting to modern industrial labor—concepts of time - Occupational hazards - Child workers—little protection Creation of Labor Unions - Knights of Labor (1869) o Membership to include “all who toiled” o Included women o Championed the 8 hour work day, child labor protection o Advocated widespread labor reform o Dissolved by turn of the 20 th century - American Federation of Labor (1881) o Collective of “skilled workers” o Excluded most unskilled workers, racial minorities, and women o Called for increased wages—bread and butter issues and not widespread reform
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Conclusions - In the decades after the Civil War, the United states emerged as a major industrial nation - New technologies combined with innovative business practices led tot eh growth of corporate entities and an increased in the standard of living for American workers - However, industrialization did not benefit everyone equally. Wealthy business sought to legitimate their gains though charitable works, while workers turned to labor organizing to address their grievances
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