The Rise of the Labor Movement & Employer Resistance in the Late 19th Century
After the Civil War, the simultaneous shift in the labor economy of the Southern United States and the second industrial revolution led to a growing interest in labor organizing. Newly formed labor organizations led a combined 23,000 strikes between 1881 and 1900. Employers noticed, and fought back, sometimes literally, employing Pinkerton agents to break strikes, rounding up and imprisoning or deporting union employees, and using various forms of intimidation against workers.
Joining me to help us learn much more about the story of employers and elites resisting labor rights is Dr. Chad. Pearson, a lecturer at the University of North Texas and author of Capital’s Terrorists: Klansmen, Lawmen, and Employers in the Long Nineteenth Century.
Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode audio is “Labor Day” by Dick Wright & The Wright Trio, in the Public domain and available via the Internet Archive.
The episode image is: “The labor troubles at Homestead, Pa. - Attack of the strikers and their sympathizers on the surrendered Pinkerton men,” drawn by Miss G.A. Davis, from a sketch by C. Upham. Pennsylvania Homestead, 1892, available via the Library of Congress with no known restrictions on publication.
- “Labor Movement,” History.com.
- “The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870-1914,” by Ryan Engelman, U.S. History Scene
- “Founding of the National Labor Union and the 1st National Call for a 8-Hour Work Day,” Library of Congress.
- “The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor (1869-1949),” by Michael Barga, Social Welfare History Project.
- “The Haymarket Affair,” Illinois Labor History Society.
- “Our Labor History Timeline,” AFL-CIO.
- “The Battle of Homestead Strike – July, 1892,” The Battle of Homestead Foundation.
- “Coeur d'Alene Mining Insurrection: Topics in Chronicling America,” Library of Congress.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices