U.S. History through Children's Literature: From the Colonial Period to World War II

By Wanda J. Miller | Go to book overview
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Chapter 7
Industrial
Revolution


Introduction

The Industrial Revolution in the United States was a time of immense change. From Samuel Slater's mill in 1790 to the tenement sweatshops of New York City's garment industry in the early twentieth century, the age of manufacturing grew by leaps and bounds. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, industrialization and labor reform took hold. Other aspects of this new industrial age, including improved manufacturing methods, the first transcontinental railroad, new inventions, and the growth of cities, all had major effects on the lives of the American people.

Working conditions, wages, safety, and health services were of great concern to workers. Poor working conditions, as well as low levels of pay, helped motivate workers to unite and form labor unions.

Trade books for this chapter were chosen to help students better understand these working conditions, the rise of labor unions, child labor, and the treatment of working women in the garment industry.

Read and discuss the following selection to begin your study of the Industrial Revolution.


There Is Power in a Union

Would you have freedom from wage-
slavery?
Then join in the Grand Industrial Band.
Would you from misery and hunger be free?
Then come do your share like a man.

There is power, there is power
In a band of working men
When they stand
Hand in hand.
That's a power, that's a power
That must rule in every land
One Industrial Union Grand.

Would you have mansions of gold in the
sky,
And live in a shack
Away in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly,
And starve here with rags on your back?
There is power, there is power
In a band of working men
When they stand
Hand in hand.
That's a power, that's a power
That must rule in every land,
One Industrial Union Grand.

If you've had enough of the Blood of the
Lamb,
Then join in the Grand Industrial Band.
If, for a change, you would have eggs and
ham,
Then come do your share like a man.

There is power, there is power
In a band of working men
When they stand
Hand in hand.
That's a power, that's a power
That must rule in every land,
One Industrial Union Grand.

-151-

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