The Molly Maguires

The Molly Maguires

The Molly Maguires

The Molly Maguires

Excerpt

The American working class has a background of militant struggle. Each labor struggle, occurring under special conditions and having its own peculiar features, has contributed to a rich tradition of militancy. As a whole the American workers remain unaware of this background, although they are building up and adding to this tradition in the tremendous struggles of to-day. These new struggles, having their setting in the unprecedented economic crisis, have a tendency to be set apart from all that has gone before. It therefore becomes very urgent to reconstruct the labor struggles of the past from the point of view of the most recent developments so that those workers who are in the forefront of the struggles to-day may see them as a continuous development of the struggles of yesterday, become acquainted with their own traditions and gain the full perspective of the developing movement of the American working class.

This task is made difficult because many of the earlier struggles have been almost entirely neglected or forgotten by the labor movement, leaving the field clear for unsympathetic or openly hostile writers and historians. Thus, many of these events have been buried under mountains of misrepresentations and calumnies or handed down in a completely distorted form. Much of the material relating to these events must be excavated and the "forgotten chapters" in the history of the American working class be reconstructed. With the misrepresentations exposed and discarded these struggles will take their rightful place in the traditions of the working class and help mature its class consciousness and sense of historical direction.

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