History of Labour in the United States - Vol. 2

History of Labour in the United States - Vol. 2

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History of Labour in the United States - Vol. 2

History of Labour in the United States - Vol. 2

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Excerpt

New Conditions. Railway Construction. Through freight lines, 4. Railway consolidations, 4. Appearance of the wholesale jobber, 5. The first national trade unions, 5. The Moulders. William H. Sylvis, 6. The effect of the extension of the market on the moulder's trade, 6. The national union, 7. Its weak ness, 7. The Machinists and Blacksmiths. Evils in the trade, 7. The national union, 9. Strike against the Baldwin Locomotive Works, 9. The outbreak of the War and depression, 9. Other national unions, 10. Unemployment and Impending War. The workingmen's opposition to War, 10. Louisville and Philadelphia, 10. Fort Sumter and labour's change of attitude, 11.

WHILE the country was engrossed in Civil War and Reconstruction, the American labour movement developed for the first time, almost unnoticed, its characteristic national features. This period witnessed the distinctly American philosophies of greenbackism and the eight-hour day; the rise of the agitation for the exclusion of Oriental labour; the invention of the trade union label; the first national trade agreement; the establishment of the first government bureau of labour; the organisation of the first permanent labour lobby at Washington; the enactment of the first eight-hour legislation and the earliest laws against "conspiracy" and "intimidation." The period also saw the organisation of the first national employers' association, and the first national labour party. Pre-eminently, it was the period of nationalisation in the American labour movement. Back of it all lay the nationalisation of the economic life of the country.

The fifties had been a decade of extensive construction of railroads. There was an increase from but 8,389 miles of rail-

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