Labor Economics: Theory, Institutions, and Public Policy

By Ray Marshall; Vernon M. Briggs Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
The Evolution of Trade Unionism in the United States

The trade union movement in the United States has been the product of an evolutionary process. Since its inception, the basic question confronting those concerned with the American labor movement has been: How do you appeal to workers in a free society to join together into a permanent organization to further their collective interests? As will be shown, the answer was found through years of trial and error.

In the quest for the proper appeal, an important subsidiary question was raised: Is the emergence of trade unionism anticapitalistic or procapitalistic? Karl Marx felt unions represented a sublimation of worker interests. That is to say, workers are basically dissatisfied with capitalism and the presence of unionism represents a class movement against the prevailing order. Unionism is seen as a symbol of labor solidarity. A counterthesis, however, argues that workers join unions in search of economic improvement and job security. To the degree that unions succeed in raising wages, shortening work hours, and improving working conditions, workers gain a stake in the survival of the system. Hence, they will strive to protect capitalism because there is no guarantee that they will be any better off in any workers' millenium.


PREREVOLUTIONARY LABOR

Before 1776 the long settlement process of the American colonies was characterized by a relative scarcity of labor. Efforts to transform the native Indian population into workers were generally unsuccessful. Other means had to be found. Throughout much of the 17th century, the northern colonies relied extensively on indentured labor from England. Contracts were signed prior to passage that fixed the length of servitude required to pay the cost of transportation to the New World. On arrival, the indentured servants worked under conditions established unilaterally by the employer.

In the 18th century, however, the Industrial Revolution began in England. Workers were needed at home to staff the new factories. Opportunities to immigrate as indentured servants were therefore sharply curtailed. The main group encouraged to leave for the colonies were convicts, who were put to work on public construction projects.

-294-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Labor Economics: Theory, Institutions, and Public Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 658

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.