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How Successful Was Organized Labor in Improving the Position of Workers in the Period from 1875-1900? Analyze the Factors That Contributed to the Level of Success Achieved.

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UNITED STATES HISTORY FREE-RESPONSE QUESTION

Topic: How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875-1900? Analyze the factors that contributed to the level of success achieved.

In an 1875 world, run by corporations and narcissistic owners, workers found that as individuals, they were mute to the rest of the nation. They were mere workers in the anthill, ruled by numerous 'queens'. These workers rallied together in an attempt to scare the queens into submission of their demands. At first these uprisings had little to no effect on the corporate leaders, but slowly began to change work hours and average daily wages. Also, workers became less educated and with a reduction of skill in the workplace; the reason, workers didn't need to have a well-rounded knowledge of the product they were making, since they only had to work on specifics in the 19th century, onward. Not only did the strikes and unions bind one worker with another, they helped the workers to grow a substantial sense of audacity and fortitude, strengthening the nation as a society.

At the beginning of the union attempts there was little change in the way things worked in the economic world. However, after a couple decades of their persistence the corporations began to weaken at the knees and start allowing some leeway in the area of 'giving into their demands'. In a census of Hours and Wages of Industrial Workers, it was seen that in 1875 the workers wages took a dip until 1882, in which the salaries increased steadily until it was almost $40/day more than 20 years before. This really raised workers up on the totem pole of society, and managed to keep a steady flow of positive change throughout their futures.

However, not all change was beneficial in the society of the nation. Due to the not-so-new invention, the construction line, workers only had to focus on their own specific jobs; instead workers only knew how to do a fraction of the overall job. In a brief testimony of an engineer before the Senate, he exclaims about the downfall of the knowledge in mechanics. Even though workers became lesser learned, the work was a lot more efficient, and used less than a third of what it did in 1868. Society had to sacrifice education for efficiency to attempt to fulfill the desires of the unions formed in this time period.

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