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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Theme > Labor Activism (x)
  • Historical Eras > Industrialization and Expansion (1877-1913) (x)

We found 38 items that match your search

Andrew Carnegie Plays a Double Role

The millionaire industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie represented the conflicting roles played by the late nineteenth-century's "captains of industry." One of the era's most generous philanthropists, Carnegie's Gospel of Wealth held that [...]

An American Railway Union Strike Halts Cross-Country Trade

In 1894, the American Railway Union organized a national boycott and strike against all trains hauling Pullman Cars in response to a strike called by workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company. The strike spread across the nation. Strikers were met [...]

"The Tournament of Today - A Set-to Between Labor and Monopoly"

This 1883 cartoon from the satirical magazine Puck imagines a medieval-style joust between working people and the industrialists and railroad owners who largely controlled the U.S. economy in the late nineteenth century. The spectators in the [...]

The President of the B&O Railroad Announces Wage Cuts

After the Panic of 1873 plunged the U.S. economy into a severe and lasting depression, corporations such as the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company found themselves cutting costs, usually by reducing employees' wages, as this letter from the [...]

A Company Town Faces Starvation during the Pullman Strike

George Pullman, owner of the Pullman Palace Car Company, exemplified the paternalistic "welfare capitalist." Believing that labor unrest was caused by poor pay and living conditions, he initially paid his workers high wages and housed them in a [...]

Calvary Escorting Meat Train Protected by Infantry from the Chicago Stock Yards During Strike

The Pullman Strike began on May 11, 1894, when Pullman Palace Car Company workers walked off the job in response to severe wage cuts; members of Eugene V. Debs' American Railway Union soon joined in by refusing to work in Pullman cars. U.S. Army [...]

Rock Springs Massacre Victims Plead for Justice

Even in the late nineteenth-century American West, a notably violent region, the violence directed against Chinese immigrants was shocking. The Union Pacific Railroad employed 331 Chinese and 150 whites in their coal mine in Rock Springs, Wyoming. [...]

African-American Laundry Women Go on Strike in Atlanta

In July 1881, African-American laundry women in Atlanta formed the Washing Society and organized a strike to gain higher wages and respect for their labor. Utilizing door-to-door canvassing and with the support of black churches, the Society quickly [...]

The New York Times Predicts a Railroad Strike, 1885

This New York Times article from September 1885 makes reference to the tensions that existed between organized labor and Chinese immigrant workers on the Union Pacific and other railroad lines. According to the article, the Knights of Labor, the [...]

The New York Times Describes Racial Unrest on the Railroads

A New York Times article from 1889 describes another instance of racially-based labor unrest on the railroads. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a group of African-American railroad laborers spontaneously strike to protest the dismissal of a black [...]