Organized Labor and Unions
Throughout history, it has been clear that it is impossible for capitalists and laborers to have one common interest. The Second Industrial Revolution was brought about by new inventions and machines and changed how factories and jobs were worked. As the industries grew, so did the need for unions among the workers. To a certain degree the unions did a decent job in improving the position of the workers. However, as a whole, they were highly unsuccessful. As they would stand little chance and would be defeated. Over time, through the developing from the needs of workers, the effects of the workers’ unions became more and more successful.
During the Second Industrial Revolution, business and industrialization were taking over the economic system while agriculture was becoming less important. Technological advances were booming, which diminished the need for as many laborers that were needed in the past. In a testimony brought before the Senate Committee of Labor and Capital, in 1883, it was stated that during this revolution, the new advances in machinery and technology allowed 100 men to do the same jobs that took 300 or 400 men to do only fifteen years prior (Document D). A trade could have been divided into many smaller tasks which required much less skill to complete. During this time period, the United States Government showed no interest in helping laborers, in fact they used court injunctions as a weapon against labor strikes. They said that the national government has the power by the Constitution to regulate interstate commerce and therefore assumed jurisdiction over such commerce when carried upon railroads, basically forcing obstructers to leave (Document H).
Labor Unions viewed many practices of their employers to be unjust. They saw with their own eyes the excessive wealth and leisure that came to the upper class as a result of their employees’ daily toil...