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Week 3 lecture notes/ Unions and Racism

by: JamesH

Week 3 lecture notes/ Unions and Racism History 112

Marketplace > University of South Carolina - Columbia > History > History 112 > Week 3 lecture notes Unions and Racism

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History 112: 1865 to present
Dr. Sklaroff

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About this Document

These note cover the start and rise of labor unions along with the rise of racism in the U.S. Keep these note as a good source of information and study material. Please leave me any feedback.
History 112: 1865 to present
Dr. Sklaroff
Class Notes
Labor, unions, racism, Plessey v Ferguson, knights of labor, AFL
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by JamesH on Sunday October 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to History 112 at University of South Carolina - Columbia taught by Dr. Sklaroff in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see History 112: 1865 to present in History at University of South Carolina - Columbia.


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Date Created: 10/18/15
Labor Unions Week 3 Lecture With the rise of industrialism came the demand for workers to produce the necessary supplies for American society Workers however had to endure long hours in dangerous conditions Workers struggled for autonomy better hours and safer conditions This would lead to the founding of the first major labor union The Knights of Labor The Knights of Labor were first formed in 1869 0 The KoL wanted workers to be more in control of the work place they were also accepting of all workers regardless of race profession gender etc 0 Lead the first national labor march in 1878 0 The KoL supported shops ran and or owned by workers they also wanted more time and pay control There were Movements for the eight hour day instead of the twelve hour day Many workers wanted to more than just pawns in the work place they wanted to be able to make a change Most managers andor owners didn t like the fact the workers were organizing unions some employers started using machines to replace their workers This fueled more discontent and more strikes In May of 1886 there were several famous strikes that truly shook the country There was a strike at the McCormack Harvesting Machines factory because the workers were a working in unsafe conditions and working long hours b being replaced by machines Strikers attempted to enter the factory but police killed a few strikers when they made the attempt The Haymarket riots occurred on May 4th 1886 when strikers protested at Haymarket square Police attempted to break up the protest but someone had thrown a bomb into the police line the protest turned into a riot with extreme violence and many injured people During the aftermath of the Haymarket riots workers that participated were rounded up and charged with anarchy and radicalism Worker strikes were becoming less tolerable and punishments for striking worsen Women in the Labor unions Knights of Labor specifically wanted more equality in the work place However the case of Muller vs Oregon brought forth laws that would justify sex discrimination in the work place This also brought forth child labor laws The knights of labor declined because of the strikes being less tolerable However The AFL American Federation of Labor formed after the Knights of Labor declined The AFL was a group of highly skilled workers those with a lot of experience and the Master Craftsmen that accepted more capitalistic views The AFL sought to work with their managers and bosses through collective marketing However The AFL did not include blacks immigrants or women in their organization This would slow the progress of equality in the work place even in today s world there are still challenges of racial and sexual discrimination that some employers pose Another important event that occurred was the triangle shirt waist fire Employees mostly women worked very tediously in non ventilated rooms surrounded by fabric and scraps A fire had broken out and no one could use the fire escape because the bosses locked the windows leading to them for fear of anyone trying to sneak out for breaks There were only a handful of survivors afterwards and several laws were drafted in response to this Main Idea Labor unions rose as result of the cruel conditions that workers faced Workers pushed for better hours 8 hour days instead 1216 hour days and equality This would inspire the formation of many other unions as well as the foundation of the modern workplace Rise of Modern Racism The economic development propels de jure or by law segregation Segregation also has cultural components by unwritten custom this also called de facto segregation African Americans struggle against institutionalized racism Using laws judiciary powers and legislation with the intent of discriminating against a particular race while trying to grow their already small middle class By 1890 the south is fully segregated and had enforced Jim Crow laws to further segregate the south Jim Crow was a stereotype that came to personify the de jure segregation in the south The segregation in America re ected the racial inequalities that were present In addition to this segregation stems from the belief of white supremacy In the case of Plessey v Ferguson Plessey s lawyer said that state could not determine race Because Plessey was mixed and had a fair complexion the courts then stated that god decides on the difference of white and blacks and that if one member of your family is black then you are black However the courts then instituted the separate but equal doctrine but this along with the 13th and 14th amendment were greatly violated and outright ignored Because the government was majority white many racist laws got passed and other whites found ways around the law Poll taxes Literacy test and property qualifications are used to prevent blacks from voting this also extends on to other minorities This effectively prevented blacks from having any power in politics The case of Williams v Mississippi in 1898 was brought before the Supreme Court gave way to doctrine that stated voting rights can be striped if race isn t the reason Black also get striped from politics until FDR s administration Segregation doesn t always work as blacks within the black community found ways to move up to middle class but cultural violence grows as a response to this A few examples Police use brutal and dirty tactics to keep blacks down people refuse the sale of houses to blacks public places are segregated etc Society tries to instill the idea that blacks are a joke On of the most common crimes against blacks was the use of lynching mostly in the 1890 s to 1950 s and the most frequent cause was a black man raping a white woman Though there often was not much if any evidence but police often turned a blind eye to these things On of the most famous lynchings was the lynching of Jesse Washington in 1916 This continued until the events of little rock nine 1948 Brown V Board 1954 the civil rights movement 19541968 and civil rights act 1968 Main Idea Segregation was instilled in American society ever since the end of reconstruction in the south North had segregation as well The de jure segregation institutionalized racism and de facto segregation bared blacks from voting politics jobs and even from having houses in certain communities Racism played a large role in the formation of American society and much inequality came from racism towards minorities End


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