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Compare and Contract the Haymarket Riot

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Submitted By tquennev
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Compare and contrast the Haymarket Riot, the Homestead Strike, and the Pullman Strike. On balance, what was their effect on the organized labor movement?
The Haymaker Square riot was an outbreak of violence in Chicago on May 4, 1886. The American workers were demanded for 8-hour workdays in that time. 1,500 or so people gathered at Haymarket Square and when police attempted to break up the meeting, a bomb exploded and police then opened fire on the crowd. Seven policemen were killed and more than 100 persons were wounded. They are still unsure who created the bomb and there was no evidence pointing the police in the correct direction.
The Homestead Strike was another labor dispute. On June 29, 1892 workers belonging to the Amalgamated Association of Iron and steel workers were protesting a proposed wage cut. The Company’s general manager then hired 300 detectives to protect the plant from the strikers. On July 6th, several men were killed or wounded due to an armed battle between the workers and detectives, the governor had to call out the state militia. The plant reopened and the non-union workers stayed on the job and kept it around. It led to a weakening of unionism in the steel industry thereafter.
The most famous and far-reaching labor conflict in a period of severe economic depression, the Pullman strike began roughly on May 11, 1894. The negotiations over declining wages failed. The workers then appealed for support to the American Railway Union. The boycott, centered basically in Chicago crippled railroad traffic worldwide. The soldiers and local authorities later joined to get the trains running again and the boycott and the union were broken by mid July.
All three of these were great examples that people did not put up with their demands and what they had planned for them. A mass amount of people got together because they were not being treated right or fair and had enough of an impact on these company’s to change things. The labor movements fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions and ultimately got them. Today so much has changed from back then and it was because of the movements they have done. Now there’s a set amount of hours, a set minimum wage and set standards for basically everything we do work related.
References:
James A. Henretta and David Brody, America: A Concise History, Volume II: Since 1877.4th e, (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009)

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