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The Gilded Age: Industrial Growth & Crisis

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Kali Sharp


The Gilded Age: Industrial Growth & Crisis

  1. The vision of the country that underlines the preamble would be the fresh vision of labor reform. Terence Powderly led the charge for improved rights from all wage earners.
  2. The historical relationship between business owners and workers that are evoked by the preamble would be business owners taking advantage of workers’ wages. Business owners could set prices for goods as high as they liked. Wealthy business owners routinely bribed judges to side with them in disputes. Business owners easily overpower any individual worker.
  3. The principles and calls for change that would have been considered revolutionary would be that it is the first national labor organization in the US. Powderly pursued the strategy of bringing in any workers into the union, creating the most broad-based union in the country.

The Knights of Labor can be related to modern society by the safety and fairness in the workplace and proposing a system of worker cooperatives to replace capitalism.

  1. The main reasons for workers’ lack of political power would be because the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class had interests in common with their employees. Another reason the workers lacked political power because the workers of the world needed to organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, and abolish the wage system.
  2. The excerpt says, “Abolition of the wage system.” Promoting a more balanced sharing of power between workers and employees would happen if the workers of the world organized a class, take possession of the means of production and abolish the wage system.
  3. The IWW was against the modern wage system because they wanted to put workers in control of their own work lives through industrial organization.

The IWW can be related to modern society by calling every laborer, regardless of trade or skill level, to unite under the banner of radical reform. The IWW opened its doors to no discrimination.

  1. Omaha Platform opened with a reminder to readers of the anniversary of The Declaration of Independence to explain and prove the time period of corruption and political favoritism.
  2. The grievances that Omaha Platform wrote was that the people were demoralized. The voters were isolated to prevent universal intimidation and bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized, and public opinions are silenced. Urban workmen are denied the right to organize for self-protection.
  3. These grievances were similar to those of union leaders by literally just being mistreated or not being treated fairly to the other side. Business owners would take advantage of workers’ wages and bribe the members of congress and judges to side with them. The grievances sided with the public opinions.
  4. The populist proposed to improve the lives of working men and women by placing control on monopolistic businesses. Also, the party adopted a platform calling for free coinage of silver, a graduated income tax, paper money, government ownership of all forms of transportation and communication, and election of people by direct vote.

The Omaha Platform can be related to modern society by the regulated working day of eight hours and government control of all railroads, telegraphs, and telephones.



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