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The Problems With Industrialization: Labor Unions To The Rescue

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A day late and a dollar short is a popular phrase used in labor, but has it’s roots directly to the “Age of Reform.” The years of 1870 through 1920. During this period, Americans confronted a bewildering array of political, economic, and social problems created by the development of the modern United States and proposed even more solutions for dealing with them. With the influx of immigrants coming to America and the rise of the industrial age, many workers were working in unsafe environment’s, had no rights whatsoever, and were subject to “brutal and perilous working and living conditions (Academy).”

Essentially, they were being taken advantage of by the company bosses and owners as there were no rules or regulations to prevent them. The progressive movement sought to regulate business practices and create protections for workers that were not in place. In essence, innovating the entire labor industry. The labor industry was in a dark place before regulations because corruption, dereliction, and unsafe environments were rapid and had no control. The dark side of the “Age of Reform” came with it harmful conditions for labors working in factories around American. Labor unions and proponents set out to establish regulations and improve working conditions for laborers. American labor and working-class history throughout the early 20th century is a field of research of American economic history which concentrates attention on working class people’s complicated livelihoods in a evolving worldwide economic system.

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Even after tightly concentrating on organizational structure in the working environment and national politics, the history of workers has extended and developed its approach to personal issues. A crucial transition in the labor and working-class history of the United States occurred in both 1896 and 1945. At the earliest stages, Americans continued to work much more hours a day than the eight they fought tooth and nail for in the end of the nineteenth century. On average, Americans ended up working in hazardous conditions for 55 to 65 (around 35,000 workers died every year in accidents at the turn of the century) (Helgeson).

By 1920, roughly a third of all-American citizens are residing in expanding neighborhoods, and joblessness, hardship, and deep rooted schisms had become a regular part of everyday life for so many of them. Laborer’s in both the Democrat or republican Party had almost no authority. The Liberal party of America was established in 1901 and rapidly arose as a powerful force. Much more than four thousand local offices and thirty-two government groups had been built within a decade. On city quadrants extending from Houston thru Chicago to Pittsburgh, Michigan, hundreds of applicants associated with the new political party wins provincial and district elections. In the meantime, head of the party, won 791,000 votes in his 1911 run for the presidency and more than a several million nominations in 1920 for president, when he was in penitentiary after being sentenced of treason throughout World War I. The U.S. labor movement sprang because of the need to protect the laborer’s mutual interest.

Unionization union members had already battled for better wages, flexible hours and better employment conditions to those in the industry sector. The union movement has contributed efforts to prevent child labor, offer additional medical benefits and help workers whom have been badly hurt or allowed to retire.

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The Problems With Industrialization: Labor Unions To The Rescue. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from
“The Problems With Industrialization: Labor Unions To The Rescue.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
The Problems With Industrialization: Labor Unions To The Rescue. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2023].
The Problems With Industrialization: Labor Unions To The Rescue [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from:
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