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27 November, 21:59

Describe the various attempts at labor organization in this era, from the Molly Maguires to the Knights of Labor and American Federation of Labor. How were the goals, philosophies, and tactics of these groups similar and different? How did their agendas represent the concerns and grievances of their members and of workers more generally?

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  1. 27 November, 22:33
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    Modern labor unions arose in the United States in the 1800s as increasing numbers of Americans took jobs in the factories, mines, and mills of the growing industrial economy during the Industrial Revolution. For the first one hundred years of its history, the United States had been a nation composed mainly of small farmers, but the economy had shifted to industry. For the first time in the country's history, more people worked for other people for wages than for themselves as farmers or craftsmen start superscript, 1, end superscript in these early years of industrial capitalism, government played little to no role in regulating businesses. Monopolies could set prices for goods and services as high as they liked. Likewise, industries could conspire to keep workers' wages low. Wealthy business owners routinely bribed judges and members of Congress to side with them in disputes. With such enormous resources at their disposal, business owners could easily overpower any individual worker who might complain about his or her treatment.
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