History of Labor and Work in the U.S. 1880-1945

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please read the martial in the word and pdf files answer question 1 and 2 in a essay.

  • Explain Taylorism, and Fordism and how they are connected. Then tell me how much of an impact Taylorism and Fordism had on American society and the extent to which both are still with us in the present.
  • At Homestead and many other industrial workplaces of the late 19th century, skilled workers held firm to protecting their autonomy. In fact, as noted in your textbook, the workers at Homestead believed the facility belonged to them as much as it did to Andrew Carnegie. Based on your readings, to what extent did the workers have control of these massive industrial facilities and on what basis did they define their autonomy and control over the work? Why were workers so resistant to employer initiatives that violated or threatened their [worker] autonomy? Why did they think it was worth striking and literally dying for?

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Labor E R D O F UP BA TE Pure and Simple Radicalism: Putting the Progressive Era AFL in Its Time Dorothy Sue Cobble In a 1999 review essay, “Neither Pure nor Simple,” Walter Licht rightly noted how a newer generation of scholars had “significantly qualified” the standard view of the Progressive Era American Federation of Labor (AFL).1 Socialists and other radicals, researchers found, constituted a sizable portion of AFL membership and led some of the most prominent AFL international unions, state federations, and local bodies in the decades before World War I.2 Support for nationalization of industry, “industrial democracy,” and other proposals for worker control also gained ground among AFL affiliates over the course of the Progressive Era, peaking in the World War I era.3 Moreover, the AFL often strayed from voluntarist premises and engaged in lobbying, grassroots electoral mobilization, and partisan as well as nonpartisan party politics.4 In short, the Progressive Era AFL, according to the new labor history, was neither politically monolithic nor politically disengaged. I thank Eric Arnesen, Ava Baron, Jeff Cowie, Leon Fink, Michael Merrill, Ruth Milkman, and Richard Schneirov for their very helpful comments on various iterations of this essay. Fellowship support from the Russell Sage Foundation proved indispensable to the completion of this article. 1. Walter Licht, “Neither Pure nor Simple,” Reviews in American History 27 (1999): 610 –17. 2. Among others, John Laslett, Labor and the Left: A Study of Socialist and Radical Influences in the American Labor Movement, 1881 – 1924 (New York: Basic, 1970); Michael Kazin, Barons of Labor: The San Francisco Building Trades and Union Power in the Progressive Era (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987); David Montgomery, Fall of the House of Labor: Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism, 1865 – 1925 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Howard Kimeldorf, Battling for American Labor: Wobblies, Craft Workers, and the Making of the Union Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). 3. David Montgomery, Workers’ Control in America: Studies in the History of Work, Technology, and Labor Struggles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979); Joseph McCartin, Labor’s Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, 1912 –1921 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). 4. Julie Greene, Pure and Simple Politics: The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881– 1917 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Gary Fink, Labor’s Search for Political Order: The Political Behavior of the Missouri Labor Movement, 1890 –1940 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1973). Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, Volume 10, Issue 4 DOI 10.1215/15476715-2348700 © 2013 by Labor and Working-Class History Association 61 Published by Duke University Press Labor LA BO R 10 : 4 62 Yet, despite the rich outpouring of revisionist scholarship since the 1970s, the view of the Progressive Era AFL as a predominantly conservative organization has remained deeply entrenched. Socialists, industrial unionists, and other radicals within the AFL may have mounted a spirited challenge to the national leadership, but “conservative business unionists,” as Julie Greene put it in Pure and Simple Politics (1998), maintained their dominance.5 Indeed, for William Forbath the burning question was why the radical nineteenth-century American labor movement became exceptional in its conservatism and lack of class consciousness by the twentieth century. From the 1870s to the 1890s, most US workers embraced “broad and radical reform ambitions,” he argued. “What now demands analysis is the way in which labor’s broader vision of reform was dethroned by the rise of Samuel Gompers’s ‘pure and simple’ trade unionism.” The authors of Who Built America offered a similar narrative of devolution to a conservative AFL trade unionism. In their view, “the increasingly businesslike and racist policies of AFL craft unionism . . . overwhelmed the Knights’ broader vision of working-class organization.”6 Even those who found traces of radicalism in the young Gompers or in the early AFL agreed that “pure-and-simple unionism,” as David Brody summarized, “cast off its radical moorings and, under Gompers’ skillful hand, became the guiding philosophy of a profoundly conservative movement.”7 5. Greene, Pure and Simple Politics, 75. 6. William Forbath, Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), 3; Nelson Lichtenstein, Susan Strasser, and Roy Rosenzweig, Who Built America, vol. 2, 2nd ed. (New York: Worth, 2000), 109, 158– 161. See also Leon Fink, “Labor, Liberty, and the Law: Trade Unionism and the Problems of the American Constitutional Order,” Journal of American History 74 (1987): 907 – 8, 914, on the early twentieth-century erosion of “labor’s ‘republican’ faith,” its “drift” toward “a homegrown conservative pragmatism,” and his assertion that by the 1890s, “Gompers and the national AFL leadership . . . effectively detached labor’s agenda from any vision of change for the nation as a whole.” The declension story is gospel in social science labor scholarship as well. In Rick Fantasia and Kim Voss’s telling, for instance, in Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 37 – 39, the AFL’s “narrow, craft-based” and “much more conservative ‘business unionism’ ” replaced the “egalitarian social unionism” of the Knights. 7. David Brody, In Labor’s Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 111. For other accounts of Gompers’s “narrowing of vision” and the rise of a conservative AFL by the twentieth century: Nick Salvatore, introduction to Seventy Years of Life and Labor: Autobiography of Samuel Gompers (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984), quote x – xi; John Laslett, “Samuel Gompers and the Rise of American Business Unionism,” in Labor Leaders in America, ed. Melvyn Dubofsky and Warren Van Tine (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 62 – 88; Christopher Tomlins, The State and the Unions: Labor Relations, Law, and the Organized Labor Movement in America, 1880 –1960 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), chapter 3. On the radicalism of Gompers and the AFL in the late nineteenth century, see Stuart Kaufman, Samuel Gompers and the Origins of the American Federation of Labor 1848 –1896 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1973); Tomlins, The State and the Unions, chapter 2. For a notable dissent to the narrative of decline and an exploration of how late nineteenth-century trade unions contributed to the rise of modern liberalism, see Richard Schneirov, Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864 –1897 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998). See also Lawrence Glickman, A Living Wage: American Workers and the Making of Consumer Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), and Rosanne Currarino, The Labor Question in America: Economic Democ- Published by Duke University Press Labor C o b ble / P u t t in g t h e P r o g r e s si v e E r a A F L in I t s T im e 63 In this “Up for Debate,” I want to reopen the question of how best to characterize the pure and simple trade unionism of the Progressive Era AFL.8 It is true that the AFL did not seek to end wage labor, market exchange, or private property; nor did it endorse state socialism, revolutionary syndicalism, or a socialist or independent labor party. Nevertheless, the national AFL did have a program of broad social reform. As I elaborate in the sections that follow, the Progressive Era AFL sought to change how wealth, power, and prestige were distributed and to create a society in which workers had equal rights, freedom, and power comparable to capital. To accomplish these ends, it endeavored first to build independent trade unions that could contest capital’s dominance at the workplace and ensure full citizenship to workers; second, it pursued a range of legislative strategies to loosen the grip of capital on the state and protect worker rights and welfare. In so doing, it called into question prevailing notions of “liberty of contract,” market fundamentalism, and class paternalism. In sum, the Progressive Era AFL challenged the dominant structures and values of the established social order of its day. Thus, to describe the national AFL’s agenda as conservative obscures many of its core premises. It also fails to place the AFL in the context of its time. There is no doubt that the AFL’s reform vision did not extend to all workers. It shared the Progressive Era’s racist prejudices against Asian workers, for example, and actively sought immigration policies favoring northern and western European nations.9 After 1895, it admitted affiliates who limited membership to “whites,” and AFL leaders and members voiced views of women, and of African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups that warrant condemnation.10 These assertions are well racy in the Gilded Age (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011), who, as later sections of this essay explore, make a case for the progressivism of the AFL’s wage and hour demands. 8. My call for more attention to the multidimensionality of the politics of the Progressive Era AFL parallels and is partially inspired by the renewal of interest among historians in the “social politics” of Progressive Era reformers. Daniel Rodgers, for example, in Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), acknowledges the limitations of progressives but finds their efforts to address the “social questions” of poverty, worker exploitation, and economic insecurity noteworthy. On the shifting scholarly views of Progressive Era politics, see Robert D. Johnston, “Redemocratizing the Progressive Era: The Politics of Progressive Era Historiography,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 1 (2002): 68 – 92. On the differing perspectives of middle-class progressives and “labor progressives,” see Shelton Stromquist, Reinventing “The People”: The Progressive Movement, the Class Problem, and the Origins of Modern Liberalism (Urbana: University of Illinois, 2006). 9. Gwendolyn Mink, Old Labor and New Immigrants in American Political Development, 1875 –1920 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986); Glickman, A Living Wage, chapters 2, 4; Currarino, The Labor Question in America, chapter 2; Janice Fine and Daniel J. Tichenor, “A Movement Wrestling: American Labor’s Enduring Struggle with Immigration, 1866 – 2007,” Studies in American Political Development 23 (October 2009): 94– 100. 10. Brody, In Labor’s Cause, 114 – 22; Ileen DeVault, United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004); Robert Zieger, For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America since 1865 (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2007); Eric Arnesen, Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863 –1923 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991). Published by Duke University Press Labor LA BO R 10 : 4 64 established and I do not contest them here. Rather, my goal in this essay is to explore more fully other dimensions of the AFL’s philosophy and practice. That is not to say the AFL’s record on race, gender, and immigration is unimportant, irrelevant to how the federation is to be characterized, or fully settled. It is simply to say that just as there is more to the Knights of Labor than its sympathies for Chinese exclusion or more to the American Railway Union than its refusal to admit African Americans, there is also more to Progressive Era pure and simple trade unionism than its views and policies on race, sex, and national origin.11 The scholarly conversation about how best to characterize the AFL has been hampered by the widespread uncritical reliance on terms and categories inherited from a century ago. Indeed, labor historians would do well to heed Marilyn Boxer’s 2007 call in the American Historical Review for scholars to consider the biases of received labels, especially those emerging from the vitriolic political exchanges of the past.12 “Pure and simple,” for example, warrants a more precise and thoughtful usage. Samuel Gompers first used the phrase at the AFL’s 1890 Detroit convention to defend his judgment that political parties — in this case the Socialist Labor Party — were “not entitled to representation in a purely trade union organization.” The “trade unions pure and simple,” he intoned, “are the natural organizations of the wage-workers to secure their present material and practical improvement and to achieve their final emancipation.”13 An AFL committee report to the convention, echoing Gompers, declared that “no delegate as an individual, because of his belief, whether radical or conservative” would be barred from the AFL, but “political parties of whatever nature” were “not entitled to representation.” 14 Frederick Engels, among others, when asked about the dispute, understood why an “association of trade unions and nothing but trade unions” would reject organizations that were not trade unions.15 Socialist Labor Party leader Daniel DeLeon, however, bitterly contested the AFL’s decision and quickly turned “pure and simple” trade unionism from a phrase indicating an organization limited to trade unions into a pejorative for those who rejected social reform, independent labor politics, and the beliefs of the Socialist Labor Party. DeLeon and other left critics mocked the AFL as a “pure and simple11. On the Knights and Chinese exclusion, Alexander Saxton, Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), but see also Rob Weir, “Blind in One Eye Only: Western and Eastern Knights of Labor View the Chinese Question,” Labor History 41, no. 4 (2000): 421–36. On the American Railway Union, see Susan E. Hirsch, “The Search for Unity among Railroad Workers: The Pullman Strike in Perspective,” in The Pullman Strike and the Crisis of the 1890s: Essays on Labor and Politics, ed. Richard Schneirov, Shelton Stromquist, and Nick Salvatore (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 50. 12. Marilyn Boxer, “Rethinking the Social Construction and International Career of the Concept ‘Bourgeois Feminism,’” American Historical Review 112 (2007): 131– 58. 13. AFL Convention Proceedings, December 8, 1890, Detroit, 16 –17. 14. AFL Convention Proceedings, December 8, 1890, Detroit, 17, 21 –22. 15. Letter, Frederick Engels to Hermann Schluter, January 29, 1891, Marx-Engels Correspondence 1891, www.Marxists.org/archives/Marx/works/1891/letters/ (accessed May 2, 2012). Published by Duke University Press Labor C o b ble / P u t t in g t h e P r o g r e s si v e E r a A F L in I t s T im e 65 dom” organization and declared its leaders “pure and simples,” and “ignorant, stupid, and corrupt labor fakirs.”16 Among present-day scholars, “pure and simple,” as Julie Greene observes, is somewhat ambiguous and used with less and less precision.17 Still, traces of DeLeon’s condemnation of the AFL as a narrow conservative movement remain embedded in the phrase. It is time to think again about the inherent conservatism of pure and simple trade unionism and whether the AFL was the narrow, conservative organization its adversaries claimed. “Business unionism,” another inherited and largely pejorative label for the AFL, has eclipsed “pure and simple” in its frequency of use.18 “Business unionism” was one of four “functional types” of unionism—“business,” “uplift,” “revolutionary,” and “predatory”—first posited by University of Chicago economist Robert Hoxie in the years before World War I.19 Unlike “uplift unionism,” which, Hoxie wrote, “at times even claims to think and act in the interest of society as a whole,” business unionism “expresses the viewpoint and interests of workers in a craft or industry rather than those of the working-class as a whole.” It “aims chiefly at the here and now . . . regardless of the welfare of workers outside the particular group.” In Hoxie’s opinion, business unionism was “best represented in the programs of the railroad brotherhoods.” For Hoxie, the AFL did not fit easily into the narrow self-interested business unionist box.20 Moreover, Hoxie included in his published writings a warning from a “friendly critic” against using the single construct of “business unionism” to characterize organized labor in the United States. “Business and uplift unionism are not in reality distinct and independent types,” the critic observed, and in the real world most so-called “business unions” include aspects of “uplift unionism,” with its idealistic aims and mutualist ethos.21 Nevertheless, scholars today increasingly use the single label “business unionism” to characterize the AFL and to distinguish its brand of unionism from idealistic social reform unionisms. “Business unionism” most commonly denotes the AFL’s acceptance of “capitalist economic relations and the prevailing social and political 16. What’s What in the Labor Movement: A Dictionary of Labor Affairs and Labor Terminology (New York: B. W. Huebsch, 1921), 395; Daniel DeLeon, “What Means This Strike?” (New York: People’s Library, 1899), 21. 17. Greene, Pure and Simple Politics, 2–3. 18. The growing use of the term “business unionism” can be traced with Google’s advanced search function. Bruce Laurie’s choice of “prudential unionism” for the AFL in Artisans into Workers: Labor in Nineteenth-Century America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989), 176 –210, is an exception to the widespread reliance on “business unionism.” 19. Robert F. Hoxie, “Trade Unionism in the United States,” Journal of Political Economy 22 (March 1914): 212 –17. See also Robert F. Hoxie, Trade Unionism in the United States (New York: D. Appleton, 1919), a collection of his lectures and essays published after his death in 1916. For a careful discussion and use of the term “business unionism,” see Clayton Sinyai, Schools for Democracy: A Political History of the American Labor Movement (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006), 75 – 77. 20. Hoxie, “Trade Unionism in the United States,” 212 –13; Hoxie, Trade Unionism in the United States, 103–4, 125– 35, 186. 21. Hoxie, “Trade Unionism in the United States,” 213n1. Published by Duke University Press Labor LA BO R 10 : 4 66 order,” its disengagement with broad social reform that would benefit all citizens, its willingness to cooperate with business, and its adoption of businesslike or professional practices such as high dues, benefit systems, and centralized control.22 But some go further, depicting the AFL’s “business unionism” as an antisocial enterprise run largely to enrich union bosses at the expense of the members and the rest of the working class.23 In this essay I call into question the reigning view of Progressive Era AFL pure and simple unionism as a conservative or narrow “business unionism” supportive of the prevailing social, political, and economic order. I begin by first considering whether the Progressive Era AFL is best understood as an organization of “skilled,” “craft” unionists. These two terms, widely ass ...
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