Worker's Rights 1800-1900

Timeline created by GCastaneda
In History
  • Child Workers and Labor Laws

    Child Workers and Labor Laws
    Child labor became more common with the rise of factories because the new machines could be run by children who could be paid at a much smaller salary. By 1810 it was estimated that 2,000,000 children (some as young as 7 years old) were working in factories for very little money, in horrible conditions, for very long hours and did not get a chance to go to school. US states started to pass child labor laws as early as 1813 but most did not until the late 1800s and into the 1900s.
  • Lowell Mill Girls – Waltham, MA

    Lowell Mill Girls – Waltham, MA
    In 1814 the Boston Manufacturing Co. opened textile mills in Waltham and hired young women between 10 and about 40 years old but most of them were in their 20’s. The company required them to live in local boarding houses and to follow the rules in the Handbook to Lowell. The girls made pretty good money for the time but worked long hours in horrible conditions. They went on strike to fight the raise in their rents and to lower the working day from 14 to 11 hours and won both times.
  • Waves of Immigration

    Waves of Immigration
    Starting in the 1820s a large amount of immigrants came to the US from Great Britain, Germany and Scandinavia. Later waves of immigration came from Eastern Europe, Russia and China. This large scale wave of immigration led to the increased population in the cities and created a large work force that would work for less and for longer hours. This created a situation that was beneficial to the factory owners and began the working conditions that would eventually lead to labor strikes and unions.
  • Women’s Rights – Seneca Falls

    Women’s Rights – Seneca Falls
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and a few other women met in Seneca Falls and decided to hold a convention on women’s rights in 1848. Most of the discussion was on women’s rights and voting rights for women. However, in the closing session on the first day Mott presented a resolution "for the overthrowing of the monopoly of the pulpit, and for the securing to woman equal participation with men in the various trades, professions and commerce."
  • The American League of Colored Workers

    The American League of Colored Workers
    The ALCL was the first union for free African-American skilled craftsman which was created in New York City in 1850. Frederick Douglass helped to organize this union because African-Americans could join white unions. The leaders wanted to encourage African-American businesses and wanted to develop agricultural and industrial skills in their members.
  • National Labor Union

    National Labor Union
    The National Labor Union was made up of skilled and unskilled workers, farmers and reformers and its mission was to convince Congress that labor laws needed to be reformed. On August 20, 1866 they went to Congress to try to get a law passed to shorten the work day to 8 hours. Unfortunately the law did not pass and the union fell apart by 1873. Even though they could not get the work day shortened, they brought focus to the reform issues of the day.
  • The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer

    The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer
    The rise of corporations led to a small number of men having most of the wealth. Consolidation of companies and investment banking turned individual companies into massive corporation. The employees of these companies were under-paid and over-worked. The average yearly salary for a worker was about $500 whereas the heads of the corporations made tens of millions a year. The horrible conditions, low pay and long hours in these businesses led to strikes and uprisings throughout the US.
  • The Molly Maguires

    The Molly Maguires
    The Molly Maguires were not a union but a group of Pennsylvania Irish Catholics who worked in the anthracite coal mines. They used intimidation, terrorism, beatings and murder to protest against the conditions in the mine and against anyone that spoke out against them. Their rule was very violent and was finally ended in 1873 but led to the creation of the United Mine Workers in 1890.
  • United Mine Workers of America

    United Mine Workers of America
    The conditions in the bituminous coals in Pennsylvania were very harsh and very dangerous. Both men and boys worked long hours for low wages and it is estimated that 18,000 died in the mines between 1877 and 1940. In 1890 the United Mine Workers of America was created to get better wages and working conditions for the mine workers. This union became one of the most powerful in the US and was able to get better wages, working conditions and rights for their members.
  • Pullman sleeping car strike

    Pullman sleeping car strike
    During the economic depression of 1893, the Pullman decided to slash their workforce from 5,500 to 3,300 and lower wages by 25%. This led the workers to strike and the railroad union to back them up. The union convinced the conductors to not run trains that were pulling Pullman cars. This led to an issue with the mail cars and the US army was called in. The strike was repressed but it did lead to greater awareness of labor issues and the conflict between labor and big money.
  • Period: to

    Workers Rightrs 1800-1900