American Labor Movement Dbq

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American Labor Movement DBQ Labor leaders between 1877 and 1917 disagreed the majority of the time over the goals and strategies workers needed to utilize to improve their position in American society. The major labor leaders during this time included Terrence Powderly, Samuel Gompers, and Eugene Debs. Terrence Powderly succeeded Uriah S. Stephens as the Knights of Labor president. He was opposed to strikes, but was a big part of the Knights of Labor’s tremendous growth when he was the president. Gompers was the president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), as he was much different than Powderly. Eugene Debs was a socialist who began the Social Party. Debs ran for president multiple times, and by 1912 he had received 6 percent of the popular vote throughout the country. In Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, January 8, 1887 Leslie illustrates all the different labor leaders, including Debs, Powderly, and Gompers. The picture shows the men fighting over what should go in the pot, and has the caption “Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth”. This shows that there is disagreement between the leaders in their goals and strategies. Prior to the release of this document, a railroad strike has occurred and the Knights of Labor has began to decline, and the Haymarket Affair, a clashing between union and nonunion workers which resulted in a shooting where multiply strikers were killed. Powderly, Gompers, and Debs all had different views on what they believed the strategies of the workers should involve. Terrence Powderly says in a Missouri Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspection meeting, that he was opposed to strikes, and that there was a time and place for them. As he is talking about his view on strikes he states “It does not penetrate the system”. He believes that the Knights of Labor should not take action until they have a strong and organized organization.
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