Labor Rights In The Industrial Age: Terrance Powderly

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In the industrial age, when labor rights were still in their infancy, there were people like Terrance Powderly who wanted to better the status of labor through unions. On the other hand, there were men like Jay Gould, who thought of labor as a source to make money and did not think it important to treat them fairly. In this paper, I will discuss the works of these two men. Terrance Powderly was born in Carbonate, Pennsylvania, in 1849. Terrence gave up his education at the age of thirteen and started working as a switch operator for Pennsylvania railroad. He was soon promoted to the company’s locomotive shop. He was unemployed for nearly a year then he finally found a position in Scranton, Pennsylvania with Delaware, Lackawanna and Western…show more content…
He wanted every man to be his own employer and the entire labor union to be one. He got elected as Scranton’s foremost labor leader. In addition to that, in 1878 he won city mayor elections. Thereby he turned towards politics. In 1876 he became a member of Knights (the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor). Knights emphasized that success should be measured in terms of high morality and hard work and not in monetary terms. It encouraged that government use public land to shelter homeless rather than using it for official use like Railroads. It requested employers to decrease their working hours and increase wages. Powderly the grand master workman of Knights laid pressure that Knights should work for society’s betterment through…show more content…
He was born in 1836 in Roxbury, New York. He was a very intellectual and an ambitious man. He used to work at his father’s farm during the day and studied at night. In 1867 Daniel Drew (director of Eri Railroad) added Jim Fisk, dry goods merchant and Gould to the board of directors of Eri Railroads. The team of these three men slowly took over control and Gould became the president. Gould lost his reputation while dealing with gold because of the stock market crashed and treasury department sold all the enough gold in order to break gold prices. Then Gould started dealing stocks, especially railroad stocks. Obviously Jay Gould wanted the railroad empire. Gould became an expert in managing the complications of railroad. He started buying small parts of railway and slowly he took over the south-western empire. Railroad was just a part of his transportation and communication empire, he soon gained his control over union telegraph company and an elevated rail system. People were impressed with the speed and efficiency of his

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