The Great Upheaval: The Railroad Strike Of 1877

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The Great Upheaval: The Railroad Strike of 1877 In 1877, a walkout by rail workers over wages started America’s first railroad strike and general strike. This paper discusses the history of the railroad strike. In detail, I will discuss the events that lead up the strike, what happened during the strike and the outcome. The Great Upheaval: The Railroad Strike of 1877 The railroad strike spawned from a time of periodic economic recessions. Summer of 1877 marked the dawn of the Gilded Age. The United States had just ended the twelve-year period, known as the Reconstruction Era. During this time period, the US focused on rebuilding the nation after the Civil War. The Civil War was a time of economic growth; entrepreneurs and financiers prospered. There was a need for production of goods not only for the battlefield but also for the…show more content…
Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco (“The Great Railroad Strike”, n.d.). In Baltimore, the governor requested the National Guard, out of a request from the B&O Railroad. A crowd of thousands of citizens sympathetic to the railway strikes hurled rocks towards the soldiers and the soldiers started firing back. The streets became a bloody battlefield and by nightfall, ten men were dead, more were wounded and one soldier was wounded (Steven, 2006). Half of the troops quit and the rest continued their mission and went to the train depot. Awaiting them was a crowd of two hundred angry citizens that had “smashed the engine of a passenger train, tore up tracks, and engaged the militia again in a running battle” (Steven, 2006). The small crowd of two hundred increased to 15,000 and three passenger cards, the station platform and a locomotive were set on fire. The governor again asked for federal troops and this time President Hayes responded with five hundred and Baltimore quieted down (Steven,

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