Labor Movement Highlighted in Newspaper Articles

The article “Age of the Workingman,” published in The Kansas City Journal on September 2, 1895, depicts the labor problem as reflected in the speech given by Rev. Charles L. Kloss (3). Kloss makes a reference to Gladstone who said that the 19th century was the “Age of the Workingman” (“Age of the Workingman” 3). In this relation, the author expresses his hope that the 20th century will acknowledge the genuine meaning of work. Kloss is dissatisfied with the “flatitious” class division and mentions that he expects to see no such separation in the future (“Age of the Workingman” 3).

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The author remarks that although the Labor Movement is generally a positive change for the country, it is not void of imperfections. However, as Kloss argues, these flaws create the necessary progress. The author notes that the Movement has been “generated by centuries of wrong and injustice” (“Age of the Workingman” 3). Thus, the author considers the Labor Movement as a positive change for the country that can promote equality and freedom for everyone.

The article “The Labor Question,” published in Millbrook Herald on May 5, 1886, focuses on the discussion of the Labor Movement presented by John Swinton (1). Swinton remarks that the recent events concerning the Labor Movement have reached an “unprecedented magnitude” and raised people’s apprehension considerably (“The Labor Question” 1). According to Swinton, the Movement became possible due to the “tremendous” changes in the social and industrial spheres (“The Labor Question” 1).

Such innovations include the development of the machinery, the rapid growth of big cities, the progress of intelligence among the citizens. Most of all, the Movement rose because millions of workers had a desire to combine their efforts in the struggle for equality and fairness. Swinton outlines the features of the Movement that make it unique and original: the scope, solidity, intensity, the breadth of purpose, mutual helpfulness, moral features, and the Americanism of character (“The Labor Question” 1). Thus, Swinton approves of the Movement’s ideas and finds it crucial to follow them in order to reach stability for the US workers.

The article “Andrew’s Speech,” published in Oakland Tribune on September 6, 1982, presents a thorough discussion of the labor question by Andrew (5). The author remarks that as a result of the labor convention that was held recently, several significant changes were offered. First of all, the workingmen should be able to improve their condition by gaining control of the machinery and using it for satisfying their needs. Secondly, workers should unite in the commonwealth and defend their rights collectively. Next, people should obtain control of railroads, telephone lines, and telegraph in order to resolve the intercommunication and transportation issues (“Andrew’s Speech” 5).

The speaker also proclaims the value of labor and emphasizes the need to respect workers and their struggle to produce the best for their country and fellow citizens. An important issue in the speech is the necessity to implement the legislative action concerned with the employment of idle laborers (“Andrew’s Speech” 5). Therefore, this source also depicts the fight for equality that was inspired by the Labor Movement.

Each of the summarized articles is connected with the themes discussed in lectures and class readings. All three sources cover the general topic: the Labor Movement. Also, there are some more detailed associations between the articles and class materials. For instance, in “Andrew’s Speech,” the need for giving the ownership of railroads and other means of communication to workers is discussed (5).

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The same question is raised in the lecture “Railroaded: Industrialization and Railways.” Another connection is between the articles “The Labor Question” and “Age of the Workingman” and the material discussed in the book Industrialization and the Rise of Big Business, 1870-1900. All of these sources emphasize the need for industry development and the role of workers in this process. The reflection of the Labor Movement is also suggested in the article by Montgomery. In this source, strikes are discussed as the indispensable component of such an action (Montgomery 81). Thus, all class readings and lectures are related to the analyzed articles.

The primary sources illustrate the themes covered in the summarized 19th-century newspaper articles. It is possible to conclude that working conditions of the laborers at that time were unfair, which caused people’s dissatisfaction and the desire to fight for their rights. The workers’ responses to inequality in working arrangements were further reflected in the initiation of the Labor Movement, strikes, and the formation of unions.

Works Cited

“Age of the Workingman.” The Kansas City Journal. 1895, p. 3.

“Andrew’s Speech.” Oakland Tribune. 1982, p. 5.

Industrialization and the Rise of Big Business, 1870-1900.” N.d. Web.

“The Labor Question.” Millbrook Herald, 1886, p. 1.

Montgomery, David. “Strikes in Nineteenth-Century America.” Social Science History, vol. 4, no. 1, 1980, pp. 81-104.

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Railroaded: Industrialization and Railways.YouTube. 2014. Web.

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