Research Paper On The Wage Gap In The United States, And Class Struggles From The Underclass With Sources Included

3633 words - 15 pages

The premise of this essay will hopefully provide a brief analysis of the historical class struggles of the American working class as well as discussing a few of the contemporary issues that Americas current working class must face during their challenges of socioeconomic mobility.This will serve as an introduction to the labor movement in the U.S. Around the turn of the 19th century, the American industrial revolution took off and we as a nation have never looked back. We had progressed from a labor-intensive nation dominated by the southern planters to the leader of the industrialized world. Essentially, it forever changed the relationship between employer and employee. Thereafter, the ...view middle of the document...

In any event, the friends of democracy should keep their eyes anxiously fixed in that direction. For if, ever again permanent inequality of conditions and aristocracy make their way into the world, it will have been by that door that they entered. (De Tocqueville p558)As the factory system grew, many workers began to form labor unions to protect their interests. One of the first unions to hold regular meetings and collect dues was organized by Philadelphia shoemakers in 1792. Soon after, carpenters and leather workers in Boston and printers in New York also organized unions. Labor's tactics in those early times were simple. Members of a union would agree on the wages they thought were fair. They pledged to stop working for employers who would not pay that amount. They also sought to compel employers to hire only union members. These were admirable goals ,however, the working class would endure countless setbacks from the likes of industry, government, and fellow citizens.Class systems have been a way of labeling and controlling people in society almost since the beginning of civilization. Many Americans are familiar with the harsh class distinctions that were present in Europe's feudal system or the caste systems of India; however, I believe when it comes to the United States people are either confused, uneducated, or in a state of denial because the issue of class in America is seldom discussed or acknowledged. However, if the working class ever intend on ascending in class rank they must at the very least acknowledge what they are up against. I will hopefully be able show distinct class barriers in this research paper and expose some of the oppressions at the hands of the upper-class and hyper-rich and the struggles and plights of the working man. The aim of this paper will try to reveal that not only are class distinctions prevalent in contemporary America but that they have been a part of American our culture historically. Historically, their were many success in the American labor movements like those of the "Knights of labor", IWW, AFL, and The Socialists party.The labor movement for the establishment of working class rights was first founded by a group of tailors in Philadelphia in 1869. Moreover, this group later materialized as the influential group named "The Knights of Labor". These original trade unions were organized by trade and occupation in the workplace. The most significant contribution made to the United States labor movement from the knights of labor were their admirable goals of shorting the work day to eight hours, the abolishment of child labor, equal pay for equal work, and the use of arbitration as opposed to grueling work stoppages. Although in the beginning the knights of labor served the multipurpose of being a fraternal organization as well as a labor organization they are predominantly remembered for the later due to their prominence after the fall of the national labor union in 1873. The knights of labor should be...

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