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In the United States, the 19th century was marked by numerous social changes, the rise of the labor movement being one of the essential characteristics thereof. While the tension in the interracial relationships in the United States was increasing rapidly, the resurgence of the labor movement occurred, with the socialist principles serving as its foundation (Nichols and Unger 370; Eidlin 155). However, when dissecting the phenomenon of the massive labor movement observed in the United States in the 19th century, one should attribute it to the sharp increase in the rates of industrialization on the national level.
Being a direct response to the force that jeopardized people’s chances to retain their jobs, the labor movement was far from quiet in the U.S. Starting with major unrest, the movement continued challenging the changing perspective of the American social environment with the following farmer revolt in the 1890s (Foner 651; Knock 89). Therefore, one may posit that not only technological changes but also the inability of the government to transfer to the new type of economy without affecting the working class was among the main reasons for the movement to emerge and have a lasting effect on the American industrial environment.
Furthermore, the increasing opportunities for introducing people to the political system of the United States and participating in it actively in accordance with the newly established democratic principles also played their role in spurring “the era’s greatest political insurgency” (Foner 652). The creation of the People’s Party in the early 1890s signified that a huge leap was made in society as the American population was provided with a chance to shape the political system and the economic environment (Foner 652).
Due to the introduction of industrialization into American society, the premises for the labor movement to originate and gain traction in the United States were built. While American society had not been established yet, and its values were very pliable, the foundation for the labor movement as the voice of ordinary citizens was laid. Despite the challenges that America had yet to overcome, including political, social, and economic concerns, U.S. society was evolving at a fast pace.
Eidlin, Barry. Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada. Cambridge University Press, 2018.
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! 3rd ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.
Knock, Thomas J. The Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern. Vol. 121, Princeton University Press, 2016.
Nichols, Christopher M., and Nancy C. Unger, editors. A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.