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Class And The Color Line

Author: Joseph Gerteis
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822342243
Size: 11.95 MB
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A lauded contribution to historical sociology, Class and the Color Line is an analysis of organizing across racial lines by two labor movements in the U.S. South during the 1880s and the 1890s. The Knights of Labor and the Populists were the largest and most influential labour movements of their day, and the first to undertake large-scale organizing in the former Confederate states, where they attempted to recruit African Americans as fellow labourers and voters. Scholars have long debated whether the two movements were genuine in their efforts to enroll black workers. Joseph Gerteis argues that that debate is misguided. At different moments and in various settings, the Knights and the Populists included some non-whites and excluded others. Where and why they drew racial boundaries are the subjects of Class and the Color Line. Gerteis moves back and forth between broader examinations of the movement and more specific investigations of local organizing. At the movement level, his analysis is based on data from the central journals of the Knights of Labor and the two major Populist organizations, the Farmers Alliance and the People's Party. These organizational narratives reveal how the movements defined their own interests and identities, and how they made sense of the tangled boundaries between race and class. Gerteis explores how these collective narratives motivated action in specific contexts: in Richmond and Atlanta in the case of the Knights of Labor, and in Virginia and Georgia in that of the Populists. In the process, he demonstrates how local material, political, and social conditions enabled or constrained interracial organizing.

Rethinking The American Labor Movement

Author: Elizabeth Faue
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1136175512
Size: 67.62 MB
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Rethinking the American Labor Movement tells the story of the various groups and incidents that make up what we think of as the "labor movement." While the efforts of the American labor force towards greater wealth parity have been rife with contention, the struggle has embraced a broad vision of a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth and a desire for workers to have greater control over their own lives. In this succinct and authoritative volume, Elizabeth Faue reconsiders the varied strains of the labor movement, situating them within the context of rapidly transforming twentieth-century American society to show how these efforts have formed a political and social movement that has shaped the trajectory of American life. Rethinking the American Labor Movement is indispensable reading for scholars and students interested in American labor in the twentieth century and in the interplay between labor, wealth, and power.

Knights Across The Atlantic

Author: Steven Parfitt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 1781383537
Size: 79.40 MB
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The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, the first national movement of the American working class, began in Philadelphia in 1869. Millions of Americans, white and black, men and women, became Knights between that date and 1917. But the Knights also spread beyond the borders of the United States and even beyond North America. Knights Across the Atlantic tells for the first time the full story of the Knights of Labor in Britain and Ireland, where they operated between 1883 and the end of the century. British and Irish Knights drew on the resources of their vast Order to establish a chain of branches through England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland that numbered more than 10,000 members at its peak. They drew on the fraternal ritual, industrial tactics, organisational models, and political concerns of their American Order and interpreted them in British and Irish conditions. They faced many of the same enemies, including hostile employers and rival trade unions. Unlike their American counterparts they organised only a handful of women at most. But British and Irish Knights left a profound imprint on subsequent British labour history. They helped inspire the British "New Unionists" of the 1890s. They influenced the movement for working-class politics, independent of Liberals and Conservatives alike, that soon led to the British Labour Party. Knights Across the Atlantic brings all these themes together. It provides new insights into relationships between class and gender, and places the Knights of Labor squarely at the heart of British and Irish as well as American history at the end of the nineteenth century.