Writing Assignment 2 - First Draft History Essay Paper (Essay Sample)
This is the first draft of a 3 pages writing assignment. The Works Cited page (see below) is not included in the 3 pages.
Please use the standard format for papers: 1" margins on all sides, 12 point font (preferably Times New Roman)
For this assignment, only use assigned readings, videos, or instructor video comments.
Here are the required elements of the Writing Assignment 2 essay:
#1 - Your paper will start with an introductory paragraph, including a thesis statement at the end of the paragraph. The thesis statement is the basic argument you will be making in the paper. In this paper, the thesis statement will concisely summarize the key factor that you believe weakened the labor movement from 1877 to 1900 (see below for the assignment).
#2 - Each of the subsequent body paragraphs should follow a logical progression and be in direct support of your argument. Support your points with specific examples from the reading assignments and video clips. When quoting material in your essay from assigned readings or referencing a video clip, insert the citation into the appropriate place in the paragraph in a parenthesis. For example, if you are quoting material from page 32 of the textbook, use the following format:
"In just over thirty years of industrial growth, a modern working class and a new business elite had emerged in a nation hat had once been dominated by farmers, merchants, and small-town artisans" (WBA, p.32).
Here are examples of citations from the textbook and other sources:
Quote from an assigned article with an author - (Brecher, p. 141)
Quote from an assigned article without an author - (Statement from the Pullman Strikers, p. 236)
Reference to a Video Clip - (The Homestead Strike Video, Week 4)
Instructor Video Comment - (Slott, Week 3)
#3 - You will complete the essay with a concluding paragraph which restates/summarizes the thesis statement in the light of the evidence which you have provided in the body paragraphs. You may also want to draw some lessons from the argument you've made in terms of our current situation.
#4 - Finally, include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper; this page does not count toward the total length of your paper. Examples:
Rosenzweig, Roy et. al (2008). Who Built America? Working People and the Nation's History, Volume Two: 1877 to the Present. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's.
Jeremy Brecher, "The Great Upheaval", in Boris, E. and Lichtenstein, N. (2003). Major Problems in the History of American Workers. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike (Video, Week 3)
Writing Assignment 2
From the Great Upheaval of 1877 to the beginning of the 20th century (1900), workers and their labor organizations challenged capitalists’ control over the nation’s economic and political life. Although the labor movement had some significant successes during this period, unions were defeated in most of the major strikes and large corporations maintained their control of the economy while exercising tremendous political influence.
Please respond to the following question:
What was the most important factor that contributed to the weakness of the labor movement during this period? Please select one factor from the list of factors below:
• Employers' use of new technologies, machinery, and production processes to limit the role and weaken the bargaining leverage of unionized, skilled workers
• Employers' anti-union tactics, including blacklisting union activists, hiring private security firms to spy on unions and repress strikes, and the use of strikebreakers
• The role of the government in supporting employers during strikes and other labor conflicts through 1) military intervention on the side of employers and 2) the use of anti-labor judicial injunctions and harsh legal penalties against union activists and labor organizations
• Disunity within the labor movement due to conflicts between the American Federation of Labor and the Knights of Labor over each organization's strategies and goals
• The exclusion of women and people of color from labor unions due to unions' policies and practices
After reading the assigned material, see if you can correctly answer the following questions:
1. What was "Coxey's Army"? What was Coxey's Army trying to accomplish and what was the result?
2. What were the main factors which caused the American Railway Union (ARU) to lose the Pullman strike in 1894?
3. The agrarian populist movement and some progressive labor unions, such as the American Railway Union (ARU) and the Knights of Labor (KoL), agreed that there was a need for economic and political reforms in the U.S. What were the key issues and reforms that they both saw as essential to creating a more fair and democratic society?
4. How did racism and anti-immigrant sentiment weaken the labor movement from 1893 to 1900?
How disunity weakened the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor.
The Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor (AFL) were the most important labor national organizations in the US in the late 19th century. The two unions were established to address long working hours, poor working conditions, and low wages that workers were paid. While each organization had some success, they were hampered not just by internal conflicts, but by differences in approach between them, which led to competition. The Knights of Labor despised the AFL’s goals because they were narrow and basic. On the other hand, the AFL opposed the Knights frequent use of militant nation-wide strikes as a bargaining strategy and their deep involvement in politics. This paper addresses how disunity and conflict between the American Federation of Labor and the Knights of Labor over each organization's strategies and goals weakened the labor movement.
The major contention between the Knights of Labor and American Federation of Labor was the disagreement on using strikes as a bargaining strategy. The successful operation of a labor union is based on a combination of negotiations and strikes. This implies that there must be a balance in how strikes and negotiations are used because each method is suitable in certain circumstances.
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