Response Paper/Writing Assignment 1. The Great Upheaval: Response to Questions (Term Paper Sample)
Respond to the following two questions (1 page for each question):
1. Based on Jeremy Brecher's account of the 1877 railroad strikes in "The Great Upheaval," why did many workers who were not employed by the railroad companies support the striking railroad workers?
2. Do you think that a fundamental class conflict still exists between working people and employers in contemporary America as it did in 1877, during the Great Upheaval?
If your answer is yes, provide examples of fundamental class conflict in our economy and political system. If your answer is no, explain why you think class conflict is no longer a key factor in the U.S. today.
The Great Upheaval: Response to Questions
The wage cut that was induced by the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad Company upon its laborers was a significant burden for the employees to bear (Brecher 138). Many individual workers were going through the same misery of wage cut and yet the wage itself was very low. Most of the company workers complained about poor living standards and the difficulty of raising their families. Other grievances included poor diets that the workers were forced to have to sustain themselves. In my opinion, the wages were low for all workers and hence the strike provided the only opportunity for them to air their complaints.
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