Labor history refers to the political , social and legal struggle, working people , in their collective demands for fairer and more humane treatment from their employers and thesocial law. The cultural and philosophical culimation of previous labor struggles are codified as labor rights and labor law.
Working-class people, by definition, have always been those in society whostruggle more to survive, relative to those in who have wealth . The social divide between rich and poor began with civilization , and the attribution of wealth and ownership tends to be intertwined and interchangeable withsocial position. The social divide is analogous to the master and slave relationship, and it is this balance from which springsmuch of the current social order. The social need for administration by an authority by nature had to be balanced by the ruler'sunderstanding of and attention to the needs of his subjects, or a natural social revolt would manifest. Much of this balance between ruler and ruled remained, from Mesopotamian kings to feudalist Lords in Europe , until the European discovery of the New World .
America as the catalyst for worker rights philosophy
Current labor history is generally thought to have its philosophical groundwork in the Protestant Reformation . The birth of the United States , fueled by the corporate -controlled colonization of the Americas ,promised new hope and opportunity for Europeans, and laid the material basis for the development of a new society, based on more egalitarian principles. While the mass immigration of Europeans to Americahad dire consequences for Native Americans , it also fueled the development of new directions in thinking about the governments underwhich people lived. On the simple promise of land ownership for ordinary European peasants, the Americas were quickly colonizedunder the land incentive system.
The rapid philosophical developments in America would have effects in European and Asian societies as well, spawning thedevelopment of communism and socialism , which attempted to address the widespread popular desire of peoples to attempt to change thesocial order in existing well-populated countries —a much different situation than that faced by Europeans in the sparselypopulated New World.
The history of the United States , fromthe point of view of the administrating powers, had always been a delicate balance between the property rights of landlords and the desires of peasantworkers —the Revolutionary War changed only theadministration, not the land-incentive system itself. Soon, as American societies developed, the need for the owner classes to beaccommodating to the working classes diminished, and the same type of socialdivide present in European feudalism, became firmly established in America. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution , came the use of people as mere componentsin the production process, and over time, small and disorganized protests began to coalesce into an ordered defiance to the newcorporate government, who's means and abuses resembled those that caused people to leave Europe.
From slave rights to worker rights
The enslavement of Africans was considered by many to be a humane socialcompromise by landowners with European immigrants --less work meant a more leisurely standard of living for Europeans, and a new race-based ideology , cemented would soothe many of the problematic ethnic dividesbetween European Caucasians . The end of slavery with the Civil War brought about a deep resentment on the part of many Europeans , who prospered at leisure at the expence of African labor.
Workers quickly learn that winning better wages, hours and working conditions depends upon uniting in common cause. Whetherthey choose to organize into guilds, professional associations or Laborunions , working people discover that there is strength in numbers.
Historically, employers have often opposed organizing efforts. Many times blood has been shed for the sake of advancing thecause of union. List of strikes Working people have used a variety oftechniques, or Strike actions , to pursue their goals.
Labor Actions, Historical Tactics
Politics and Philosophy
Mining disasters, etc.
Links to Labor Memorials
In the United States :
Labor Arts, Music, Culture
Labor Arts http://www.laborarts.org/
Art and Music and the Labour Movement http://www.cyberbeach.net/~willows/cupw/local/site/music.htm
Union Songs http://www.crixa.com/muse/unionsong/
The Class Struggle In Art and Music http://beachonline.com/struggle.htm
Working and Union Songs http://www.mcneilmusic.com/wrkunion.html
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