Friday, July 20, 2012

'We want change!' Mill strikes and protests in the South.

This weeks image deals with the idea of workers rights as a whole, and those that fought for them.

Once the South started to industrialize, workers realized that a job in the mills was not much better than working on the farm. This was disappointing since many people fled to the mills because they were finally able to make a steady wage, instead of getting paid only once a year. They could have a job, a home, food, and money to live off of, on a monthly bases. Although this prospect of a new life seem perfect at the time, once the work started, so did the problems.

Children, teenagers, and adults all worked alongside each other. The mills were filthy, hot, and dangerous. The wages the workers were receiving were very small, and most of the money went back to the mill owners. The mill owners owned the town, the houses, and the stores. The wages, which were paid to the workers, were then spent at the stores and on the rent for the houses. Many people were extremely unhappy with this system, but could not fight against it because that would mean loosing their jobs and homes. They were 'owned' by the mill owner.  

Eventually, seeing the problems with the systems, workers began to group together with the common goal of better working conditions. Keep posted for the next blog that will go into the strikes and protests that would change the South, with lasting impressions today.

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