The years following the Civil War era was considered a gilded era due to the rapid economic and population growth in the United States. In this “gilded” time new inventions were being created, and factories were being revolutionized and more and more jobs were being created. With rapid population growth comes rapid growth of problems. Jobs were being created as fast as people were willing to fill them. Businesses everywhere were booming. But after a while, workers grew tired of the strict and demanding work conditions. Factory workers in this time were working in extremely poor conditions and had no power. Workers were often abused by the factory owners and their wages were cut very low. The mass immigration also did not favor the laborers as it made them so east to replace.
In order to fight back, laborers would join labor unions in order to protest all these horrible conditions. Primarily, one of the important factors of the American opinion upon labor unions was the press. One of which was the New York Times (Doc. B). Often times the press was bribed by large companies in order to have favor them, hence giving labor unions a bad name. This article is about the B&O railroad strike. They said it was a hopeless cause and the strikers do not even know what they wanted. (Doc. C) is another great example how the reputation of labor unions weren’t great. In the picture that Thomas Nass illustrates he is showing the laborer has killed the goose that lays the golden egg.
One of these golden eggs is in his pocket and another egg is in the basket of the woman and child in the background of the illustration. This illustration is suggesting that labor unions do not know what they are doing and will regret it in the long run. Also, Nass is suggesting that the labor unions have a communist influence and that behind the labor unions is in fact communism.
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