The River Ran Red: Homestead 1892.The Battle for Homestead, 1880-1892: Politics, Culture and Steel. By Paul Krause Paul Krause can refer to:
The Press was established in September 1936 by University of Pittsburgh Chancellor John Gabbert Bowman. , 1992. 548 pp. $39.95, cloth; $19.95, paper.
The River Ran Red: Homestead 1892. David Demarest, general editor. Pittsburgh, PA, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992. 232 pp. $39.95, cloth; $19.95, paper.
These two books chronicle transformations in an industry whose product changed economic, social, and political policy on a global scale. But in the process, high technology machinery replaced workers, which critics argue was a deliberate scheme to wipe out the skills of unionized craftsmen, altering the societal fabric of many "smokestack" communities that depended on the industry. Finally, a major employer locked out workers from a jobsite, precipitating a violent dispute.
This scenario may fit neatly into the turbulent sweep of current labor relations lore, but the event flashes back to the dawn of American industrial capitalism: The great Homestead Steel Strike of 1892.
The Battle for Homestead, 1880-1892: Politics Culture and Steel by Paul Krause is the more scholarly and extensive work of two recently published books about the Homestead Strike Homestead strike, in U.S. history, a bitterly fought labor dispute. On June 29, 1892, workers belonging to the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers struck the Carnegie Steel Company at Homestead, Pa. to protest a proposed wage cut. Henry C. . The author contends that this book departs from traditional analyses of the much studied 1892 dispute. His thesis focuses on participation of the common folk-- steelworkers, their wives, local politicians, and small entrepreneurs rather than resembling standard works featuring the titanic struggle between industrialists Andrew Carnegie and his lieutenant Henry Clay Frick and the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (commonly known as the AA) was an American labor union formed in 1876 and which represented iron and steel workers. It partnered with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, CIO, in November, 1935. . But this approach, which historians draw from the model of historiography known as the "new labor history New labor history is a branch of labor history which focuses on the experiences of workers, women, and minorities in the study of history. It is heavily influenced by social history. ," is far from unique. In fact, most recently published labor history Labor history may refer to:
In today's era of rapid economic and technological change, the events of a similar past period warrant close examination. The Homestead works of the Carnegie empire were the high-tech paragons of late 19th century America. The shift from labor intensive Labor Intensive
A process or industry that requires large amounts of human effort to produce goods.
A good example is the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, etc), they are considered to be very people-oriented.
See also: Capital Intensive, Trading Dollars to machine controlled work processes with fewer employees produced considerable cost savings for the company. Andrew Carnegie, imbued with nascent notions of scientific management, wanted labor cost reductions in proportion to other cost efficient measures.
When the union refused to accept bargaining concessions, Frick launched efforts to eliminate the union, first with a lockout lockout, intentional closing up of a company, factory, or shop by an employer to prevent employees from working during a strike or labor dispute. The term lockout in 1892 by importing strike breakers. To block the strike replacements, workers, in an orderly manner, insulated the mills and community from outside access. Laboring class support from other "Mon Valley" steel towns heightened tensions. Frick arranged for Pinkerton detectives to travel the Monongahela River Monongahela River
River, northern West Virginia, U.S. It flows north past Morgantown into Pennsylvania and joins the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River, after a total course of 128 mi (206 km). In its upper reaches it is used for hydroelectric power. in barges in the early hours of July 6 to repossess repossess v. to take back property through judicial processes, foreclosure, or self-help upon default in required payments. company property. The ensuing battle left seven strikers and three Pinkertons dead.
A failed assassination Assassination
See also Murder.
Fanatical Moslem sect that smoked hashish and murdered Crusaders (11th—12th centuries). [Islamic Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 52]
conspirator and assassin of Julius Caesar. [Br. attempt on Frick's life by anarchist Alexander Berkman Alexander Berkman (November 21 1870 – June 28 1936) was a Russian immigrant who became an American writer, radical anarchist, and would-be assassin. Berkman was a leading member of the anarchist movement. , who did not play an official role in the struggle, ignited Pennsylvania officials, who were influenced heavily by leaders of the steel trust, into using the State militia to restore peace. The strike and union broken, steelworkers waited for nearly half a century before the Congress of Industrial Organizations brought equitable living and working standards to the area.
Considerable debate among scholars of the industrial process has focused on how capital has encouraged technology development to "deskill de·skill
tr.v. de·skilled, de·skill·ing, de·skills
1. To eliminate the need for skilled labor in (an industry), especially by the introduction of high technology.
2. " workers, control the production process, and shatter representational trade unionism---a distinct distortion of the republican concepts of our democracy. Eric Hobsbawm Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm CH (born June 9, 1917) is a British Marxist historian and author. Hobsbawm was a long-standing member of the now defunct Communist Party of Great Britain and the associated Communist Party Historians Group. He is president of Birkbeck, University of London. , Labouring Men: Studies in the History of Labour (1965), David Noble, Forces of Production (1984), and Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974), among others, have put forward this theory. Krause offers additional support for the proposition, arguing that steel and other metallurgical industry research, development of the Bessemer furnaces, for example, and the search for alternative fuels were tied directly to assaults on trade unionism and other worker standards of representational democracy. Not all scholars support this theory, but it is a major force in current historiography.
The ethnic mix of the work force and community also plays an important part in The Battle for Homestead. The bonds of ethnic and racial solidarity have often been a factor in union formation. The author elaborates on how Slovak, Polish, and Hungarian members of the Homestead community, often identified as "Slavs" and regarded as the vilest members of society by native white residents, molded into the working class mainstream while maintaining their ethnic identities. Although this also is not a revelation--other writers have recognized this aspect of labor research recently, such as John Bodnar (Immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. and Industrialization industrialization
Process of converting to a socioeconomic order in which industry is dominant. The changes that took place in Britain during the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and 19th century led the way for the early industrializing nations of western Europe and : Ethnicity in an American Mill Town, 1977)--Krause adds to the body of knowledge.
In regard to the ethnic composition of Pittsburgh's steel industry, and other aspects of the book, the author tends to overstate. He often discounts the hypotheses of other historians by claiming a host of new discoveries; thus, Henry Bessemer was the first to highlight "scientific management," or a parade in 1880 was the first "Labor Day celebration," and other authors have misunderstood ethnic diversities between Slavic immigrant groups---lumping together non-Slavic and Slavic immigrants with workers from other eastern European nations. But these are minor flaws, appearing to result from an overabundance o·ver·a·bun·dance
A going or being beyond what is needed, desired, or appropriate; an excess: teenagers with an overabundance of energy. of enthusiasm and passion for the subject.
This is an excellent work. A 10-year effort, published for the Homestead Strike centennial, Paul Krause's book links the past with the present. While historical events do not repeat themselves, contrary to popular myth, the lessons and experiences of the past can add to the understanding of current problems. As the American industrial system moves rapidly from conflict and confrontation toward cooperation and employee empowerment, and as the workplace changes under a blitzkrieg blitzkrieg
(German: “lightning war”) Military tactic used by Germany in World War II, designed to create psychological shock and resultant disorganization in enemy forces through the use of surprise, speed, and superiority in matériel or firepower. of sociotechnical innovations, students of industry and economics can benefit greatly from a strong dose of history.
A companion piece to Krause' s work is The River Ran Red: Homestead 1892. Edited by David P. Demarest, it is a compilation of news articles and popular accounts of the strike that also commemorates the centennial of the labor struggle. Unlike Krause's work, which is geared more for the student of labor history or practitioner of industrial relations, this brief book fits more as an educational curriculum guide; it includes an accompanying manual to aid teachers, prepared by the Steel Heritage Industry Task Force. Filled with illustrations, political cartoons, and photographs of the labor struggle and its participants, this easy to read publication should fill the void of labor history in many survey courses at the secondary school and college level.
As workplace issues portend por·tend
tr.v. por·tend·ed, por·tend·ing, por·tends
1. To serve as an omen or a warning of; presage: black clouds that portend a storm.
2. to dominate much attention in the 21st century, it is important to look back at this strike. Replacement worker legislation, technological displacement and restructuring problems, worker empowerment programs, union avoidance policies, and similar concepts are as relevant today as when the Nation approached the 20th century.
Homestead 1880-1892 and The River Ran Red trace parallel issues to that earlier period and do it quite well. These works will help readers understand the past, present, and future of labor relations from a different point of view.