The Pullman Strike of 1894: Turning Point for American Labor

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George Pullman was not always believed to be a cruel boss. George Pullman started off believing that anyone could be successful if they worked hard enough. But as his business grew, he took this belief too far, furthering his own company by working his employees hard, treating his employees like slaves. There were many factors included in how the Pullman strike started. George Pullman and the company’s treatment of employees, how the town of Pullman, Illinois reacted to their treatment, other strikes that led up to the Pullman employee unhappiness and their reaction, the Pullman Strike. From a young age, George Pullman had a very positive attitude towards life. He was born in 1831 near Buffalo, New York (Burgan). Pullman was one of ten children and his family was not rich. His dad was a mechanic and owned a farm where he grew up. While George Pullman quit school at the age of 14 to start working, he still worked on his education at night. His initial job was with his brother doing carpentry, allowing him to learn a new craft. As he got older he was able to help his brother with the carpenting business (Laughlin). But George grew restless. After working with his brother, George moved to Chicago. In Chicago George helped rebuild the houses that were being eroded by Lake Michigan (Laughlin). He believed in the American dream, that anyone who was hardworking, and inventive could become a great success (Laughlin). He was only 30 when he arrived in Chicago and had high aspirations for his life.(Burgan). On the train ride their, Pullman had difficulty sleeping because of how uncomfortable the seats were. Because of his discomfort he came up with his first idea, the idea of a sleeping car that would eventually become the main product... ... middle of paper ... ...Negligence; Employee Defined. 45 USCA. Sec. 51. West, 1908 and Supp. 1939. Print. Limitations on Duty Hours of Dispatching Service Employees. 49 USCS. Sec. 21105. LexisNexis, 2012 and Supp. 1994. Print. Pullman State Historic Site. Pullman State Historic Site, Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Jan. 2014. . “The Pullman Strike” [“The Pullman Strike”]. Illinois Periodicals Online. Ed. Drew Vandecreek, Jack Hendricks, and Brian ` Conant. Northern Illinois University Libraries, 3 Dec. 2003. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. . Steven. “The Pullman Strike, 1894 - Jeremy Brecher.” Libcom .com. libcom.com, 23 June 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2013. . White, Richard. “Strike.” Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011. N. pag. Print.

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