Essay on The Pullman Strike Of 1894

Essay on The Pullman Strike Of 1894

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Brandon Cole
Part A Question 2
Professor Pittenger
February 15, 2016

The Pullman Strike of 1894 and the Presidential Election of 1896 were not only key moments in the Gilded Age, but proved to be pivotal in the future of American society bringing social and economic injustices to the forefront of the conversation.
Mr. George Pullman was a successful entrepreneur of the 1890s who found his riches in the luxury railroad car business. Pullman was so successful that he bought enough land, roughly 400 acres, to build not only his train car factory, but also a surrounding city which he named after himself. The town of Pullman seemed to be a utopian society, but Pullman workers described the town as “a gilded cage.” (Roark 647) This sentiment came from the fact that George Pullman was unjust with his power over everything in the city. Rent, groceries, utilities, and everything in between was taken out of the employee’s paycheck. It was documented that one employee cashed his check with $0.47 left over after two weeks of work. Pullman’s employees were broke, and this is what he wanted. Pullman employees worked on the basis piecework quota. For every piece made, the employee would be compensated. To keep the more skilled employees from making too much money, George Pullman gave his people managers the authority to constantly change the quota for each individual person on a day-by-day basis without question. Pullman workers were at the mercy of Mr. George Pullman himself, and they couldn’t move out of Pullman because they weren’t making enough money to save the necessary funds to do so.
The economic frustrations of the Pullman employees were at its boiling point at the beginning of 1894 and that pent up frustration resulted in a strike. ...


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... and as the competition for jobs grew between the natives, immigrants, and blacks sentiments of racism and elitism grew.
The end of the Gilded Age was dominated by big business, and because of this everyone wanted work in the United States. The whites already living in the US did not want new European or Chinese immigrants because of the competition of work and they felt that the immigrants would taint the pure gene pool that was already in place. These very same sentiments were felt about Black Americans at the time. Black Americans wanted to be able to vote, marry who they pleased, and overall wanted social equality. This was met with Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws that were installed to keep blacks from advancing as people. Blacks and immigrants experience very similar conditions and bigotry as both groups of people attempted to make a living in the United States.

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Essay on The Pullman Strike Of 1894

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