3. Federal government attitudes and actions, including the significance of the Reagan era (Trade Unions and civil rights)

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 08-06-17 11:54
Intro
Government intervened in economy only at times of emergency, instead they usually adopted laissez-faire policy.
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Intro
Laissez-faire resulted in many employers exploiting their employees and denying them opportunity to complain. Government usually upheld capitalism and allowed big business to flourish.
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The Sherman Anti-Trust Act
1890
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The Sherman Anti-Trust Act
Government intervened to restrict monopolies, by which large companies were able to control trade. Went against usual policy, but gov was concerned about companies controlling and stopping trade.
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The Pullman Strike
1894
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The Pullman Strike
Nationwide railroad strike began when, faced by economic depression, Pullman company cut wages by 1/4 and made 1/3 pf workforce redundant.
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The Pullman Strike
Gov supported employers, firstly with injunction which stopped anyone interfering with movement of mail.
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The Pullman Strike
President Cleveland sent federal troops to break strike, then Supreme Court legalised use of injunctions, which declared strike illegal. It issued Omnibus Indictment Act to prevent strikers and workers trying to persuade others to strike.
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The Supreme Court and Lochner v. New York
1905
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The Supreme Court and Lochner v. New York
Supreme Court continued to reject workers' rights. In case, it did not uphold legislation to limit number of hours baker could work, as it argued this would restrict terms of employment.
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The Supreme Court and Lochner v. New York
Policy continued into 1930s with Coppage v. Kansas (1915), Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923) and declaration in 1935 NIRA was unconstitutional.
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The Clayton Antitrust Act and the First World War
1914
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The Clayton Antitrust Act and First World War
To maintain production, government passed Act, which limited use of injunctions and allowed peaceful picketing but they did not act to stop employers reducing wages or laying workers off.
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The Clayton Antitrust Act and First World War
Government did establish National War Labor Board (NWLB) to negotiate with unions. However, this was more about maintaining production than about supporting unions.
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Roosevelt and New Deal
1933-45
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Roosevelt and New Deal
Presidency probably saw most help for workers from an administration.
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Roosevelt and New Deal
To combat high level of unemployment it brought in legislation to get workers back to work, stop industrial unrest and give workers right to organise unions and take part in collective bargaining.
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Roosevelt and New Deal
Legislation also allowed closed shops, prevented companies from using blacklists and established minimum wage. This was done through National Industry Recovery Act, Wagner Act, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ad Fair Labor Standards Act.
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The Second World War
To ensure production, government restablished NWLB. This was not because government sympathised with unions.
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The post-war period
Republican mid-term election victory in 1946 witnessed change in attitude towards unions, with many believing unions had gained too much. Their power was reduced with Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 .
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The post-war period.
Unions were viewed with suspicion during Red Scare, with many believing they were hotbeds of communism.
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The 1960s and 1970s
Probably one and only time, outside war and national emergencies when government advanced position of workers.
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The 1960s and 1970s
Legislation brought in as part of wider civil rights movement, such as Equal Pay Act (1963); Civil Rights Act (1964); Economic Opportunity Act (1964); Age Discrimination Act (1968).
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The 1960s and 1970s
Policies continued under Nixon and Carter, e.g. 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act
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The impact of President Reagan
Could be argued presidential influence played its greatest role in reducing union power under Reagan's presidency in 1980s. Aimed to remove restrictions that hindered industry.
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The impact of President Reagan
His intervention was seen most clearly in PATCO strike of 1981. Some have argued it played crucial role in decline in strikes and union membership which followed.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Laissez-faire resulted in many employers exploiting their employees and denying them opportunity to complain. Government usually upheld capitalism and allowed big business to flourish.

Back

Intro

Card 3

Front

1890

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Government intervened to restrict monopolies, by which large companies were able to control trade. Went against usual policy, but gov was concerned about companies controlling and stopping trade.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

1894

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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