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Henry George and the Crisis of InequalityProgress and Poverty in the Gilded Age$
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Edward O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231120005

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231120005.001.0001

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“Labor Built this Republic, Labor Shall Rule It”

“Labor Built this Republic, Labor Shall Rule It”

Chapter:
(p.128) 5 “Labor Built this Republic, Labor Shall Rule It”
Source:
Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality
Author(s):

Edward T. O’Donnell

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231120005.003.0005

This chapter examines the rise of the Central Labor Union (CLU) and Henry George's ascendant influence among workers in New York City. In the fall of 1882, George set sail for New York City. He would soon discover that his most enthusiastic following in the United States was among poor, urban workers. As soon as word spread that he was returning to the city, the CLU held two separate receptions upon his arrival in an attempt to lay claim to George and his message. This chapter considers the CLU's initiatives designed to promote working-class republicanism, including the invention of Labor Day, carefully orchestrated testimonies before the traveling Senate committee, and the formation of an independent labor party called the United Labor Party, along with education, union building, and strikes and boycotts. It also discusses the CLU's efforts to reassert labor's place within the republican polity, focusing on three critical realms of state oppression: the police, the courts, and the New York State Legislature. Finally, it looks at the rise of the Knights of Labor in New York.

Keywords:   labor, Central Labor Union, Henry George, workers, New York City, republicanism, United Labor Party, strikes, boycotts, Knights of Labor

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