History of Labour in the United States, Volume I History of Labour in the United States
By John Rogers Commons
1998/12 - Beard Books - Business Classic
Volume I -649 pp.
1893122743 - Paperback - Reprint
Volume II - 640 pp.
1893122751 - Paperback - Reprint

A fascinating look at the early historical labor movements in America as a social and political force.

Publisher Comments

Category: Labor & Employment

A series of articles by various authors designed to reveal the history of the labour movement in America as a social and political force. Rather than expounding on the history of labour organizations or the history of the technical application of labour to the process of production, this work traces the history of movements with their philosophies and ideals. The periods covered are: colonial and federal beginnings (to 1827); citizenship (1827 - 1833); trade unionism (1833 - 1839); humanitarianism (1840 - 1860); nationalisation (1860 - 1877); and upheaval and reorganisation (since 1876). These historical periods have produced not only characteristic movements but also characteristic arguments, theories and philosophies, designed to win converts to the movements or support from the public. This work will have great appeal to historians, economists, political scientists, as well as any fascinated by the rise of the labor movements and philosophies in this nation.

No book review available

John Rogers Commons was born on Oct. 13, 1862 in Hollandsburg, Ohio.  He was a well-known economist who became the foremost authority on U.S. labour in the first third of the 20th century.  He studied at Oberlin College and at John Hopkins University and taught at the University of Wisconsin (1904-32).  He established his reputation with the publication of A Documentary History of American Industrial Society, 10 vol. (1910-11), and History of Labour in the United States, 4 vol. (1918-35). Commons' theory of the evolution of the American labour movement in terms of changes in the market structure was generally accepted. After World War I, Commons broadened his reputation with the publication of Legal Foundations of Capitalism (1924) and its sequel, Institutional Economics (1934). Commons drafted much of the reform legislation that made Wisconsin an example for other states. He also made notable contributions to the federal government in the areas of civil service, public utilities, workmen's compensation, and unemployment insurance.

He died on May 11, 1945 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Part I. Colonial and Federal Beginnings (To 1827)
Chapter I Origin of Trade Unions I, 25
Chapter II Development of Bargaining Classes I, 32
Chapter III The Merchant-Capitalist I, 88
Chapter IV Early Trade Unions I, 108
Chapter V Cordwainers' Conspiracy Cases, 1806-1815 I, 138
Chapter VI Signs of Awakening, 1820-1827 I, 153
Part II. Citizenship (1827-1833)
Chapter I Causes of the Awakening I, 169
Chapter II Rise and Growth in Philadelphia I, 185
Chapter III Workingmen's Parties in New York I, 231
Chapter IV Speed of the Movement I, 285
Chapter V New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics and Other Workingmen I, 302
Chapter VI Results of the Awakening I, 326
Part III. Trade Unionism (1833-1839)
Chapter I The Turn to Trade Unionism I, 335
Chapter II The City Trades' Union I, 357
Chapter III Trade Unionism in Action I, 381
Chapter IV The National Trades' Union I, 424
Chapter V Premature National Trade Unions I, 439
Chapter VI Disintegration I, 454
I First Dates on Which Trade Societies Appeared in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston, 1833-1837 I, 472
II Strikes, 1833-1837 I, 478
Part IV. Humanitarianism (1840-1860)
Chapter I Depression and Immigration I, 487
Chapter II Association and Co-Operation I, 493
Chapter III The New Agrarianism I, 522
Chapter IV The Ten-Hour Movement I, 536
Chapter V The Industrial Congresses I, 547
Chapter VI Co-Operative Unionism I, 564
Chapter VII The New Trade Unionism I, 575
Part V. Nationalisation (1860-1877)
Chapter I Economic Conditions II, 3
Chapter II The War Period, 1861-1865 II, 13
Chapter III The National Trade Unions, 1864-1873 II, 42
Chapter IV The National Labor Union, 1866-1872 II, 85
Chapter V Disintegration, 1873-1877 II, 156
Part VI. Upheaval and Reorganisation (Since 1876)
Chapter I Secret Beginnings II, 195
Chapter II Revolutionary Beginnings II, 203
Chapter III Attempted Union -- the Pittsburgh Convention of 1876 II, 235
Chapter IV The Greenback Labor Agitation, 1876-1880 II, 240
Chapter V The Anti-Chinese Agitation in California II, 252
Chapter VI From Socialism to Anarchism and Syndicalism, 1876-1884 II, 269
Chapter VII The New Trade Unionism, 1878-1884 II, 301
Chapter VIII End of Secrecy in the Knights and Deviation From First Principles, 1876-1884 II, 332
Chapter IX The Great Upheaval, 1884-1886 II, 356
Chapter X The Aftermath, 1886-1887 II, 395
Chapter XI The Failure of Co-Operation, 1884-1887 II, 430
Chapter XII The Political Upheaval, 1886-1887 II, 439
Chapter XIII Reorganisation, 1888-1896 II, 471
Chapter XIV Recent Developments (From 1896) II, 521
Bibliography II, 541

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