America In Guilded Age Essay Research Paper

America In Guilded Age Essay, Research Paper American businessmen will ultimately accept such demands as the eight hour day and forty hour week, not because they were forced to do so, but because it was

America In Guilded Age Essay, Research Paper

American businessmen will ultimately accept such demands as the eight hour day

and forty hour week, not because they were forced to do so, but because it was

good for business. I agree with this statement 100%. During the first years of

the 20th century, the companies had total control over their workers. Take the

coal mining industry for example. It started the workers off young, often around

the age of 8! This made sure that for the rest of their life, they?d never

know anything other than mining, therefore keeping them down. The people who

grew up in the mining community were downtrodden, and kept that way. Sure, they

were afforded ?luxury?s?, such as housing and free heat (a monthly supply

of coal). This may seem great on the surface, until you realized that the

housing was often poorly built, and often just a shanty town set up to pacify

the cry?s of the employees. The coal was often the stuff left over after the

good coal was sold to industry. Sometimes it was nothing more than rock. But

this is what they worked for. This is what these people were forced to, most of

the time for their whole life. But then something happened. The factories that

the coal companies sold their product too started to close. Why, you may ask?

BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS TO POOR TO BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM! This got the bosses

thinking. If they don?t work the people so hard, they wont be so tired that

they may go shopping. And if they pay the people more, so that way they get

compensated for fact that their working less hours, they?ll have that money to

spend on the products, this keeping the economy rolling. After many years of

changing schedules, the standard 8 hour day and 40 hour work week were adopted.

Now, I?ve worked an 8 hour day and a 40 hour week during the summer, and I did

not like it! It was very long and dragging, and now I think about what these

people had to go through with, and I realize that I can?t complain. They were

doing 70 hour weeks, 12 hour days for less than I make in an hour. It took a

long time to fix the ills suffered by the working man, but once the ball got

rolling, there was no stopping it. Another reason why this workweek was adopted

was because the less time you work, the less tired you are. This increased

productivity. And the extra money added to their salary increased moral. As you

can see, as we go farther into the 20th Century, these things have to change, or

else it would have been chaos. Workers revolted all the time, and many times the

police and military had to intervene. The fact of the matter is though that

there was way more common workers than anything else, and henceforth could have

started their own army. An army for the common man. It was all the employers

could do was meet their demands. They knew the risk.