Homestead Strike Essay

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The Homestead Strike represents the point in history when the trend in labor turned from the rights of workers to the supremacy of big business. The laborers at the Homestead Mill set on the strike with the goal of securing the mill from nonunion workers after being locked out by manager, Henry Clay Frick. The workers in America suffered as a large influx of immigrants entered the country in search of work, leading to increased job competition. Due to the competitive nature of labor jobs, big business heads set wages as low as the could, pocketing all the profits for themselves, generating a huge socioeconomic gap; a socioeconomic gap that resembles the huge one today. Due to the events at the Homestead mill in 1892, this gap is precedented;…show more content…
Carnegie, Frick, and their team entirely disagreed, showcasing their might and feeling of primacy over the workers by shoving them into inhumane conditions and shutting down calls for betterment. Carnegie did this all while still remaining an angel in the public eye. Carnegie’s public image illustrate two significant concepts during the times of the homestead strike: the power of the public opinion and the morality of business practices. The Homestead strike began in an area of middle ground in the public eye, with somewhat of a majority favoring the laborers over Frick. Then, when Alexander Berkman shot Frick in his office, the public painted Frick as an almost-martyr, swaying the previously sharply divided opinion heavily in favor of Frick and Carnegie. This shift in public opinion effectively destroyed the laborers’ cause and chance at success. Carnegie claimed zero involvement in Frick’s actions -- these claims were false -- but even as allegations against his deviant business practices began to stick, he had already donated libraries and other public buildings to the country, in addition to creating thousands of jobs with his mill. Carnegie showed the duality of man through his actions, and more significantly, the choice of the public masses to bow to a man who appeared altruistic and moral on the surface, but devious and harsh to his workers behind closed

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