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TheGreatRailroadStrikeof1877: WorkersRights,GovernmentandCapitalist Responsibilities

MichaelLiu SeniorDivision IndividualWebsite

Liu1 ProcessPaper HowIChoseMyTopic IhavedoneNHDinthepastandthisyearforU.S.Historyclass,wearerequiredto doaproject.Thedifferenceisbetweenthisyearandlastyearisthatthereisatime restrictionandithadtobeinbetweenthe1860sandthe1930s.IaskedmyselfwhatIwas interestedinandbroughtmyselftotwotopics.Laborhistoryandthe13th15th Amendments.IdidbackgroundresearchonbothandIwasparticularlyinterestedinThe GreatRailroadStrikeof1877,oneofthelargestlabordisputesinthehistoryoftheUnited States. HowIConductedMyResearch Myhistoryteacherhelpedmelearnhowtodoresearch.Shesentmedocuments thatIcouldfillouteverytimeIfoundasource.IbeganwithWikipediawhichhelpedmeget abasicoverviewofmytopic.Atthebottom,therewerelinkstonumeroussourcesthatI lookedoutthatgavemeanevenbroaderoverviewofmytopic.Iwasabletofindonlyone bookonmytopicanditbrokedownthedetailsofthestrikeslittlebylittle.InNovember,we tookafieldtriptotheWisconsinHistoricalSocietywheretheyhadnumerousnumbersof primarysourcesthathelpedmeoutontheperspectivesofboththecapitalistsandthe strikers.TheLibraryofCongresswebsitealsohelpedmegetmoresourcesthatIcould use. HowIselectedmypresentationcategoryandcreatedmyproject. IchosethecategoryofwebsitebecauseIhadexperienceinmakingwebsitesandI believedIcouldexplainmytopicmoreclearlysinceIcanhavemorewordsandmore

Liu2 mediasuchaspicturesandvideos.IstartedformingmywebsiteduringwinterbreakandI draftedmywebsitefirstsotheprocessofmakingmywebsitewouldgofaster.Ithenadded theinformationIgotfromallmyresearchandimagesthatIthoughtwererelatedtomy topic.TodecidehowIwasgoingtoorganizemypages,Igroupeachindividualsubtopic underonebigtopicandthosebecamemymainpageandsubpages. HowMyTopicisRelatedtoNHDTheme TheGreatRailroadStrikeof1877ledtoachangeinthebusinessattitudestowards worker'srights.Therailroadcompaniesstartedt0makecontractsandnegotiatewiththe workersincreasingtheirbenefitstoavoidviolentstrikesfromhappeningagain.The governmentalsogotinvolved,enactingcertainactssuchastheRailwayLaboractto resolvelabordisputesbynegotiationsinsteadofstrikes.Allofthesehappeningcausedthe realimprovementsoftheworker'srights.Workersstartedtoworkshorthourstoget overtimepay,getinjurycompensations,getretirementpensionsandmostimportantly,their workingconditionsaremuchsaferduetoawarenessandconcernofamoreresponsible society.

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