Railroad Strike of 1877

 

Rutherford Hayes

Definition and Summary of the Railroad Strike of 1877
Summary and Definition: The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, also known as the Great Upheaval, was a national crisis. It began on the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) line at Camden Junction, Maryland over pay cuts during an economic depression. It was the first major nationwide strike that started on July 14, 1877 and lasted under one month. The strike was over by August 5, 1877. The Great Railroad strike was run by disorganized mobs and President Hayes ordered federal troops to quell the riots and protect the mail.

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 for kids
Rutherford Hayes was the 19th American President who served in office from March 4, 1877 to March 4, 1881. One of the important events during his presidency was the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

Causes of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was the first nationwide strike of workers in the United States, and was viewed at the time as insurrection and rebellion. There were many causes of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877: Money, greed, depersonalization of workers, and a lack of government regulation gave rise to new forms of ruthless corporations and companies headed by 'Robber Barons'. Poor working conditions, safety issues, wage cuts and the economic depression led railroad workers to take violent strike action.  For addition facts refer to the article on the Labor Unions History.

Great Railroad Strike of 1877 for kids
Interesting facts about the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 are detailed below. The history of Great Railroad Strike of 1877 is told in a factual sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history and events of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

 

Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact Sheet:  Facts for kids

 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 1:The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was a national crisis and involved more than 100,000 railway workers in 14 states. More than half the freight on the nationís 75,000 miles of track stopped moving.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 2:Hundreds of people were injured, over 100 people died and more than 1000 people were jailed and
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 3:It is estimated that $5 million of property was destroyed during the riots.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 4:Cause: The Great Railroad Strike occured during the economic depression known as the Panic of 1873 that lasted for six years and lead to extreme financial hardships, destitution, civil unrest, demonstrations, protests and the first nationwide strikes.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 5:Cause: The working man was suffering real hardship and animosity grew towards the profiteering industrialists who were cutting wages and the workforce to realize profits.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 6:Cause: Poor working conditions and dangerous hazards of the job led to injuries and deaths of men working on the railroads.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 7:The Great Railroad strike erupted in 1877 and became the first nationwide strike in the United States. Tensions in the country were running high, people felt insecure and their jobs and lifestyles were unstable.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 8:The first major issue occurred in May 1877 when the Pennsylvania Railroad imposed a second 10% wage cut in two years.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 9:In July 1877 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) followed suit and made their second 10% wage cut in two years. It also cut the working week to just three days. And just to add insult to injury, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad also announced a 10% dividend payment to their investors.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 10:The railway workers were incensed and started strike action in in Martinsburg, West Virginia on July 14, 1877. 40 furious locomotive firemen walked off the job. They were joined by other workers who bottled up 13 locomotives and 1,500 freight cars in Martinsburg.

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Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Facts for kids

Great Railroad Strike of 1877 for kids
The info about the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 provides interesting facts and important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 19th President of the United States of America.

 

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Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Facts for kids
Interesting history and the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Facts for kids are continued below.

 

Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Facts for kids

 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 11:By the end of the first day, railway workers blockaded freight trains near Baltimore and in West Virginia. The strikers only allowed the passenger traffic to get through.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 12:Word of the protests and the strike action including their blocking of traffic movement quickly spread across the nation. Strikes and protest actions started in  Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, and San Francisco.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 13:The protests involved large mobs of angry men and women. Governors in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia called out their state militias.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 14:The strike protests turned into riots. The Brotherhood of Engineers, Conductors and Firemen had done nothing to protect its members
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 15:Baltimore: In Baltimore the strikers were confronted by armed state militia with their bayonets fixed. The militia opened fire and ten protestors were killed. The mob went wild, news of the shootings spread and the number of protestors grew to over 14,000. A passenger car was set on fire and a train was crashed into freight cars
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 16:On July 19 President Hayes sent Federal troops to Martinsburg armed with Gatling guns and Springfield rifles. The strikers were no match for such a show of force.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 17:Cumberland, Maryland: The strikers stopped passenger and freight traffic. The governor sent out the militia and there were fights in the street. Fires were started by rioters and the militia fired on the mob killing 10 strikers and injuring a further 25. President Hayes sent federal troops to restore order.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 18:Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh saw some of the most violent incidents in which building and over 100 locomotives and 1000 passenger and freight cars were destroyed. The strikers armed with stones, started fires and attacked the militia, who retaliated by shooting and bayoneting the rioters. 20 strikers were killed and 29 injured.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 19:Reading, Pennsylvania: The scene of the Reading Railroad Massacre in which 10 people were killed by the Pennsylvania State Militia
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 20:Chicago, Illinois: Large mobs of rioters protested in Chicago causing chaos and damage. They were joined by coal miners, who also went on strike (also refer to the Molly Maguires). The Workingmen's Party of the United States (WPUS) became extremely active and organized demonstration that drew vast crowds. The rioters were fought by the state militia and police boosted by vigilantes. The newspapers referred to the protests as a "Reign of Terror", likening events to the French Revolution
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 21:St Louis, Missouri: The railway workers strike took on massive proportions when the St. Louis Workingman's Party called for solidarity from other workers and turned into the first general strike in the United States.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 22:Each of the strikes were quelled by Federal troops, the riots had lasted for about 1 month. The latter part of the 1800's would see the rise of Unions and more strikes. It set the scene for other important events including the 1886 Haymarket Square bombing in Chicago, the 1892 Homestead Steel Strike near Pittsburgh and the 1894 Pullman Strike.
 
Railroad Strike of 1877 Fact 23:The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was a major event in the history of the United States and could justifiably be called the beginning of the 'Industrial Revolution'.
 

Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Facts for kids

Great Railroad Strike of 1877: Rise of Big Business and Corporations
For additional facts and info refer to the Rise of Big Business and Corporations involving the monopolies and trusts. Learn about the wealthy industrialists referred to as the Robber Barons and the Captains of Industry and discover the Industrialization in America that led to Riots, Strikes and Unions.

Great Railroad Strike of 1877 for kids - President Rutherford Hayes Video
The article on the Railroad Strike of 1877 provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Rutherford Hayes video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 19th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1877 to March 4, 1881.

 

 

 

Great Railroad Strike of 1877
 
Interesting Facts about Railroad Strike of 1877 for kids and schools
Summary of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 in US history
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, a major event in US history
Rutherford Hayes Presidency from March 4, 1877 to March 4, 1881
Fast, fun facts about the Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Foreign & Domestic policies of President Rutherford Hayes
Rutherford Hayes Presidency and the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 for schools, homework, kids and children

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