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Far from becoming a land of leisure, however, the abundant resources of British America and the ideology of its settlers, brought forth high levels of work.
Rodgers argues that this work ethic spread and eventually reigned supreme in colonial America. The ethic was consistent with the American experience, since high returns to effort meant that hard work often yielded significant increases in wealth. In Virginia, authorities also transplanted the Statue of Artificers, which obliged all Englishmen except the gentry to engage in productive activity from sunrise to sunset.
Likewise, a Massachusetts law demanded a minimum ten-hour workday, but it is unlikely that these laws had any impact on the behavior of most free workers. The Revolutionary War Period Roediger and Foner contend that the Revolutionary War era brought a series of changes that undermined support for sun-to-sun work.
Simultaneously, the development of merchant capitalism meant that there were, for the first time, a significant number of wageworkers. The strike was unsuccessful. The Shorter Hours Movement Begins Changes in the organization of work, with the continued rise of merchant capitalists, the transition from the artisanal shop to the early factory, and an intensified work pace had become widespread by about These changes produced the first extensive, aggressive movement among workers for shorter hours, as the ten-hour movement blossomed in New York City, Philadelphia and Boston.
Rallying around the ten-hour banner, workers formed the first city-central labor union in the U. Early Debates over Shorter Hours Although the length of the workday is largely an economic decision arrived at by the interaction of the supply and demand for labor, advocates of shorter hours and foes of shorter hours have often argued the issue on moral grounds.
Detractors countered that workers would abuse leisure time especially in saloons and that long, dedicated hours of work were the path to success, which should Average dissertation length english be blocked for the great number of ambitious workers.
During the s, an increased work pace, tighter supervision, and the addition of about fifteen minutes to the work day partly due to the introduction of artificial lighting during winter monthsplus the growth of a core of more permanent industrial workers, fueled a campaign for a shorter workweek among mill workers in Lowell, Massachusetts, whose workweek averaged about 74 hours.
This agitation was led by Sarah Bagley and the New England Female Labor Reform Association, which, beginning inpetitioned the state legislature to intervene in the determination of hours.
However, these laws also specified that a contract freely entered into by employee and employer could set any length for the workweek. Hence, these laws had little impact. Legislation passed by the federal government had a more direct, though limited effect. On March 31,President Martin Van Buren issued an executive order mandating a ten-hour day for all federal employees engaged in manual work.
Grand Eight Hours Leagues As the length of the workweek gradually declined, political agitation for shorter hours seems to have waned for the next two decades. However, immediately after the Civil War reductions in the length of the workweek reemerged as an important issue for organized labor.
The new goal was an eight-hour day. The leading proponent of this idea, Ira Steward, argued that decreasing the length of the workweek would raise the standard of living of workers by raising their desired consumption levels as their leisure expanded, and by ending unemployment. The hub of the newly launched movement was Boston and Grand Eight Hours Leagues sprang up around the country in and The leaders of the movement called the meeting of the first national organization to unite workers of different trades, the National Labor Union, which met in Baltimore in The passage of the state laws did foment action by workers — especially in Chicago where parades, a general strike, rioting and martial law ensued.
In only a few places did work hours fall after the passage of these laws. Many become disillusioned with the idea of using the government to promote shorter hours and by the late s, efforts to push for a universal eight-hour day had been put on the back burner.
It covered only female workers and became fully effective by This legislation was fairly late by European standards. Britain had passed its first effective Factory Act, setting maximum hours for almost half of its very young textile workers, in Year of Dashed Hopes In the early s organized labor in the U.
Meanwhile, the Knights of Labor, which had begun as a secret fraternal society and evolved a labor union, began to gain strength. It appears that many nonunionized workers, especially the unskilled, came to see in the Knights a chance to obtain a better deal from their employers, perhaps even to obtain the eight-hour day.
The Knights mushroomed and its new membership demanded that their local leaders support them in attaining the eight-hour day. Powderly reasoned that low incomes forced workmen to accept long hours.
Nelson points to divisions among workers, which probably had much to do with the failure in of the drive for the eight-hour day. Lack of will and organization among workers was undoubtedly important, but its collapse was aided by violence that marred strikes and political rallies in Chicago and Milwaukee.
The public backlash and fear of revolution damned the eight-hour organizers along with the radicals and dampened the drive toward eight hours — although it is estimated that the strikes of May shortened the workweek for aboutindustrial workers, especially in New York City and Cincinnati.
It held shorter hours as a high priority. The inside cover of its Proceedings carried two slogans in large type: In the aftermath ofthe American Federation of Labor adopted a new strategy of selecting each year one industry in which it would attempt to win the eight-hour day, after laying solid plans, organizing, and building up a strike fund war chest by taxing nonstriking unions.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners was selected first and May 1, was set as a day of national strikes.
It is estimated that nearlyworkers gained the eight-hour day as a result of these strikes in writing comparative essays xl cyber crime essay videos essay on personality of abdul kalam advantages and disadvantages of scientific inventions essay dijana ihas.
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