industrial growth and economic change

izzy smith
Slide Set by , created over 2 years ago

A level History (labour rights) Slide Set on industrial growth and economic change, created by izzy smith on 04/13/2017.

izzy smith
Created by izzy smith over 2 years ago
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Slide 1

    - the american economy fluctuated wildly during the period 1865-1992. these changes had a considerable impact on the position of unions and labour rights. 

Slide 2

    labour rights during periods of growth
    - growth usually resulted in an increased demand for workers, but the position of unions did not always improve in turn. however, growth did allow labour organisations to pressure employers, firstly for recognition, then for increased pay and better conditions. 

Slide 3

    the gilded age 1870-1890
    - the growth in demand for workers as america industrialized during the gilded age allowed workers to win some concessions. there was also increased demand for unions, particularly among unskilled workers, whose numbers soared with mass production and the development of heavy industry. although the process of gaining rights was sloe, union membership grew to 500,000 by 1900. - craft unions also saw these developments as a threat to their position and were unwilling to allow unskilled workers to join their unions, creating a divided labour movement. unskilled workers were often unable to gain recognition or rights.

Slide 4

    the 1920's
    - the period after the first world war saw a growth in demand for consumer goods. real wages rose and more workers were taken on, which resulted in employers being forced to recognise unions or establish a system of welfare capitalism, which could be seen as limiting workers rights.

Slide 5

    the 1950's
    - the economic boom after the second world war saw real wages rise and workers buying more consumer goods. however, as with the 1920's, the position of workers did not always improve. rising prosperity meant many were not interested in union activity and did not want to risk their economic gains. - unions also suffered because of the decline in blue-collar workers those employed in new, high-tech industries were less likely to join unions. some workers in the service industries and government sector were forced to sign non-union agreements. the increasing number of working women also damaged union membership as women showed much less inclination to join. 

Slide 6

    labour rights during periods of depression
    - although workers and unions might seem likely to be the first affected during periods of economic depression, this was not always the case. the best example is the 1930's. although workers were vulnerable because of the high rates of unemployment, the government was desperate to get people back to work. this had a major impact on union rights. 

Slide 7

    economic change & the impact on unions
    - mass production and new industries, at different periods of economic depression and growth, brought major changes to the nature of the workforce. this in turn had a profound impact on union membership :  mass production threatened the position of skilled workers and therefore created divisions in the labour movement.  new technology and automation in the 1950's saw a decline in the number of blue-collar workers, who had been the traditional union members.  the growth in the number of white-collar workers in the 1950's, and the increasing number of women workers, added to the decline in union membership.

Slide 8

    economic change & the impact on unions
    - this pattern of decline continued in the 1970's and 1980's due to a number of factors : the continued growth of high-tech industries and white-collar jobs rising unemployment the relocation of industries and smaller enterprises - the workforce became more scattered and less unionised skilled workers were highly paid and unwilling to support unions.  - as a result, the economic changes of the last part of the period weakened the position of unions.