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Aicts in North and South? The race conflicts in the North are the easier of solution. In the first place, immigrants rapidly learn the language and standards Proposed of the country. Children are ambitious for education. solutions Young people imitate not only styles of dress but in the
North manners and customs. Workmen soon wish to have higher wages.
Some think that this solution is sufficient. Others have believed that in order to preserve American standards of living and prevent such riots and violence as we have often seen in Pennsylvania, in West Virginia, and in New England, where large groups of foreign-speaking people have come into conflict with employers and sometimes with the officers of government, it is necessary to limit immigration or to establish a "minimum wage." It is urged that it is unfair to workingmen to have their wages continually depressed by newcomers. Measures have repeatedly passed Congress providing for limiting immigration by excluding those who cannot read and write in some language. Two such bills were vetoed by Presidents Cleveland and Taft. A third bill was enacted into law in 1917, despite the veto of President Wilson. Measures for fixing a minimum wage for women have been adopted in several states.
The problem in the South is undoubtedly more dif- Improveficult. Difference in color adds to all the other reasons
the South for separation. Yet there is much evidence that the worst period has passed. At any rate, certain lines of improvement appear. Under the influence and leadership of General Armstrong, Booker T. Washington, and their pupils, a different view of work has been gaining ground among the colored people. They have been made to see that the capable farmer or carpenter is respected. There has been an extraordinary increase
in the value of farms and other property owned by negroes. Property is, on the whole, a greater source of strength to the negro than the ballot. It promotes in the negro, as it has in the white man, sobriety, reliability, regard for the opinions of others. The great ideal which Doctor Washington tried to set before his people was that of pride in their own race and in its possibilities rather than an ideal of imitating the white man and measuring themselves entirely by his standards. There can be little doubt that such an ideal tends not only to self-respect but to harmony. Two persons get on very much better if each is content to be himself. The two races a e different in many respects. It is not wise to ignore this. Differences between races may be compared with differences between sexes: men and women are different, but this does not mean that a man is inferior to a woman or a woman is inferior to a man. If colored people can come to take pride in their own achievements and institutions, this would seem one of the most hopeful first steps toward mutual respect.
In earlier times the difference between the interests of different parts of the country and then the difference between the interests of slave production and free production were the greatest obstacles to union; at present the differences between Capital and Labor are our most serious divisions. In the early life of this country employers and workmen knew each other well. They were of the same race, spoke the same language, grew up side by side in the same schools, and when industry and business were on a very small scale no very sharp separations appeared. The farmer and his
help” worked side by side. The foreman in the small factory might expect to become the mill-owner. There
(2) Capital and labor
were no such enormous fortunes as those of today. No one was very rich. Some might be poor, but there was no such thing as a “wage-earning ” class.
At present there is a wage-earning" class. In the “Wagegreat cities this class lives in a separate part of the earning” city. Its children attend different schools from those attended by children of the employers. The Industrial Revolution is responsible for this separation. Politically it has not as yet been true that the “wageearning" class has voted as a body. It has usually divided much more along race lines than by Capital and Labor groups. Yet it is not unlikely that in the future lines will be drawn more frequently between the inter- . ests of employers and those of wage-earners. The Socialist Party arose in Germany to represent especially the interest of the working class. In this country workingmen have as yet preferred to improve their condition by trade-unions rather than through a political party. It is worth while to see clearly what the two methods stand for.
The reason for some kind of union on the part of The two the laborers is evident. Capital is organized in great resources bodies. The individual laborer alone is in no position to of
working secure any advancement in wages, unless in times of
people great scarcity of labor, nor to secure any adequate protection from the risks of modern machines and from industrial disease unless the employer chances to be unusually farsighted or humane. The very organization of our business and industry in great corporations separates the owner from the workman and thus cuts off the natural ties of union which used to hold them together. There are two ways in which workmen have tried to even up their conditions. (a) By forming labor unions. (6) By forming a political party.
The trade-unions are made up, for the most part, of
the more skilled workmen. They aim to secure better (a) Trade wages, shorter hours, and better conditions for workunions
ing, by making “ collective bargains." A collective bargain is one in which a representative of the union agrees with the employer on a general rate of wages for all the men who do the same kind of work, instead of allowing each workman to make the best terms he
In case the union has not been able to agree with the employer the chief reliance has frequently been a strike. When the employer has attempted to secure other workmen and go on with the business, there has frequently been violence. The root of the matter is, of course, that the workman cannot live very long without wages and often cannot turn to any other employment. Hence he becomes desperate when he sees himself in danger of losing not only his chance of increased pay, but his only means of livelihood, his “ job,” as well.
On the other hand, as unions become better organized and include more nearly all the workmen of a given trade, there is much less likely to be violence. Nevertheless within the past twenty-five years there have been many collisions between employers and workmen so serious as to cause great anxiety in the minds of
thoughtful men. (b) The
The other form of union which workingmen have political
adopted is the political party. This is not limited to party
skilled workmen but seeks to include all classes. Those who favor this plan claim that when Capital is fully organized in the great corporations, workingmen cannot hope to secure good conditions by bargaining. They claim that the capitalist always has an advantage because he is in no hurry to make a bargain, while the
workman cannot wait long. They claim further that strikes are less and less likely to succeed as Capital becomes more strongly organized. Hence they urge that the only way for the workingman to secure better conditions is through laws. And the only way to secure laws is through uniting in a political party. Some who hold this believe that there will never be a fair and just basis of work until the public manages all the great industries such as the telegraph, telephone, railroads, banks, and factories which make the necessaries of life. This has been the view of some in the Socialist Party. Many not in the Socialist Party do not think it is necessary for the state to own and manage all these industries but do believe that the state must regulate them.
The capitalist, on his side, was at first very reluctant Opposition to recognize the right of men to combine at all. He of often refused to deal with the unions and said he would capitalist deal with the men as individuals only. Some employers who took this position were sincere in thinking that this was a fair method. They wished to do what was right by the men. They simply did not realize that they had an enormous advantage. They did not appreciate that even if they wished to be fair, the workman might reasonably fear to complain of dangerous machinery, of long hours, or of low wages lest he be dismissed. The capitalist was apt to forget all this. Other employers might be less sincere. Many took the view that their business was their own and they might manage it as they pleased. They did not want any outsider coming in to tell them how they should conduct it.
It must be said also that some of the demands of unions have been irritating. In some unions there