The United States Grows

Strikes Hit the Nation

Strikes Hit the Nation
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.02

     challenging words:    murderers, protestors, rally, rioters, suicide, surrender, workday, wounded, federal, violent, dealt, union, leaving, cover, lowered, defeat
     content words:    Weekly July, In July, Ohio Railroad, Carnegie Steel Company, Henry Frick, Pullman Strike, George Pullman

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Strikes Hit the Nation
By Cathy Pearl

1     Caption: On the cover of Harper's Weekly July 16, 1892: The Pinkerton men leaving the barges after the surrender.
2     Workers wanted better working conditions in factories. The hours were long and the pay was low. Some workers fought peacefully for these rights. Others went on strikes. Many of these strikes became violent.
3     In 1877, there was trouble in the railroad industry. In July, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad said that they were going to cut the pay of the workers. This was not the first pay cut.
4     Workers in Baltimore were not happy. They became violent. Workers in other cities did the same. The president finally had to send in federal troops to stop the violence.
5     Troops shot at rioters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a week after that. There were men who were killed and wounded. An angry mob of over 20,000 people reacted. They started to burn things that belonged to the railroad. Again, the president had to send in troops to stop what was happening.
6     After this, businesses relied on the troops to end strikes. There were more strikes in the coming years. Many of them were violent.
7     In 1886, workers joined together to fight for a shorter workday. They thought that it should be no more than eight hours. Again, workers went on strike.
8     On May 3 in Chicago, police stopped a fight between striking workers and replacement workers. Several of the workers were killed. The next day there was a rally to support workers.
9     The rally started quietly. Then someone threw a bomb into a group of policemen. Seven of them were killed. Policemen fired at the protestors. Four of them were killed.

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The United States Grows

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