1893 and 1894, the American Federation of Labor debated engaging in independent political action, and considered adopting the political program of the British Independent Labour Party (a socialist party).

American History

In 1893 and 1894, the American Federation of Labor debated engaging in independent political action, and considered adopting the political program of the British Independent Labour Party (a socialist party). Coalition between organized labor and the Populists was a real possibility. The American Railway Union was uniting craft workers into a nation-wide industrial union.
Yet within a couple of years, a different labor politics appeared to predominate: instead of class consciousness, there was a sense that skilled workers and old immigrants were better than the unskilled and the new immigrants. Instead of cooperatives and public ownership, business unionism. Instead of class-based unions and parties, alliance with the business community over the tariff, and labor-management harmony. Instead of industrial unionism, craft unionism.

Explain the co-existence of these two currents (AFL and Populist) within the American working class. Also,
Why did power shift from the class-based to the narrower skilled worker base of organization after 1894?

MUST USE text book WHO BUILD AMERICA volume 2

You many use other additional sources if you want

Document all your citations, and of course any quotes. Support your argument with evidence.


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