By Andrew B. Arnold

If the railroads received the Gilded Age, the coal misplaced it. Railroads epitomized sleek administration, excessive expertise, and giant economies of scale. via comparability, the coal was once embarrassingly primitive. Miners and operators dug coal, got it, and offered it in 1900 within the related ways in which that they had for generations. within the well known mind's eye, coal miners epitomized anti-modern forces because the so-called “Molly Maguire” terrorists.

Yet the sleekly glossy railroads have been totally established upon the disorderly coal undefined. Railroad managers demanded that coal operators and miners settle for the simply subordinate function implied via their prestige. They refused.

Fueling the Gilded Age indicates how affliction within the coal disrupted the strategic plans of the railroads. It does so through expertly intertwining the background of 2 industries—railroads and coal mining—that historians have as a rule tested from separate vantage issues. It indicates the awesome connections among railroad administration and miner organizing; railroad freight price constitution and coal mine operations; railroad approach and strictly neighborhood felony precedents. It combines social, fiscal, and institutional ways to provide an explanation for the Gilded Age from the point of view of the relative losers of heritage instead of the winners. It beckons readers to envision the still-unresolved nature of America’s nationwide conundrum: easy methods to reconcile the competing calls for of nationwide organisations, neighborhood companies, and employees.


"Historians attracted to Pennsylvania's coal frequently specialise in the anthracite area within the east or the bituminous fields within the west; the big mining of crucial Pennsylvania (centered round Clearfield) has now chanced on its historian in Andrew Arnold. reading office practices and the jobs of girls, unions, moves, the church, violence, the courts, and politics from the early 1870s to the mid-1920s, Arnold paints a classy photo during which staff, mine supervisors, neighborhood groups, the legislations, the kingdom, and the railroads that regularly owned the mines interacted in advanced methods. in response to deep study in formerly unexplored neighborhood manuscripts and newspapers, Arnold's well-written research restores to old reminiscence an immense of which few humans even within the zone itself are aware."-William Pencak,Professor Emeritus of background and Jewish experiences, Penn kingdom University

"In this superbly crafted new historical past of capitalism, Arnold exhibits us how tough and tumble neighborhood unionism labored within the years prior to unions got here to the coalfields. We find out about moves led via ladies, tough track, sq. turns, and miner’s freedoms after which how the Knights of work and United Mine employees either emerged by means of counting on those lengthy and deep coalfield traditions. very important for somebody eager to comprehend the connection among overseas capitalism and place of work rights."-Scott Nelson,Legum Professor of heritage, the varsity of William & Mary

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Additional info for Fueling the Gilded Age: Railroads, Miners, and Disorder in Pennsylvania Coal Country (Culture, Labor, History Series)

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The women were ready. They heaved snow at the blacklegs, yanked at their coats, and shoved ice down their backs. The striking miners limited themselves to taunts and catcalls. As in the previous day’s one-sided snowballing and war of words, the women maintained a sort of buffer area between the two sets of men. Shorthill described what happened: When we started they commenced hollowing and throwing snow—particularly the women. There were men standing about, but on the inside were the women—I could not tell what number of men.

H. Powell from importing strikebreakers. In this law, workers in Pennsylvania gained the right to form associations to raise wages and to cease work as a body. Union members were specifically freed to cease work if failing to do so would put them afoul of union rules. In 1872, the Pennsylvania state law on labor unions more closely protected the right of workers to form unions in order to raise wages and to call strikes. But a legislator from Central Cultural >> 21 Pennsylvania, State Representative John Lawshe had offered up a key amendment.

By the time miners crawled out from under the seam they were black with coal dust from the bottoms of their toes to the tops of their heads. Men now on strike had wedged or Cultural >> 25 blasted every chunk of that coal down, cleaned off the slate, and broken it into the large pieces that were the mark of a skilled collier. And now Shorthill’s men were loading the coal these other men had mined into mine cars. The coal in those mine cars came from other men’s workplaces. It came, as well, from other men’s labor.

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