The Homestead Strike of 1892

The Homestead Strike of 1892 was undoubtedly a critically defining moment for labor rights in United States history. The conflict was between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers and the Carnegie Steel Company. The company’s multi-millionaire owner, Andrew Carnegie, and his factory manager, Henry Frick, attempted to lower wages of the workers in their steel factory after steel prices plummeted. However, this wage reduction did not come without due resistance. After all, every action is met with an equal and opposite reaction.

This resistance came from the steel workers’ union, who disagreed with the wage reduction, and this dispute became a full scale battle over power between worker and owner, which we now refer to as the Homestead Strike of 1892. Some historians place the primary blame for the conflict upon the workers themselves for their undue use of violence during the Strike, but upon a closer inspection of the events, we see that Andrew Carnegie, Henry Frick, and the United States government were the ones primarily responsible for the undesirable outcomes of the Homestead Strike and its impact on generations of workers to come.

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