Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

of Chinese labourers, but "may not absolutely prohibit it." Every ship crossing the Pacific was filled with Chinese hastening to get into the United States before the gates should be closed against them. In the three years, 1880-1882, more than 57,000 were admitted, while in 1882 more than 39,000 arrived. Under such circumstances, it was not surprising that the anti-Chinese agitation was renewed.

But the new movement differed from the Kearney agitation. Prosperity had set in early in 1881. Unemployment fell off and labour organisations began to thrive. So it was that organised labour and not the unorganised mass of unemployed took up the agitation.

As early as March, 1878, as a result of an informal discussion by three delegates to the first state convention of the Workingmen's party of California, who also were members of the unions of their respective trades, there was organised the Representative Assembly of Trades and Labor Unions. The first meeting was attended by representatives from twelve trades. However, for the next three years, the organisation lacked vitality and leadership. It was not until July, 1881, when Frank Roney came as a delegate from the Seamen's Protective Union, that all this was changed. After he had severed connection with both the Kearney and anti-Kearney factions of the Workingmen's party, Roney became a socialist and an active trade unionist. Though not a sailor, he organised in September, 1880, the seamen's union which he represented. Under Roney's leadership, energetic action was taken to organise the unorganised trades, to bring about prison labour reform and, particularly to popularise the anti-Chinese labels of the cigar makers and shoemakers. These were the beginnings of the trade union label, which later became an important factor in the American labour movement.17

17 In 1875 a cigar makers' union in San Francisco which was unaffiliated with the International Cigar Makers' Union. became incorporated under the laws of California, and adopted a stamp which it registered as its trade-mark. The stamp was issued by the union to employers who employed exclusively white labour. Sped. den, "The Trade Union Label," in Johns Hopkins University Publications XXVIII, 9-10. This is the first known

instance of the use of the union label by cigar makers. The earliest use of the union label, as far as is known, was made also in San Francisco in 1869, by a carpenters' eight-hour league, which furnished a stamn to all planing mills running on the eight-hour plan, so that they would be able to identify the work of the tenhour mills. Lucile Eaves. A History of California Labor Legislation, 209.

With the idea of organising the opposition to the Chinese, the trades assembly called a state convention of labour and antiChinese organisations to be held in San Francisco, April 24, 1880. The meeting was attended by delegates from forty trade unions in the State. The outcome was the formation of a League of Deliverance with F. Roney as chairman. By the end of May, 13 branches of the League had been formed, especially in San Francisco, with a membership of more than 4,000.

The weapon most frequently used by the League was the boycott of Chinese-made goods. It was conducted systematically and with great effect. It was in this connection that the first boycott case was tried in a California court, resulting in the acquittal of the defendants and causing many factories to discharge their Mongolian help.

Meantime the movement for Chinese exclusion grew in intensity and became wide spread. It was urgently demanded by labour organisations throughout the country and by all the States west of the Rocky Mountains. The platforms of both national parties in 1880 contained planks pledging their candidates to its support. In 1882 the matter reached final solution in Congress. The fight for exclusion was led by the senators and representatives from California, who received ardent support from the members of the States west of the Rockies. The South also was in sympathy with the measure. The East, prompted by humanitarianism and business, opposed it. The bill, as finally passed, prohibited immigration of Chinese labourers for a period of twenty years. So eager had the Californians been over this first attempt at restriction by the Federal Government that the governor declared March 4 to be a state holiday in order that the people might thereby show approval of the acts of those congressmen and senators who had supported the measure. A monster demonstration was held in San Francisco under the auspices of the merchants and professional men. When President Arthur vetoed the bill, mainly on the ground that so long a period of suspension had not been contemplated by those negotiating the treaty of 1880, meetings of protest were held throughout the State, and for a time it seemed as though the agitation would become similar in char

acter to that of the early days of the Kearney movement. However, Congress amended the bill by decreasing the period of suspension to ten years to take effect in August, 1882, and it became law. With its passage, the League of Deliverance disbanded.

CHAPTER VI

FROM SOCIALISM TO ANARCHISM AND
SYNDICALISM, 1876-1884

The Nationalised International. Preliminary union conference of all socialist organisations, 269. The Union Congress, 270. The Workingmen's party of the United States, 270. Resolution on political action, 270. Plan of organisation, 270. Trade union" and "political" factions, 270. Phillip Van Patten, 272. New Haven experiment with politics, 272. Chicago election, 273. Factional differences, 273. Struggle for the Labor Standard, 274. Douai's effort of mediation, 275. Effect of the great strikes of 1877 on the factional struggle, 276. Part played by the socialists in the strike movement, 277.

[ocr errors]

Rush Into Politics. Election results, 277. Newark convention, 277. Control by the political faction, 278. Socialist Labor party, 278. Strength of the trade union faction in Chicago, 279. Success in the Chicago election, 279. Failure in Cincinnati, 279. Van Patten's attitude towards trade unions, 280. Workingmen's military organisations, 280. Autumn election of 1879, 282. Chicago the principal socialist centre, 282. Influence in the state legislature, 283. Chicago municipal election of 1879, 284. Persistent pro-trade union attitude of the Chicago socialists, 284. Effect of prosperity, 284. National convention at Alleghany City, 284. Differences of opinion on a compromise with the greenbackers, 285. National greenback convention, 285. The “socialist" plank in the platform, 286. The double revolt: the "trade union" faction, and the revolutionists in the East, 287. Attitude of the New Yorker Volkszeitung, 287. Referendum vote, 288. Decrease in the greenback vote, 289. Struggle between the compromisers and non-compromisers in the socialist ranks, 289.

Evolution Towards Anarchism and "Syndicalism." Chicago and New York, 291. The national convention of the revolutionary socialists, 291. Affiliation with the International Working People's Association in London, 291. Attitude towards politics and trade unionism, 292. August Spies, 291. Proposed form or organisation, 292. Political action in Chicago once more, 292. Reorganisation in Chicago along revolutionary lines, 292. Johann Most and his philosophy, 293. The Pittsburgh convention and the Manifesto, 293. Crystallisation of a "syndicalist" philosophy in Chicago, 296. Attitude towards the state, trade unionism, politics, and violence, 294. A model "syndicalist" trade union, 296. The Red International. 298. Burnette G. Haskell and Joseph R. Buchanan, 298. Ebb of the Socialist Labor party, 300.

THE NATIONALISED INTERNATIONAL

ALTHOUGH the Pittsburgh convention of 1876 refused to endorse socialism, it proved a potent agency in favour of

socialist unity. The same joint conference, which decided upon a common programme of action at the convention, drew up the articles of fusion. The preliminary terms were a victory for the International since they embodied their attitude on trade unionism and politics, and, besides provided for an international council to maintain permanent connection with the labour organisations of Europe.2

The conference appointed a committee of two to serve as an intermediary between the organisations until the final settlement at a Union Congress to be held in Philadelphia. The congress met July 19, 1876, with the following delegates: F. A. Sorge and Otto Weydemeyer, from the International; Conrad A. Conzett, from the Labor party of Illinois; Charles Braun, from the Social Political Workingmen's Society of Cincinnati; and A. Strasser, A. Gabriel, and P. J. McGuire, from the Social Democratic party. The platform of the united party, called the Workingmen's party of the United States, contained a Declaration of Principles, taken from the General Statutes of the International, and a list of demands adopted from the platform of the Social Democratic party. However, with regard to political action and trade unionism, the platform unequivocally took the position of the International. It said:

3

"The political action of the party is confined generally to obtaining legislative acts in the interest of the working class proper. It will not enter into a political campaign before being strong enough to exercise a perceptible influence, and then in the first place locally in the towns or cities, when demands of purely local character may be presented, providing they are not in conflict with the platform and principles of the party.

"We work for the organization of trades unions upon a national and international basis to ameliorate the condition of the working people and seek to spread therein the above principles."

In the matter of the form of organisation, a concession was

3 In this respect it resembled the platform adopted by the German socialist congress in 1875 at Gotha at which there took place a fusion of the Lassalleans and the Marxists. The fusion in Germany was a factor in accelerating the fusion in America.

4 Labor Standard, Feb. 24, 1877.

1 The following organisations were represented at the conference: the International with 635 members, the Labor party of Illinois with 598, the Social Democratic party with 1,500, and the Social-Political Workingmen's Society of Cincinnati (German) with 250 members..

2 Chicago Vorbote, Apr. 21, 1876.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »