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American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935$
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Jon R. Huibregtse

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034652

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034652.001.0001

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Railroading Prior to World War I

Railroading Prior to World War I

(p.9) 2 Railroading Prior to World War I
American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935

Jon R. Huibregtse

University Press of Florida

This chapter summarizes briefly the history of the railroad industry and its unions from the middle of the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The chapter argues that the united and well-organized union forces within the rail industry effectively moved within the precincts of American politics. As a result, they achieved legislative gains that transcended their own particular interests. In the period between World War I and the New Deal, organized railroad labor was to play a far more active role in shaping legislation. Pre-World War I attempts to regulate railroad labor, however, were important, because together they established the government's central role in maintaining labor peace.

Keywords:   World War I, New Deal policies, railroad labor, labor peace, American politics

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