History of US labor movements and their suppression. It includes sections on the American Constitution; the Civil War draft riots; Reconstruction; Industrialization; the evolution of the police; the robber barons; early American labor unions; and major mid-to-late 19th Century labor events including the uprising of 1877, the Haymarket Affair, the Homestead strike and the New Orleans General Strike. The introduction examines the West Virginian coal wars of the early 20th Century, culminating in the Battle of Blair Mountain.
The film, which is the second part of an ongoing historical series, covers the seminal labor-related events which occurred between the late 1800's and the 1920's. Its subtitle refers to a 1915 song composed by Ralph Chaplin as an anthem for unionized workers. The film itself is the cinematic version of that anthem, as it allows us a comprehensive understanding of the need for these early labor unions, and the enormous sacrifices of its members to ensure fairness, safety, and equality in the workplace.
The early struggles of the working class are placed under a microscope in Plutocracy III: Class War, the latest chapter in an exceptionally well produced series which explores the origins of America's growing economic divide.
This documentary focuses mostly on the 1930’s to 1950’s – arguably the most important period in modern American history. These decades included the Great Depression, the peak of labor militancy in 1937 (probably the closest the US has come to a popular revolution since 1787), the rise of the “guest worker” phenomenon, the counter-attack against labor unions, the creation of the military industrial complex, the rise of the FBI, the foundations of the civil rights movement, and the purging of radicals from organized labor and public life.
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