The 1877 Strike That Brought US Railroads to a Standstill

The 1877 Strike That Brought US Railroads to a Standstill

By Becky Little

In the summer of 1877, the United States experienced its first multi-state railroad strike. Starting in West Virginia, the strike quickly spread to other parts of the country, and even turned into a general strike in some cities. The protest involved some 100,000 workers, making it the largest in the country’s history at the time, and brought major railroad lines to a halt.

Railroad companies and elected officials ended the strike by sending militias to attack workers, resulting in an estimated 1,000 arrests and 100 deaths. Although workers in some cities won small gains by striking or threatening to join the strike, the 1877 uprising didn’t lead to any widespread victories for railroad workers

Source: History.

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