Black Steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania

Blacks constituted a sizable core of workers in the iron and steel industry of western Penn­sylvania between 1900 and 1950. Most had migrated to the Pittsburgh vicinity from the agricultural South during the two World Wars in hopes of improving their economic plight by obtaining jobs in area mills and foundries. However, racial discrimination prevented the majority of them from advancing beyond...
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Blacks and the Labor Movement in Pennsylvania: The Beginnings

I It is important to understand the relationship be­ tween Black and white labor from the time of slavery to the Civil War in order to understand the position of Blacks in the early labor movement. Since the early trade unions were primarily for skilled workers, the elimination of Blacks from the skilled trades helps explain their absence from the unions. In addition, the conflict between white...
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Pennsylvania Copperheads: Traitors or Peacemakers?

Panic swept through Philadelphia in 1860, gripping manufacturers and merchants in its throes as southern slave states threatened to leave the federal union. The South had grown into an enormous market for Philadelphia’s merchants, and the city’s textile manufacturers depended on Dixie to supply the cotton they needed. Fears of secession and resulting massive unemployment prompted Mayor Alexander...
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