History Of Labor Day
The history of Labor Day is both interesting and intriguing. Labor Day is an American holiday that is celebrated the first Monday in September; it observes the hard sacrifices put forth by the men and women of the United States labor force who make it so we can live in the great country we do today. Labor Day is related to several other International holidays, and stems from roots deeper than the history of America itself.
The history of Labor Day begins with the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution was a series of broad, sweeping changes in the Western world in which the means of production began to switch from simple tools and beasts of burden to machinery. While income increased about ten-fold during this time period, almost all of it was concentrated in the hands of the wealthy bourgeoisie (or land owning upper-class). This set the stage for the upcoming labor movement.
The resistance forms. The formation of unions, in much of the Western world throughout the 1700's and 1800's, was illegal. The Tolpuddle Martyrs, for example, were a group of agricultural semi-union members who were banished from England for standing up for worker's rights in an intolerant era.
Labor gains momentum. The abolition of child labour marked a giant victory for the labor movement across different countries in the early 20th century. As time went on, labor parties and groups managed to improve working conditions, battle corporate corruption, and save the lives of countless workers across the globe.
The movement meets opposition. In right-leaning Western countries such as the United States, large corporations and social stratification played their hands against the labor movement. While enduring success for a long time, eventually the workers across the nation made their point when unemployment skyrocketed with the Great Depression of the 1930's and 40's. A new era of public regulation and worker's rights began.
Labor Day becomes law. The first Labor Day was observed on August 26, 1878 by the Central Labor Union of Boston, Massachusetts. In 1894, Labor Day became an official holiday of the United States of America by a unanimous vote of Congress. Under President Cleveland, the hostility between the labor union and government was something that needed to be addressed, and Labor Day was the result of that.
In the end, the history of Labor Day has been marked as the answer to what would have become a worker's revolution in the United States. The treatment of workers and union members in America was so horrible that it took massive, peaceful demonstrations to set things right. Regardless of how it happened, it's always important to be thankful that Labor Day transformed American society the way it did.