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Life of Albert Parsons

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wage-workers employed 100,000. The capital represented an average investment of $995 to each laborer. The cost of raw material was $164,000,000; the value of manufactured material was placed at $267,000,000. The increased value of the manufactured material over the raw is placed at $107,000,000. That upon $995 invested, an annual profit of $343 was obtained, while the average annual wages of each operative was $293, or fifty dollars less than the income derived from the $995.

Chattel slaves before the war were valued at $1,000 apiece. Sixteen years after the abolition of chattel slaves, wage-workers employed in manufactures in John Adam's State (Massachusetts) were worth, commercially, $850, or $150 less than the former chattel slave.

These statistics prove the claim made by the supporters of the wage system of labor that wage labor is cheaper than the chattel labor. They demonstrated the economic law of competition, which is the rule of the cheapest. The property less class –the wage-workers- are by competition forced to sell their –themselves- to the lowest bidder, or starve.

With the close of the rebellion of 1861, what is not known as the labor movement began to assume large proportions. Not until now was there a very numerous and stationary wage class. In consequence, the state of affairs predicted by Lord Macauley, and quoted in our opening chapter, began to appear. Trade unions, labor unions, etc., composed of wage laborers had heretofore existed in small numbers, but were now rapidly formed as production in mass was increasingly developed. Strikes began to be frequently resorted to in order to prevent a reduction or to cause an increase of wages. The first national movement of organized was the effort made to inaugurate the eight-hour system throughout the Unites States in 1868. The attempt was defeated.

The effort to introduce the eight-hour system has been made repeatedly since, sometimes by isolated trade unions, at other times by national or international unions, and lastly by the Federated Trades Union of the Unites States and Canada. The his latter body, representing 400,000 organized workmen, met in Chicago, in 1884, in what they styled an "International Congress of Organized Labor," and fixed upon a date, may 1, 1886, to inaugurate the eight-hour

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