Knights of Labor
Decline of the Knights
The Assembly Line
Working Children
Industrial Workers of the World


While craft workers were striving to improve their situation in a changing environment, many other workers were simply trying to survive. By the late nineteenth century, faced with poor pay, long hours and the risk of serious injury or loss of life on the job, general labourers welcomed the support of the Knights of Labor, a new union that initiated assemblies (union locals) and defended their interests.

Although the success of the Knights was short-lived, it provided an example for other labour unions concerned with protecting workers' rights. These organizations helped bring about changes that improved conditions for those workers who had the least amount of influence, including women, children and immigrants.


Link to the Social Progress Gallery