Haymarket Riots

Haymarket- Chicago

  • National general strike May 1, 1886 for 8 hour work day
  • At McCormick farm machinery
    • fight broke out May 3, police involved
    • 4 people killed
  • Anarchists organized a protest May 4
    • Police arrived, opened fire when someone threw a bomb
    • 10 died, 6 of whom were policemen
    • 8 anarchists were convicted of murder
  • Many Americans applauded the policemen for their action against the anarchists
  • Knights of Labor weren't involved, but their membership suffered because Powderly's ideas sounded too un-American, like Haymarket

1. Chicago anarchists supported a general strike on May 1, 1886, in favor of an eight-hour day
2. Demonstration coincided with strike at McCormick farm machinery plant
3. Strike precipitated violent suppression by police, and local anarchists planned protest meeting for May 4 in Haymarket Square
4. After arrival of police, a bomb exploded at demonstration and police fired into crowd
5. Local authorities rounded up hundreds of labor leaders
6. Eight local anarchists arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder; all convicted,
though no evidence connecting them to bomb
7. Case became a cause célèbre that bitterly divided the country
8. Knights of Labor caught in antilabor backlash
9. American Federal of Labor founded in 1886 to replace Knights

a. Loosely affiliated association of unions organized by trade or craft
b. Accepted capitalism and the wage system
c. Worked for “pure and simple unionism”

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