Thursday, 20 October 2016

Death in the Haymarket by John Green

Death in Haymarket is a story by John Green is about the problems experienced by the civilians after the war in United States. In this perspective, different working classes developed conflicts, particularly, the industrialists and the poor working class. Consequently, it led to the development of economic inequality in the United States. During this instance, workers had gathered into labor organizations to dissent against the changes which were made, where workers were entitled to be working for eight hours per day by the industrialists. Indeed, this was pure oppression of the working fraternity by the industrialists. In the course of one meeting that workers held, the condition was not good during the occasion that had brought together many workers. Innately, there was information leaked to the government that these people had the intent to incite people, thus, paralyze the operations in the country. In retaliatory, the government brought many police officers to counter the condition. For that reason, the meeting ended unconditionally since there was eruption of crises. In the course of these crises, there was a bomb blast that led to injuries and death of several people with them being soldiers. Death in the Haymarket proved the point that meaningful freedom cannot exist in a situation of extreme economic inequality. It was a clear justification that economic inequality results to discrimination and oppression of the economically weaker class. Given this, this essay seeks to determine whether meaningful freedom can exist in a situation of extreme economic inequality.

The death of members of the labor movement is a clear show of the problems which workers were subjected to. Though this was the case, low paid workers remained united in the fight against inequality and discrimination. They were aimed to the challenges which they were going through since the government was not concerned with their problems. It is clear that the rich oppressed the poor since those people who owned industries wanted people to work for many days in order for them to enrich on their expense (Green, 2007). It would be good if they added working days together with the salaries of their employees but on contrary, that was not the case. Specially, they were aimed to increase labor but they were not willing to increase the payment and even the working conditions were poor. Therefore, there was a need handle the hurdles, hence, formation of some labor movement which would address these challenges. In this regard, the problem arose when the participants were bombed. Apparently, it is thought that industrialists were responsible for that action which led to the death of several people where others got severe injuries.

The working poor needed their freedom from the oppression that they were subjected to by industrialists. They wanted to be rescued from industrialists’ selfishness acts. Ideally, they were adding more days of work for their sake. In response to this vice, labor organizations were formed in order to focus on the problems of the workers and to end the oppressions. The problems that were workforce experienced were exhibited in the occasion where certain classes of people were trying to make the matters worse by hindering the good work of the employees. The challenge was preventing from forming and promoting the ideologies of the labor organizations. It is clear that the war left many with difficult conditions and a lot of problems that made them to join people who were working in industries. Other sectors had not grown to an extent that they could provide such labor and thus they were left with no option than to work in these industries. Because of this the spirit of oppression by the employers heightened making the situation worse for the workers. Indeed, this was happening to the poor class of people being engineered by the rich individuals.

Only a few group of individuals that were able to survive the economic challenges that were facing people at the time. The others succumbed to the condition, hence, supporting the fact that no freedom with economic inequality. There were few people who were wealthy and the bigger population had to seek for jobs in industries that were associated with the oppression of the poor economic class. Ideally, the best way that the problem of coercion could be solved was through the creation of organizations and movements that would look after the rights and the freedom of these people. The incident at Haymarket was meant to polarize the operations which were set by low earners who were seeking to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in the nation. Because of this, the rich would be forced to share their resources with the poor and that those who were much privileged would be forced to share with others who were suffering due to economic problems that were resent at the time.

Although the claim in the story on the oppression of the workforce seem to be true, there is no enough ground to support the claim that economic inequality results to denial of freedom to the inferior class. Categorically, the poor people in the United States needed to work harder than the affluent class to equal their status. For that reason, there was need to make them work for longer timeframes. Only hard work could guarantee the poor class the transition to the wealthy class. Moreover, the government could only side with the rich to influence the poor class to work harder. That would inspire the country’s overall economic growth.

In conclusion, labor movements faced great challenges since they lacked the support from the government. This is evident where security officials were sent to end the meeting at Haymarket where many started shooting the civilians. This shows that the government had joined hands with the industrialists to ensure that the low earners strained hard. According to Green, the government was benefiting through the money which was earned from the sales of industries and so it was viewing this as a chance of developing without catering for the needs of the poor and those who were disadvantaged. However, there was much that needed to be done in order to ensure that the gap was bridged and that the rich did not oppress the poor. It is important to note that there were many organizations that were immerging at the time in order to look after the needs of the people who were not secured by the government. Some movements were formed in order to look after those who were beset. Undeniably, it is not easy to match freedom of all the people if there economic inequality in the society.



Green, J. (2007). <em>Death in the Haymarket: A story of Chicago, the first labor movement and the     bombing that divided gilded age America</em>. Anchor.

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