<p>I wasn't going to study for SAT II USH until I remembered what gave me the most trouble when I was studying for the APUSH test: labor unions. Can someone explain to me the general trends for union membership? During which time periods was membership high or low and why? All I can remember is that membership was low after WWI because people associated unions with communism and the economy was booming.</p>
<p>I'll bump this.</p>
<p>Well, before the 1900's (like from 1880-90 I would say) unions first became popular with the Knights of Labor being the first successful one. But then the Haymarket Riot happened and people began to look at them badly, and in 1890 the Sherman Antitrust Act was made and I don't know if you would consider that a good or bad thing because it didn't really do anything.
I would say during the Progressive Era that they became more popular as people were trying to get more rights and stuff. This is also when TR and Taft busted a lot of trusts, and I guess that could be seen as pro-union.
During the Great Depression FDR passed the Wagner Act, which was good for the unions and did stuff like stop unfair labor practices (ex: firing union members).
Then After WWII the Taft-Hartley Act was passed and that put restrictions on unions.</p>
<p>That's all I know, and I don't really know if that helps you or not, but it's all I can think of.. (:</p>
<p>Sherman Antitrust act actually hurt unions in many cases because it was used to break strikes up instead of trusts. It was revised to prevent being used against unions in the Clayton anti-trust act</p>
<p>Thank you guys very much. You've helped a lot. (: </p>
<p>Was membership low or high during the Great Depression? Did it started out low because people just wanted jobs and didn't care about higher wages, etc? Did the Wagner Act immediately cause an increase in union membership or were people reluctant at first?</p>
<p>it was higher during the Great Depression because the New Deal legalized unions and promoted collective bargaining. I'm not sure, but I think most people accepted it at first because of the economic state</p>
New Deal legalized unions and promoted collective bargaining
<p>Yeah, Wagner Act I believe?</p>
I'm not sure, but I think most people accepted it at first because of the economic state
<p>From AMSCO, "It [union membership] went from less than 3 million in the early 1930s to over 10 million by 1941."</p>
<p>An important development was the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations which extended membership to unskilled workers</p>
<p>haha oh how i <3 AMSCO. but yea, the Great Depression definitely helped labor unions. what do you guys know about labor unions after WWII?
they decreased right? just because they became kinda useless from 1950s-onward?</p>
<p>They deceased after World War II because the economy was thriving and the unions were often associated with communists, so people were scared to join them with all the Red Scare/McCarthyism stuff going on.</p>
<p>Also, the Taft-Hartley Act was passed over Truman's veto; it weakened labor union powers too</p>