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Railroad Strike of 1877


RAILROAD STRIKE OF 1877. After the panic of 1873, the railroads chose to pay dividends while imposing salary cuts on all nonmanagerial employees. The imposition of this cut, which was not the first, by the Baltimore and Ohio sparked a massive, national labor insurrection. Angry workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia, occupied the roundhouse. The rails carried the news to the urban rail centers, where the strike spread to other industries. This sparked major rioting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in Chicago and brief insurrectionary seizures of power in St. Louis, Missouri, and Toledo, Ohio. Federal troops broke the strike movement.


Bruce, Robert V. 1877: Year of Violence. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1970.

Foner, Philip S. The Great Labor Uprising of 1877. New York: Monad, 1977.

Stowell, David O. Streets, Railroads, and the Great Strike of 1877. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Mark A.Lause

See alsoRailroads ; Strikes .

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