Explaining Labor’s Political Fortunes
Brilliantly but briefly, the U.S. labor movement blossomed in only two decades of this century.1 Until the New Deal, business and government built a structure that managed to contain the movement. Especially in difficult economic times, business repeatedly beat back labor’s threats to become a significant economic and political actor (Gordon, Edwards, and Reich 1982, pp. 122–80). The crisis of capitalism during the long Great Depression created conditions for a new alignment in the political order. The Democratic Party, struggling to forge a majority coalition, appealed to industrial workers, ethnic communities, and liberals for support.
KeywordsUnion Member Labor Union Democratic Party Labor Movement National Labor Relation Board
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