Explain how the American labor movement from 1870-1914 was a success or failure.  

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For most of this time, I would argue that the American labor movement was a failure.  However, during the Progressive Era, the labor movement can be seen as more of a success.

In the last decades of the 19th century, the labor movement did not have much success.  Notably, the Haymarket Riot of 1886 made labor look extremely bad and diminished its power considerably.  Actions by employers and the government in such cases as the Homestead Strike of 1892 helped to further weaken unions.

With the coming of the Progressive Era, however, unions started to make a comeback.  This can be seen, for example, in Pres. Theodore Roosevelt's more even-handed policies towards strikes.  Roosevelt even sent troops in to support workers in one strike, something that had never been done before.  During the early 1900s, then, labor grew in strength.

So, overall, I would say that the time period you mention saw labor fail at first and then succeed.