What actions does Flora Tristan call for in "Workers, Your Condition is Miserable and Distressing"?

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Tristan in this essay first appeals to workers to act, telling them that they have the power to change their conditions. She then appeals to them to join a universal union rather than staying isolated in their own small trade unions. One large union, consisting of five million men and...

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Tristan in this essay first appeals to workers to act, telling them that they have the power to change their conditions. She then appeals to them to join a universal union rather than staying isolated in their own small trade unions. One large union, consisting of five million men and two million women, all of them working in concert to demand rights and a living wage for all workers, would prevail.

Tristan advises each of these seven million workers to budget so they can each donate two francs to the universal union, giving it significant economic power to agitate legally and peacefully for better conditions for workers. She argues against armed revolt as counterproductive to worker aims.

Finally, Tristan argues that a good education for women is crucial to working-class success. Women are the backbone of society, raising the children, attracting lovers, and acting as wives. If they are ignorant, oppressed, and miserable, their sons and husbands will be also. For the working class as a whole to rise up and prosper, women must have more rights and greater respect in the social and legal order.

In sum, Tristan calls for workers to create one universal union, raise funds for it, agitate legally for change, and educate women.

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