Various independent "labor movements" began to form in the United States, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe during the nineteenth century.
The labor movements in both the United States and Europe can be traced to the Industrial Revolution, which developed around 1760 and continued to progress until around 1840. The large corporations and wealthy elites that spearheaded the Industrial Revolution began to practice unethical labor policies—at one point even employing children under the age of 12 at a textile mill in Rhode Island, in 1790—and as a reaction to such practices, labor unions began to form in the United States.
In the United Kingdom, six laborers were convicted for establishing the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers in 1833. Women in the United States also contributed to the labor movement. The Female Labor Reform Association was formed in 1845 by Sarah Bagley in Lowell, Massachusetts. Later, the International Workingmen's Association was formed in London, in 1864. In France, laborers protested and formed the Paris Commune in 1871.
Even disenfranchised minority groups in the United States staged political protests that contributed to the global labor movement. In 1881, African American female laborers staged a highly effective strike in Atlanta, Georgia. The strike was significant in the labor movement's history, as African Americans and women, especially in the South during that era, had minimal political or social power.