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In the late 1800s, the federal government (as well as most state and local governments) invariably took the side of management in dealing with large strikes.
In those days, the federal government and most mainstream thinkers were firmly opposed to labor unions. Unions were seen as a possibly illegal way to coerce employers into giving in to worker demands. They were also seen as subversive entities that might undermine the basic foundations of US democracy and capitalism. This was particularly so as more and more anarchists and other radicals came to join unions.
Therefore, the federal government took the side of employers, doing such things as issuing injunctions against strikes and even sending in troops to help break strikes up.
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