The West Virginia Coal Wars : The History of the 20th Century Conflict Between Coal Companies and Miners
Overview - *Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the coal wars from Mother Jones and other important participants *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser." - Mother Jones America is famous around the world for being the land of opportunity, and in many respects it has been for the nearly 400 years since its colonization. Read more...
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More About The West Virginia Coal Wars by Charles River Editors
*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the coal wars from Mother Jones and other important participants *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser." - Mother Jones America is famous around the world for being the land of opportunity, and in many respects it has been for the nearly 400 years since its colonization. However, that opportunity has always come at some sort of price. In the times of wooden sailing vessels, men and women risked life and limb to sail across the Atlantic on small, creaking ships, but later, transportation became safer and easier with the invention of the coal powered steam engine. Over time, coal came to be used to power other advances in industry and technology, such as plants that produced steel and electricity. By the dawn of the 20th century, it seemed that there was nothing that the country could not accomplish, and that the future was brighter than ever. But then, as always, there was the price. The vast majority of people burning coal to heat their farms and homes, and those watching skyscrapers rise over the city's landscape, likely never stopped to think about the price thousands of miners across the country were paying for these and other conveniences. Many never knew that coal had to be dug from the ground, typically in dark mines where dust poisoned miners' lungs, and that these men barely made enough to feed and clothe their families despite their hard days of toil. The people using the coal wanted it to be cheap, the miners wanted to earn enough money to survive, and the companies wanted to turn a profit. In some ways, it seems safe to say that conflict was inevitable, but while there were numerous labor disputes during the early decades of the 20th century, few were as violent as the one that erupted in the hills of West Virginia in 1912. In fact, this conflict, which lasted about a decade, has rightly been called a war because men and women killed and were killed on its battlefields, culminating with the largest domestic insurrection since the Civil War in 1921. The coal companies' army was a hired force, professional gunfighters brought in to stop miners. But while they had the best training and the best weapons, they did not have Mother Jones - Mary Harris Jones - perhaps the most inspirational union organizer in United States history. With the help of Frank Keeney and other miners like him, Jones successfully brought the owners to their knees and won the right to unionize for miners who had only dreamed it might be possible. Now that a century has passed and mining is at least somewhat safer than it was, those working today can thank Jones and Keeney, not to mention the ones who died at the hand of hired guns, for what freedom they do have to fight for a living wage. The West Virginia Coal Wars: The History of the 20th Century Conflict Between Coal Companies and Miners looks at the tumultuous fight on both sides of the lines. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the West Virginia mine wars like never before, in no time at all.
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