"labor question" was a major concern of Americans in 1912.
Each of the political parties that competed in
the election of 1912 developed its own, often very different, position on the question:
how to solve the problems of the worker in an industrial society?
Many Americans in 1912 feared that their society was coming
apart in a brutal conflict between "capital" and "labor," leaving the
"public" out of the picture. A voter who was forty years of age in 1912
had grown up in a nation where spectacular strikes had disturbed production and often led
to violence. This cartoon drawn by Frank Beard in the 1890s captured the widely held
perception that while the two sides were fighting on the plank of greed and threatening
financial ruin, other persons were suffering poverty as a result.
The first part of this site introduces two major LABOR UNIONS of the time period and tells the story of a famous
strike that occurred in 1912.
The second part examines how the four POLITICAL PARTIES running presidential candidates in 1912 chose
to address the issue of organized labor.