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Redeeming TimeProtestantism and Chicago's Eight-Hour Movement, 1866-1912$
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William A. Mirola

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038839

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038839.001.0001

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A “New Consciousness” for Constructing a Morality of Leisure

A “New Consciousness” for Constructing a Morality of Leisure

(p.117) Chapter 5 A “New Consciousness” for Constructing a Morality of Leisure
Redeeming Time

William A. Mirola

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details several key eight-hour campaign successes and losses in the 1890s and their impact on the religious framing among workers and clergy. As the 1880s gave way to the 1890s, arbitration was heard much more frequently as a solution to impasses between employers and organized labor. Prominent businessmen such as Cyrus McCormick and Marshall Field rejected the notion of bargaining with their employees on what they considered to be their right to conduct their business affairs free from interference. Nevertheless, finding ways to minimize class hostilities and prevent the production losses that inevitably accompanied drawn-out strikes and lockouts was becoming a priority for more and more employers. In 1893, Illinois enacted the “Sweatshop Act” that limited the workdays of women and children to eight hours. Moreover, the 1890s is significant as the period in which eight-hour support among Protestant clergy was strengthened as the result of a new social consciousness regarding labor reform.

Keywords:   eight-hour campaign, arbitration, organized labor, Sweatshop Act, Protestant clergy, labor reform

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