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The Homestead Strike


By Paul Kahan

On July 6, 1892, three hundred armed Pinkerton agents arrived by boat in Homestead, Pennsylvania to retake the Carnegie Steelworks from the company's striking workers. As the agents tried to disembark, shots rang out and a violent skirmish began. The confrontation at Homested was a turning point in the history of American unionism, beginning a rapid process of decline for America's steel unions that lasted until the Great Depression.

Examining the strike's origins, events, and legacy, The Homestead Strike illuminates the tense relationship between labor, capital, and government in the pivotal moment between Reconstruction and the Progressive Era. In a concise narrative, bolstered by statements from steelworkers, court testimony, and excerpts from Carnegie's writings, Paul Kahan introduces students to one of the most dramatic and influential episodes in the history of American labor.

Paul Kahan teaches history at Ohlone College in Fremont, California.

Paperback. 164p.

Critical Moments in American History is a series of short texts designed to familiarize students with events or issues critical to the American experience. Through the use of narrative and primary documents, these books help instructors deconstruct an important moment in American history with the help of timelines, glossaries, textboxes, and a robust companion website.