Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/21

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which victimized them, and were easily persuaded that "injudicious and partial legislation, and the indifference of our rulers to the general welfare"; that "laws were made for the benefit of the rich and the oppression of the poor" was the cause of their disadvantage. They were thus induced to seek redress in politics. So far was this carried that even the ten-hour day took the form of a political demand.

71. Was this movement confined to Philadelphia only?
No. In New York, as in Philadelphia, it was originally a ten-hour day movement. With the nucleus of these two organizations, the movement spread out over the New England states and through the southern seaboard states, until it is said to have been active from Maine to Georgia.
72. How long was it maintained?
It disintegrated about 1831-1832, because of "the workers inability to play the game of politics", and the all-too excellent acquaintance of the old party politicians with the "tricks of the game."
73. What purpose did it serve?
It served the purpose of directing the attention and energies of the workers from the industrial field, where they might have made themselves formidable, to the political arena, where they became the playthings of capitalist intrigue—a decidedly capitalist purpose, which politics served well.
74. What succeeded the workingmen's political party?
The New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics, and Other Working Men.
75. What was this organization?
It aimed to be a union of all producers. Its program was both economic and political.
76. What was its origin?
It grew out of a ten-hour movement. The ten-hour day had been established in New York City, and partially established in Philadelphia. But the building trades in Boston had been defeated in an attempt to establish it, by a strike in 1830. A movement to force a ten-hour working day grew in volume in New England. The mechanics and machinists of Providence, R. I. met in November 1831 and declared that "after