Reason why did the Homestead Strike turned Violent

In the summer season of 1892 Henry Frick, the Chief Executive Officer of Carnegie Steel Company, made a decision to reduce the salaries of his workers, which provoked a strike. Instead of engaging the people in a negotiation, Frick hired a private security organization to keep the striking union members away from his company, a cross that turned the strike violent due to confrontations between the strikers and agents of the security firm.
Though the strike had been going one for a few days from June 30 1892, the violence broke out on July 6, when the private security agents from Pinkerton Detective Agency arrived (Abbott, DPLA). The strikers fired shots to keep the agents away from the mills, and one guard was eventually murdered (Abbott, DPLA). The security agents retaliated by firing shots, having killed and injured up to thirty of the striking men. The situation broke into full thirteen hours violence, after which the strikers allowed the Pinkertons to surrender (Abbott, DPLA). Once the Pinkertons got off the shores of river Monongahela, they were attacked by the residents of Homestead city. The strikers also set fire on the Pinkerton’s barges, thus leading to further violence. The turmoils continued until July 10 when the Homestead Sheriff succeeded in requesting for armed militia to stop the violence.

The Homestead Strike was triggered by the decision of Henry Frick to reduce the salaries of the workers without consulting them and further refusing to negotiate on the new terms. Frick made the workers more aggravated when he hired private security agents to keep the striking workers away from his mills. Had Frick agreed to negotiate with the workers union, probably the strike would not have led to violence.

Work Cited

Abbott, Franky. The Homestead Strike. Digital Public Library of America, https://dp.la/primary-source-sets/sets/the-homestead-strike/, Accessed 09 October 2017.

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