The union evolved over time, first espousing the views of Ely Moore, who was a Tammany politician who made moderate criticisms against aristocrats who were greedy and corrupt. By 1835, the GTU had progressed to the beliefs of John Commerford, who made pointed attacks on “Capital”, which he defined as including not only aristocrats, but also Master Artisans. By this time, the union’s membership consisted of Craft journeymen, and sympathetic small Master Artisans were excluded because of their status.
Acceptance of female members was spotty, with many Male members hoping that their efforts against Female exploitation would result in their being returned to their previous domestic status.
The Union was affiliated with the Locofoco Democrats, who were against the Second Bank of the United States, but refrained from political activity so as to avoid the kind of demise suffered by the Working Man’s Party in 1829-30.