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What is the historical significance of the Pullman Strike of 1894?

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Quick Answer

The Pullman Strike of 1894 is historically significant for having failed as a workers' labor movement against wage cuts. In the longer term, it also destroyed the American Railway Union and helped to defeat President Grover Cleveland's reelection nomination.

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Full Answer

George Pullman cut his railroad workers' wages in response to the 1893 economic depression. In response, the workers organized a strike but quickly realized they needed additional help. Famed labor union organizer Eugene V. Debs helped to create a national movement, but opposition to it gained fervor after railroad workers resorted to destructive tactics to gain the attention of the Attorney General. Attorney General Olney imposed an injunction, and President Grover Cleveland sent in troops; although, Chicagoland politicians were opposed to this measure.

The Pullman Strike is widely seen to have reached the extremes it did because of George Pullman's uncompromising and unsympathetic attitude towards his workers.

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