T. Thomas Fortune: “The Present Relations of Labor and Capital”

(1886)

Context

When the Civil War ended in 1865, Fortune was just eight years old. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified later that year, permanently abolished slavery in the United States and marked the beginning of a new era. Fortune’s generation of African Americans would be the first to grow up in the United States without the institution, and the next fifteen years would be characterized by political strife over the rights of former slaves. The policy of Reconstruction in the former slave states, directed by the Republican Party leaders in Congress, brought new...

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Scenes of the 1877 railroad strike (Library of Congress)

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