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Robber Barons and Wretched Refuse – Ethnic and Class Dynamics during the Era of American Industrialization - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Robber Barons and Wretched Refuse: Ethnic and Class Dynamics during the Era of American Industrialization

Robert F. Zeidel


This book explores the connection between the so-called robber barons who led American big businesses during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and the immigrants who composed many of their workforces. As the book argues, attribution of industrial-era class conflict to an “alien” presence supplements nativism—a sociocultural negativity toward foreign-born residents—as a reason for Americans' dislike and distrust of immigrants. And in the era of American industrialization, employers both relied on immigrants to meet their growing labor needs and blamed them for the frequently violent workplace ... More

Keywords: American big business, Gilded Age, Progressive Era, class conflict, nativism, immigrants, American industrialization, workplace conflict, foreign-born workers, foreign workers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781501748318
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501748318.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert F. Zeidel, author
University of Wisconsin-Stout