The Great War and its Aftermath

Jon R. Huibregtse

in American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034652
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038544 | DOI:
The Great War and its Aftermath

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The chapter examines the railroad industry during World War I, the benefits the war brought railroaders, and the debate that surrounded the railroad industry as federal control drew to a conclusion in 1919. Congress enacted legislation and the railroad unions lost many of the prerogatives that they had gained during the period of federal oversight. The unions mobilized for the election of 1920, and using the roll call vote on the Transportation Act as their guide, exhorted their members to vote. Although the railroad unions were unsuccessful in enacting the Plumb Plan or stopping the Transportation Act from becoming law, they laid important groundwork for their own political future. The railroad unions sustained a high level of political organization, which was the foundation of their political activism in the 1920s.

Keywords: World War I; Transportation Act; railroad unions; Plumb Plan; political organization

Chapter.  4464 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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