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Newspaper Page Text
THE DAY BOOK
N. D. COCHRAN
EDITOR AND PUBLISHER.
COO SO. PEORIA ST. CHICAGO, 1LU
T;r,Al Editorial, Monro S
telephones Ctrcul.tion, Monro 33SS
SUBSCRIPTION By Carrier In Chicago.
SO cent a Month. By Mall. United
States -and Canada, (3 00 a Year.
Entered a eecond-claas matter April
XI, 1K. at the postoffice at Chlcatro.
Ill, under the Act Of March 7, 1S79.
THE PEASANTS OF AMERICA.
As the facts develop in the East
Youngstown, O., strike-rioting, when
the town was partially burned, we
find that the problem of immigration
was to a large degree behind it all.
For thirty years the large manu
facturers of this country have acted
as if immigrants were an important
department of their business. The
more workers arriving every year
the more men standing outside their
gates every morning waiting for any
old Job at any old wages the better
the big employers like.d it It meant
plenty of hands at low cost for the
hard, laborious, unskilled work. This
in turn meant plenty of recruits anx
ious to learn the skilled work. Thus
the cost of common labor was kept
down and quiet maintained among
skilled workers by the spectacle of
more, and yet more, ready to jump
into their jobs.
In every industrial locality there
grew up "settlements" of uneducat
ed, untrained strangers peasants
from the backward farm sections of
backward south European countries.
Did the manufacturers have any
thought for the welfare of these un
Did the big employers take steps
to educate them or their children?
Did the fellows who capitalize im
migration into big profits do anything
to teach these strange-tongued peas
ants tht American language or 'en
lighten them on American customs
and American laws?
Not one bit of it! They were per
fectly willing to let them huddle mis
erably in their settlements where
they learned nothing about the coun
try of their adoption. The big em
ployer wanted down-trodden peas
ants to remain down-trodden and ig
norant, thinking the thoughts and liv
ing the life of the European back
There were profits in it big profits.
But these employers forgot the law
that action is followed by reaction.
The immigrant always wakes up. He
sees better life about him, he hears of
better wages, he learns that his labor
is worth more.
So it was at East Youngstown.
The peasant laborers in this steel mill
heard that other steel mills were ad
vancing pay. Moreover, they learn
ed that the company's stock had
nearly doubled in value, plain enough
proof to the most untaught that pro
fits were huge. And yet the company
refused a little increase in wages.
L-This meant rank injustice to them.
They were uneducated. Their in-
-telligence was low. Law and order
were indefinite things to them. Hud
dling together in undisciplined
masses there was nothing and no
body to temper the wild and wilder
discussion of men who felt that they
i had been imposed upon. They be
l came savages shooting, stabbing,
burning imitating the anarchy that
' is blazing its fearful way through
Europe under the guidance of kings.
America can no longer play with
the immigration problem. Immigrants
are human people, not bloodless ma
chines out of which captains of in
dustry may squeeze profit. The peas
ants of Europe should not be permit
ted to become the peasants of Amer
ica. Their training as citizens of
America should begin the moment
they step on our soil If they don't
want to become citizens we should
see that they shall not at any rate