Ludlow Strike One of the Bloodiest and Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Ludlow Strike

One of the bloodiest and most prolonged strikes in U.S. labor history occurred at Ludlow, Colorado in 1913-14, in which 10-12,000 miners employed by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CFIC) demanded a 10% pay raise, the right to trade outside of company stores and recognition of the United Mine Workers Union. These mines were also among the most dangerous in the country, with a death rate over double the national average, but relatives of those killed in the mines almost never received compensation from the local courts. Indeed, the judges, sheriffs and county officials were all under the control of the company, while over 60% of the workers were immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe.[footnoteRef:1] CCFI, which was owned by the Rockefeller family, fired the miners immediately, evicted them from the company towns and brought in strikebreakers protected by the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. This organization began a reign of terror against the strikers, who were now living in tent colonies near the mines, and murders, beatings and lynching became common. At Ludlow, the colony had about 200 tents and 1,200 strikers and their families, who were regularly attacked by rifle and machine gun fire and even an armored car owned by CFIC. [1: Mark, Wallace, "The Ludlow Massacre: Class, Warfare, and Historical Memory in Southern Colorado" (Historical Archeology, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2003), p. 68.]

At the request of the CFIC and its local officials, Gov. Elias Ammons called out the National Guard in 1913-14 and declared martial law in the Southern Colorado Coal Fields. Many mine guards and private detectives were also recruited into the force and the cost for maintain it "bankrupted the state."[footnoteRef:2] When the National Guard attacked and burned down the Ludlow tent colony, at least twenty-five people were killed, including eleven children trapped in an underground shelter, while the leader of the camp,: Louis Tikas, was summarily executed. This led to ten days…

Sources Used in Document:


Ammons, Elias M. "The Colorado Strike." North American Review, Vol. 200, No. 704, July 1914, pp. 35-44.

Wallace, Mark. "The Ludlow Massacre: Class, Warfare, and Historical Memory in Southern Colorado." Historical Archeology, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2003, pp.66-80.

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