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The Story

By the 1880s, with railroad transportation in
place, the era of settlement in the Pacific
Northwest gave way to industrializaon. Jobs
accelerated with the power of a locomotive as
tens of thousands of unskilled workers came
seeking a living wage in the forests, mines and
shipyards. Instead they found themselves
embroiled in a conflict with capital. On one
side were owners striving to compete in
national and global markets. On the other
were men and women living vulnerable and
oftentimes dangerous working lives, marked
by low pay, long hours and inhumane
conditions. But the labor wars of the early
twentieth century stretched beyond a struggle
between capital and labor. At stake was a
region trying to come to grips with itself.

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