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the industrial work force.

The largest union of the time was the Order of the Knights of St. Crispin. Representing the shoe industry, the Order attempted to halt the rising trend for the mechanical or unskilled production line which looked set to replace master cobblers.

Inevitably the march of progress prevailed and the faster, more efficient machines soon took their place in the industry. The Knights of Labor union founded in 1869 took the movement to a new level drawing a national membership.

The ethos of the Knights was to include anyone involved in production, which helped its numbers swell. The union was well organized under the control of Terence Powderly and enlisted politics to help fight its various causes.

Events took a turn for the worse in 1886 when the Haymarket riot saw the message of the Knights overshadowed by the death of a police officer in a bomb blast. Public opinion turned against the anarchist movement in general and the union collapsed.

It was only after the advent of the American Federation of Labor, set up by Samuel Gompers in 1886 and acting as a national federation of unions for skilled workers, that the labor movement became a real force to be reckoned with and took on more of the shape we see today.