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Trade UnionTrade unions can be defined as the various labor organizations in the UnitedStates each of which serves to consolidate represent and protect the rights of workers ina specific occupation or trade They can be dated back to as early as the twelfth centurywhen craft guilds were formed These craft guilds only included in their membershipthose who practiced a particular craft so there were many guilds at this time Laborunions stayed this way for the next few centuries until the Civil War in the United Statesbrought attention to workers and their families Towards the latter part of the eighteenthcentury unions of carpenters and shoemakers began forming in Philadelphia whiletailors in Baltimore Maryland and printers in New York City also started unions Themain actions of these unions were to band the workers together to get a strike started andthen they were almost immediately dissolved These strikes were few because the strikeleaders were often imprisoned and fined on charges of conspiracy to raise wages The first union in the United States to include members of different trades was theMechanics Union of Trade Associations which was started in 1827 This organizationsmain emphasis was to raise wages and improve working conditions this union alsochampioned social reforms such as free public education eradication of imprisonmentfor debt and the adoption of universal manhood suffrage The National Trade Unionwhich was founded in 1834 was the first nationwide federation Despite wide attempts toally over the next few years the economic crisis of 1837 and a depression followingunfortunately halted the membership and led to a sharp decline in the organizationscurrent membership which finally suspended the movement temporarily Trade unions began to grow in membership after businesses began a revival in thelate 1840s and early 1850s A Massachusetts court also helped with union membershipwhen it made a landmark decision that stated that labor unions had the right to strikebecause strikes were lawful and not criminal conspiracies Commonwealth v Hunt1842 This lead
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