Samuel Gompers Vs Terence Powderly

Table of Content

Both Samuel Gompers and Terence Powderly have similarities and differences. Born on January 27, 1850 in London, England, Samuel Gompers dropped out of elementary school at ten to pursue a career as a shoemaker. When he was thirteen years old, his family moved from London to New York. At the young age of fourteen, he began working as a cigar maker to assist his father’s business. Samuel Gompers had an eventful life until his passing in 1924.

Terence Powderly, born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, in 1849, received education until the age of 13 and worked as a railroad worker. He later became an apprentice to a machinist. In 1871, he joined a local chapter of the Machinists’ and Blacksmiths’ International Union.

Following the retirement of Uriah Stephens, leader of the Knights of Labor, in 1879, Terence Powderly assumed leadership. The Knights of Labor was an exclusive union established in 1869.

Tarence Powderly passed away in 1924.

Terence and Samuel both had similarities in their involvement with labor unions. They shared the need for financial support for their families and themselves, as well as dropping out of school at an early age. Both initiated strikes to improve working conditions and obtain higher wages, resulting in their dismissal from their jobs. Despite facing these challenges, they were highly regarded in their respective positions: Samuel as the President of the United States and Terence as the leader of the Knights of Labor.

However, there were notable differences between them. Samuel left school at ten years old to assist his father in the cigar business, while Terence dropped out at thirteen to pursue a career in the railroad industry. Additionally, they had contrasting views on the efficacy of strikes. Terence expressed fear of initiating strikes, believing that victory would be unlikely, and thus preferred utilizing the boycotting system for advocating just causes. In contrast, Samuel was bold and assertive, readily resorting to strikes whenever he perceived unfair or unjust treatment towards himself and others in need.

These highly respected men all worked diligently, using various ideas to achieve a common outcome. They shared identical objectives and exerted equal effort, even if their methods or opinions differed.

It is clear that individuals may choose different paths in life due to their differences, but they will always come together because of the shared goal and this will ultimately alter history.


Cite this page

Samuel Gompers Vs Terence Powderly. (2019, Jan 13). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront