Case #715.0

President Cleveland and the Pullman Strike

Publication Date: January 01, 1986
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On July 3, 1894, on orders from President Grover Cleveland, Secretary of War David S. Lamont ordered the commanding general of the Military Department to prepare the US army at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, for immediate deployment. Lamont told General Miles the troops would march on Chicago, where 150,000 striking railroad workers threatened to paralyze the nation's railway system. By week's end, Cleveland had sent over 2,000 federal troops from five garrisons to the city. The nationwide strike was soon broken and its union leaders were arrested and jailed on charges of conspiracy to obstruct interstate commerce, violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, and obstruction of the US mails. In the eyes of many, Cleveland had saved the nation from the forces of socialism and anarchy. The case describes the origins of the labor unrest, various efforts to handle it, and the aftermath of the strike.

Other Details

Case Author:
Thomas Green
Faculty Lead:
Richard Neustadt
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States