Both relied heavily on slave labor, which provided both skilled and unskilled labor.
Together, mechanization and specialization led to a certain alienation of the laborer toward the production process.
In the turbulent decades from 1870 to 1890 the groundwork for organized labor was laid.
The National Labor Union (NLU), founded in 1866, was the first federation of unions, followed by the Knights of Labor in 1869.
Manufacturing, which was usually strong in the free cities (i.e., those not under the rule of an aristocrat), was in the hands of guilds whose members organized themselves to protect their interests.
Workers had to learn a craft by going through the apprenticeship as journeyman, and they depended on their guild master both financially and also professionally as the guild masters decided upon elevation to the master level.