The Haymarket Riot and Subsequent Trial: An Account

Douglas Linder

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law


When an anarchist - whose identity remains a mystery even today - tossed a homemade bomb into a great company of Chicago police at 10:20 P.M. on the night of May 4, 1886, he could not have appreciated the far reaching consequences his reckless action would have. His bomb, thrown in a light drizzle as the last speaker at a labor rally climbed down from the speaker's wagon, set off a frenzy of fire from police pistols that would leave eight officers and an unknown number of civilians dead, and scores more injured. It led to the nation's first Red Scare, refocused national labor and immigration policy, and set the stage for one of the most infamous trials in the history of American jurisprudence. The Haymarket Trial, the cause celebre for American radicals in the 1880s, produced death sentences for seven of Chicago's most prominent labor leaders - convicted more for their words than deeds at a time when the First Amendment provided scant protection against an outraged public.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Famous Trials, Trial, Anarchist, Anarchism, Chicago, Haymarket, Labor, Union, Red Scare, Immigrants, Workers

JEL Classification: K10, K40, K41, K42

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Date posted: October 23, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Linder, Douglas, The Haymarket Riot and Subsequent Trial: An Account (2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1023969 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1023969

Contact Information

Douglas Linder (Contact Author)
University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States
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