Knights of Labor (K of L), officially Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, was an American labor federation active in the late 19th century, especially the 1880s. It operated in the United States as well in Canada, and had chapters also in Great Britain and Australia. Its most important leader was Terence V. Powderly. The Knights promoted the social and cultural uplift of the working man, and demanded the eight-hour day. In some cases it acted as a labor union, negotiating with employers, but it was never well organized or funded. It was notable in its ambition to organize across lines of gender and race and in the inclusion of both skilled and unskilled labor. After a rapid expansion in the mid-1880s, it suddenly lost its new members and became a small operation again.
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