The Workers' Union
One of the most pressing issues faced by the new government after the Revolution was the high unemployment rates among the working class, a massive collection of people who had recently been given the right to vote. It was therefore in the government's best interest to ensure the employment rates rose, both to appease the workers and to prove to neighbouring countries that the Revolution had been a success. This meant, in part, reforming pre-revolution protectionist economic policies which had restricted imports from other countries with high tariffs and encouraged corruption amongst regulatory officials. In combination, these factors generated onerous financial burdens for the working class and small business owners and were often cited as a primary reason for the Revolution. The Workers Union was born amid these conditions, and promised to give the common citizen a role in rectifying corruption and decreasing the unemployment rates. The Union of Workers was considered an association of the Republic, and was one of many groups vying for economic and political power, insisting that every man had the right to work, and encouraged all working men to vote in order to ensure this right was met.
This poster is the Manifesto of the Workers' Union. It outlines the main beliefs of the Workers' Union, and emphasises how important the Republic is to the Union and the working class more broadly. It explains that workers should be dedicated to the Republic as it gave them freedom and equality, and promises that the Workers Union’s primary aim will always be to uphold the Revolution and remain loyal to the Republic.
In this poster the President of the Workers’ Union, Laurent Mouton, is encouraging citizens to exercise their right to vote. He credits the workers with creating a Republic that ensures the liberty of all the French (by which he means the liberty of all adult French men). He urges them to vote to ensure this freedom is upheld and that the voices of the working class are continued to be heard in the Government.
This poster is the second side of the Manifesto of the Workers Union. In this section, the Manifesto emphasizes the importance of “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” in all things the Union does. It encourages the workers to continue to vote to ensure that these tenets of the Revolution and Republic are upheld in perpetuity by voting for candidates that are endorsed by the Workers Union.
This poster is directed to the working class and uses powerful language to encourage them to take the future of the Republic into their hands. “Workers! do not think yourself smaller than you are: the world, do you hear, the eyes of the world are fixed on you, and you have in your hands, not only your own destinies, but the destinies of humanity as a whole.” The use of such evocative language is both a technique to empower the working man, but also to ensure that this poster stands out among the multitude circulating at the time.