While the above events were transpiring in the Latin countries, the Bakouninists were keeping a sharp eye on America as a land of hopeful possibilities. As early as 1874 Bakounin himself considered the matter of coming here, while Kropotkin and Guillaume followed with interest the labor disturbances that were at that time so numerous and so violent in this country. The panic of 1873 had caused widespread suffering among the working classes. For several years afterward hordes of unemployed tramped the country. The masses were driven to desperation and, in their hunger, to frequent outbreaks of violence. When later a measure of prosperity returned, both the trade-union and the socialist movements began to attract multitudes of the discontented. The news of two important events in the labor world of America reached the anarchists of the Jura and filled them, Guillaume says, “with a lively emotion.” In June, 1877, Kropotkin called attention to the act of the Supreme Court of the United States in declaring unconstitutional the eight-hour law on Government work. He was especially pleased with an article in the Labor Standard of New York, which declared: “This will teach the workers not to put their confidence in Congress and to trust only in their own efforts. No law of Congress could be of any use to the worker if he is not so organized that he can enforce it. And, if the workers are 63strong enough to do that, if they succeed in solidly forming the federation of their trade organizations, then they will be able, not only to force the legislators to make efficacious laws on the hours of work, on inspection, etc., but they will also be able to make the law themselves, deciding that henceforth no worker in the country shall work more than eight hours a day.” “It is the good, practical sense of an American which says that,” ( 1 ) comments Kropotkin. This act of the Supreme Court and this statement of the Labor Standard were very welcome news to the anarchists. They were convinced that the Americans had abandoned political action and were turning to what they had already begun to call “direct action.”