Labor Movement in America

The American labor movement had its beginnings in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, when the colony's organizers hired some of their less-fortunate shipmates to cut timber and begin building England's first permanent settlement in the New World. As labor requirements grew, so did abuse. Seventy-five hour weeks were common. Students will appreciate this primary source portfolio's keen, historic view of the brutal labor conditions of earlier decades and of the modern-day labor movement. Vivid, hands-on documents attest to the terrible conditions and labor's struggles for fair treatment. Students, some who think they have it hard today, will be amazed by extremely demanding early employment rules, "yellow dog" contracts, the wages paid for very hard work in the 1920s, and employers' strong-arm tactics. The replicas of union and government documents, ads, and handbills add to student enlightenment. This portfolio includes a Study Guide with reproducible student activities. 4 Illustrated Broadsheet Essays: * At Work in Early America * The Rise of the Large Labor Organizations * Raising a Nation's Awareness * The Merger of American Labor 16 Primary Source Documents: * Rules of the Dover Manufacturing Company, early 1800s * Newspaper advertisement announcing a meeting of workers, 1837 * Union membership certificate, 1886 * AFL statement of purpose, 1893 * Preamble of the Industrial Workers of the World, c. 1905 * AFL leaflet: "How to Prevent Consumption," 1906 * Labels used by AFL-affiliated unions, 1912 * "Yellow Dog" contract * Federated Trades and Labor Council recruitment handout, 1928 * Letter from AFL president, William Green, to labor federations regarding ratification of the Child Labor Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1935 * AFL "Congratulations Chevrolet Workers" leaflet, 1935 * Page 4 of Ford Facts, April 19, 1941 * Cover and page 5 from Ammunition, August 1944 * President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Second Bill of Rights," January 11, 1944 * CIO handbill: "Communist Gangster Tactics Beaten!!" c. 1949 * Documents relating to the AFL-CIO merger, 1955

Product type: Primary Source Portfolio
ISBN: 978-1-5669-6192-9
Author: James A. Crutchfield
Copyright: 2001
Reading Level: Grades 8-12+
Interest Level: Grades 8-12+
Dimensions: 14" x 9 1/4"