History of labor and work

Category: Questions


Throughout the historical period of this course, 1880-1945, workers’ movements, especially labor unions, had uneven success.  In the period from 1880 to the early 1930s, workers lost more battles than they won, but in the mid- and late-1930s this was reversed, so that by the end of the 1930s workers’ advances far outpaced their losses.

Write a paper describing this turnaround of the labor movement and explaining the causes for it. What part of this change was due to the foundations laid in earlier periods, and what part to new developments in the 1930s?

After your introduction, you should use about one page to describe the differences between the pre-1930s period and the period of the mid-1930s and beyond. Then, in the remainder of the paper, explain the reasons for this change.

These explanatory reasons could include factors external to the labor movement, such as economic change and actions of management and the government, as well as factors internal to the labor movement, such as inclusiveness, organization, and tactics. [Note that these are only a few samples of many possible factors affecting the outcomes.] Which of these explanatory factors began earlier, laying the groundwork for the changes, and which were new developments in the 1930s?

Be sure to provide specific evidence to back up your argument.

For sources, you must use the textbook (Who Built America?), including chapters 8 and 9.  You can also use the supplemental readings as well as class lectures, videos and discussions.  You may not use any other sources (with one exception described below), including web sources, because it is difficult to determine the accuracy and reliability of much of what is available on the web.  If you find you do need additional sources of information, you may use the peer-reviewed articles accessible through JSTOR, a portal into several scholarly journals available to you as Rutgers students through the library (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/indexes/jstor). 

Citation information: Paper 2 Citations.pdf download

Four to five pages (double-spaced) – first draft due 4/6 before class. Please upload it in Canvas as a Microsoft Word document.  I will assign everyone a partner and you and your partner will conduct a peer review using a Guided Peer Review document between 4/8 and 4/12.

Please note: You will be submitting the final revised version of the paper on 4/20.  The final version will not be accepted if you have not submitted a draft version by 4/6 and participated in the Peer Reviews.

Your paper should have a descriptive title, an introduction, and a thesis.  Each of your paragraphs should follow a logical progression and be in direct support of your argument (along with necessary background information).  Support your points with specific examples from the reading assignments, lectures, and videos, and cite your sources.  In the body of your paper, when citing class readings, reference the last name of the author and the page number in parentheses. For example, when citing the Dollinger article, use the following citation format: (Dollinger p. 346).

Be sure to include a “Works Cited” page at the end of your paper (this page does not count in the total length of your paper).  Examples:

Dollinger, G. (1995). “Striking Flint: Genora (Johnson) Dollinger Remembers the 1936-37 GM Sit-Down Strike”: 345-349.

Rosenzweig, Roy et al. (2008). Who Built America?  Working People and the Nation’s History, Volume Two: 1877 to the Present. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Be careful to always cite your sources for any points you make.  For direct quotes, include them within quotation marks and cite appropriately.  Also cite all important evidence, even if not direct quotes.  Since none of us lived during the times we are studying, we must, of course, rely on the words and writings of others, but these must always be cited — otherwise the use of those words is considered plagiarism. 

see below the chapter 8 and  9 

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