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WORKERS AND WORK IN AMERICA, 1600 TO THE PRESENT: A MULTIMEDIA COURSE

SYLLABUS ~ Fall 2000
[Under revision; final edition will be ready August 25, 2000]

History 316/316Z [6847/6848]
Classroom: SS 131
Course Schedule: TTH 2:30-3:50

Prof. Gerald Zahavi
Office: Ten Broeck 202
Phone: 442-4780
Office Hrs: Tu/Weds 10-noon & Th 4-5 pm
E-mail:
gz580@csc.albany.edu

COURSE INTRODUCTION: This is a reading, lecture, internet (WWW), film, and discussion course examining the evolution of work within the North American/U.S. economy from the late 1500s, through industrialization, and into the "post-industrial" recent past. Recognizing that the emergence and growth of capitalism was as much a social, cultural, political, and environmental process as it was an economic one, we will look at both the structural economic changes that transformed work and American society in last 400 years, as well as the cultural and political (broadly conceived) factors that textured and shaped that transformation. We shall examine work (both men's and women's) and capitalist development as they shaped--and were shaped by: family roles; class identities and struggles; political conflicts; gender, racial and ethnic relations; cultural movements and transformations. Specific topics include: Amerindian economies and work cultures; colonial labor systems, including indentured servitude and slavery; artisinal and handicraft production; the rise of factory manufacturing; the evolution of the sexual division of labor; racial and ethnic segmentation in the labor force; labor struggles and political power; craft and industrial unionism; work in a global marketplace.

Course content will range over wide geographical bounds and focus on a variety of different workers and work situations, covering (for example): Mexican and Mexican-American labor as well as Yankee factory girls; immigrant midwestern farmers and farm work, as well as black Southern sharecroppers and sharecropping; urban sweatshop workers, as well as merchant seamen; office work, as well as high-tech labor. Readings will include several monographs and articles, primary sources, World Wide Web "texts," and miscellaneous handouts.

The course has four major objectives:

  • to impart a solid general understanding of the major events, personalities, and themes in the history of U.S. labor and economic history from the colonial era through the present

  • to provide students with a forum for discussion of various important issues pertaining to work, class relations, and economic transformations under capitalism -- particularly as they impact on recent trends

  • to teach students how to use the World Wide Web as a research and learning tool

  • to offer students both the guidance and opportunity to improve their writing skills.

In addition to extensive readings, several films and videos documenting specific events or topics will be shown during the semester. Their subjects range from the Lowell Mills in the early 19th century and the Great Strike of 1877, through the emergence of the transnational corporation and international labor markets. Films and videos are chosen specifically to complement assigned lectures and assigned texts; they are not substitutes for the readings.

GRADING:

As this is a writing intensive course, students should be prepared to write around 20-25 pages during the course of the semester. Two papers will be assigned, each based on themes encompassing several reading assignments. Students may be asked to evaluate a thesis utilizing primary sources, or they might be directed to write an essay based on WWW research and assigned readings. Students interested in "composing" a WWW page on a topic that interests them may substitute such a project for one of their papers -- so long as its substantive length is at least equivalent to the length of an assigned paper and you clear the topic with me. Papers should be approximately 10-13 pages long. If you are not happy with your grade on the first paper, you are strongly encouraged to revise and resubmit it; only the final version's grade will count toward the course grade. There is no re-write option on the second paper. The two papers will count a total of 60% of your semester grade. In addition to the writing assignments, there will be six "surprise" quizzes based on readings and WWW assignments, class discussions, and lectures. The best four grades out of the six will count toward your course grade (20%). Finally, 10% of your grade will be based on completion of assigned WWW projects, and another 10% will be based on class and listserv participation. On the latter: I will set up an electronic discussion list or bulletin board for the class. Students should utilize it to pursue unfinished class discussions, initiate dialog on new topics, ask questions about unclear concepts or ideas, and so on.
This course simply can't work well without active student involvement. Many of you need no encouragement to participate in class discussions and debates, or in electronic forums, but for those who do, the "class and listserv" participation grading component will hopefully help stimulate your active participation.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: It is assumed that your intellectual labor is your own. If there is any evidence of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, the minimum penalty will be an automatic failing grade for that piece of work. Plagiarism is taking (which includes purchasing) the words and ideas of another and passing them off as oneís own work. If another personís work is quoted directly in a formal paper, this must be indicated with quotation marks and a citation. Paraphrased or borrowed ideas are to be identified by proper citations.

COURSE TEXTS:

  • Miscellaneous articles (noted below)
  • Thomas Bell, Out of this Furnace (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1976)
  • Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward (Dover, 1996).
  • Bruce Laurie, Artisans into Workers: Labor in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Illinois Press, reprint edition, 1997).
  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (Vintage, 1990)
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano (Delta, 1999).

RESERVE READINGS:Copies of the required books are available at the bookstore. They have also been placed on reserve in the library under History 316Z. Copies of articles are in the History Department reserve shelves under "History 316Z." They are located on the second floor of Ten Broeck Hall, near my office.

FILMS AND VIDEOS: A number of films/videos selected from the following list will also be shown during the course of the semester. Cost and availability will determine the final selection. One or two of the longer feature-length films will be scheduled for optional viewing outside of class time (probably in the evening).

"Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter," "Daughters of Free Men," "Company Town," "Heartland," "The Great Sit Down," "Modern Times," "The Homefront," "The Wobblies," "Brass Valley,""1877: The Grand Army of Starvation," "The River Ran Red," "The Killing Floor," "Union Maids," "Seeing Red," "The Global Assembly Line," "Controlling Interest," "With Babies and Banners," "Salt of the Earth," "Harlan County, USA," "Clockwork," "Bullet Bargaining at Ludlow," "The Great Sitdown," "Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle," "Matewan," "Norma Rae," "The Women of Summer," "Business of America,""Seeing Red," "Northern Lights," "The Prize," Minimum Wages: The New Economy," "The Great Depression," "Out of the Depths: The Miners; Story," "Los Mineros," "Our Land Too!: The STFU," "Roger and Me," "Cesar Chaves and the Farmworkers' Movement," "The Textile Strike of 1934."

CLASS SCHEDULE

PLEASE NOTE: Required WWW documents are marked with this symbol: , recommended documents/sources are identified with this symbol:

Tuesday, Sept. 2: Introduction to the Course and the WWW

Note: Web-accessible public access computers are available at numerous locations on campus. I will identify locations at our first meeting.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Introduction to the Internet and the WWW: Tutorials 
Writing Guide 
A Few Recommended Paper Topics (more will be announced in class) 

Thursday, Sept. 4: Perspectives and Sources in the Study of Workers and Work

REQUIRED READING: John Schacht, "Labor History in the Academy: A Layman's Guide to a Century of Scholarship," Labor's Heritage 5 (Winter 1994), 4-21.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Historians and the Study of U.S. Labor: A Bibliography
A Brief Historical Overview of the U.S. Labor Movement

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: The New Labor History; Wisconsin School of Labor History; Selig Perlman; John R. Commons; A Theory of the Labor Movement; "nonmarket labor"; Marxist historical theory; labor market segmentation; dialectical materialism; social structure of accumulation

Tuesday, Sept. 9: "Seasons of Want and Plenty": Work and Subsistence Among New England Amerindians

REQUIRED READING: "Seasons of Want and Plenty," (chaps. 3-5 of William Cronon's Changes in the Land).

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Historical Sketches of North American Tribes
Bibliography -- North American Tribes
Project: Locate at least three (3) WWW sites with information on work patterns and/or economic and trade relations of any one or more North American Native American tribes.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: Agawam tribe; usufruct rights; multicrop field planting; "They use not to winter and summer in one place, for that would be a reason to make fuell (sic.) scarse"; mosaic quality of New England ecosystems; ecological history; Roger Williams; William Pynchon; property "improvement"; "commodities"

Thursday, Sept. 11: Bound Labor and Free Labor in Colonial America

REQUIRED READING: "The Labor Systems of Early America," (chap. 2, pp. 33-83) in Major Problems in the History of American Workers.

RECOMMENDED READING: Susan E. Klepp & Billy G. Smith, eds., The Infortunate: The Voyage and Adventures of William Moraley, an Indentured Servant (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Letters from an American Farmer, by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (1782)
Indenture Contract from 1726 -- Rice Thomas (High Resolution Copy of Original)
Indenture Contract from 1726 -- Rice Thomas (Low Resolution Copy of Original -- Quick Loading)
Indenture Contract from 1726 -- Rice Thomas (Text Copy)
Indenture Contract from 1740 -- James Franklin to Benjamin Franklin (High Resolution Copy of Original)
Indenture Contract from 1740 -- James Franklin to Benjamin Franklin (Low Resolution Copy of Original -- Quick Loading)
Indenture Contract from 1740 -- James Franklin to Benjamin Franklin (Text Copy)
Advertisements for Recovery of Runaway Servants [Source: Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, February 10, 1772]
Advertisements for Recovery of Runaway Servants [Source: Pennsylvania Gazette [from the 1730s and 1740s]
Advertisement for Arrival and Sale of Indenture Servants [Source: Virginia Gazette, March 28, 1771]

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: indentured servitude; plantation slavery; apprenticeship; Merchant Capitalism; Chesapeake tobacco boom; joint stock companies.

Tuesday, Sept. 16: Household Production and Market Capitalism in the Colonial and Early National Period

REQUIRED READING: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812, pp. 3-234.

RECOMMENDED READING:
1) James Henretta, "Families and Farms: Mentalite in Pre-Industrial America," William and Mary Quarterly, 35(1978), 3-32.
2) Robert E. Mutch "Yoeman and Merchant in Pre-Industrial America: Eighteenth Century Massachusetts as a Case Study," Societas 7(1977), 279-302.
3) Allan Kulikoff, "The Transition to Capitalism in Rural America," William and Mary Quarterly, 46 (Jan. 1989).

Film/Video: Selections from "A Midwife's Tale." Produced and Written by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt, Directed by Richard P. Rogers. RT: 88 minutes. 1997. [Full video of the film is available in the IMC: VidCas F 29 H15 U472X 1997]

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich; Martha Ballard; "canker rash"; Plymouth Company (Kennebec Proprietors); Col. Joseph North; "going to housekeeping"; patriarchy; diary entry: "7/6"; "female economy"; family production economy; Ephraim Ballard; Hallowell; imprisonment for debt

Thursday, Sept. 18: Women and the Household Economy

REQUIRED READING: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812, pp. 235-end.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Web Site on the Diary of Martha Ballard. An exceptional Web site on the diary of Martha Ballard and on decoding and reconstructing 18th and early 19th century history from the fragments of historical records. Project:
Women in medicine in early America: Can you find information on the WWW on this? How and where would you look? Come up with a single URL for a page that deals in some way with this subject.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: WWW search engine; social medicine; midwifery; infant mortality in late 18th century/early 19th century; "I venture to say that a female could scarce pass through the course of education requisite to prepare her, as she ought to be prepared, for the practice of midwifery, without destroying those moral qualitites of character, which are essential to the office"; Malta War; Universalism; Calvinism; Arminianism; imprisonment for debt.

Tuesday, Sept. 23: Men and Women in the Early Industrial Era

REQUIRED READING: "From Artisan's Republic to the Factory System," in Major Problems in the History of American Workers, (chap. 3, pp. 84-123).

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1776) [See Book 1, chapters 1-3]
Excerpt from An Address to the Working-Men of New-England (1832)
Excerpts from a Ten-Hour Day Circular (1835)
An Account from a Visitor to Lowell (1836)
Orestes A. Brownson on "Free Labor" (1840)
Letters of Emeline Larcom (1840)
A Selection from the Lowell Offering (1844)
"A Second Peep at Factory Life" (From the Lowell Offering, 1845)
Letters of Mary Paul (1845-48)
A Biographical Profile of Lucy Larcom
Poems by Lucy Larcom.
An Idyl of Work by Lucy Larcom.
"A Week in the Mill," from the Lowell Offering (1845)
Recruitment of Lowell Operatives (1846)

Film/Video: "Daughters of Free Men" [To be shown in class]

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: household production; the Lowell Offering; Lucy Larcom; "slaver" wagons; stretch-out; speedup; premium system; Mary Paul; Waltham-Lowell system; Rhode Island system; turn-out; Lawrence Manufacturing Company; "City of Spindles"; the ten hour day; Orestes A. Brownson; Seth Luther; The Awl; Lynn MA; Cordwainers' Mutual Benefit Society of Lynn; apprentice; journeyman; master craftsman; artisan culture; guilds; The Great Shoemakers Strike; family economy; factory system; outwork system; Equal Rights doctrine/tradition; republicanism; sexual division of labor; "ten footer"; mechanization; centralization; Clara Brown; bottomers; leather stitching machine; shoebinders; uppers; "order system"; Female Society of Lynn; metropolitan industrialization

Thursday, Sept. 25: The Black Working Class, I: Slavery and After

REQUIRED READING: "Slavery and the Transition to Free Labor," in Major Problems in the History of American Workers, pp. 124-170.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Excerpts from Slave Narratives -- prepared by Steven Mintz. Only documents 1-2,10-14 are required.
Slavery Bibliography (part 1 -- prepared by Steven Mintz)
Slavery Bibliography (part 2 -- prepared by Steven Mintz)
North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920. An outstanding library Web site, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Library. "'North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920' documents the individual and collective story of the African American struggle for freedom and human rights in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. When completed, it will include all the narratives of fugitive and former slaves published in broadsides, pamphlets, or book form in English up to 1920 and many of the biographies of fugitive and former slaves published in English before 1920."

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: Plantation slavery; West Africa; factors; slave trade; French Royal African Company; Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave; Frederick Douglas; Stanley Elkins (Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life, 1959); John Blassingame (The Slave Community, 1972); Eugene Genovese (Roll, Jordan, Roll, 1974); Cliometrics; Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman (Time on the Cross, 1974; "black work ethic"; slave culture; Protestant/Anglo Saxon work ethic; "industrial time"; "preindustrial time"; WPA (Works Progress Administration).

Tuesday, Sept. 30: The Black Working Class, II: Slavery and After

REQUIRED READING: "Slavery and the Transition to Free Labor," in Major Problems in the History of American Workers, pp. 200-214.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Organization and Principles of the Ku Klux Klan, 1868
Booker T. Washington's Views on Race, Economics, and Social Progress
B. T. Washington's Atlanta Exposition Address (1895) and selections from Up from Slavery (1901)
Up From Slavery The complete text of Booker T. Washington's autobiography.
Mary Church Terrell on African-American Women in the Post-Reconstruction Era (1898)
"The Progress of Colored Women," by Mary Church Terrell, President, National Association of Colored Women. An address delivered before the National American Women's Suffrage Association at the Columbia Theater, Washington, D.C., February 18, 1898.
Selections from W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks, 1903
Voices from the 1930s (The WPA Life Histories Collection) The Life Histories Collection is part of the U.S. Work Progress Administration Federal Writers' Project and Historical Records Survey.
"Reminiscence of a Negro Preacher" (1939). One item from the above collection.
Rural Blacks in Post-Reconstruction South Carolina: Mattie Hammond Harrell's Story (1938). Another selection from the Life Histories Collection.
A Black North Carolina Tenant Farmer's Life (1938). Yet another selection from the WPA Life Histories Collection.
Audio -- 8 1/2 minutes. Interviews on sharecropping and tenant farming. (1984) Charles Hardy III interviews with Minnie Whitney, William Robinson, and Hughsey Childes (selections). Source: Atwater Kent Museum (Philadelphia), 1984.
Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Southern freedmen; Ned Cobb; Reconstruction; Eric Foner; Sea Islands; Gideon's Band/Gideonites; Port Royal; Radical Republicans; Gen. William T. Sherman; Special Order No. 15; "slave crops"; paternalistic ethos; Freedmen's Bureau; "free labor ideology"; "standing wages"; "share wage system"; "gang system"; "task system"; sharecropping; tenant farming; crop lien; Ku Klux Klan; National Association of Colored Women; Booker T. Washington; B. T. Washington's Atlanta Exposition Address; Up From Slavery.

Thursday, Oct. 2: No Class

Tuesday, Oct. 7: "Free Labor" and the Turbulent Decade: The 1870s


World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick (1868).
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto 1848. Read sections 1 and 4.
Re-Assessing Tom Scott, the 'Railroad Prince', A Paper for the Mid-America Conference on History, September 16 1995, Written by Dr. T. Lloyd Benson and Trina Rossman, Furman University

Film/Video: "1877: Grand Army of Starvation" [To be shown in class]

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know: Thomas Skidmore; Karl Marx;The Communist Manifesto (1848); proletariat; relations of production; bourgeoisie; scientific socialism; utopian socialism; Fourierism; Owenism; The Great Strike of 1877; Knights of Labor; "robber barons"; Cornelius Vanderbilt; "Gilded Age"; Jay Cooke; the 1873 depression; "tramps"; the "Molly Maguiers"; Trainmen's Union; Brotherhood of Engineers; Albert Parsons; Workingmen's Party of the United State (WPUS); Paris Commune of 1871; Pres. Rutherford B. Hayes; American Federation of Labor.

Thursday, Oct. 9: The Making of a Modern Industrial and Service Working Class

REQUIRED READING: pp. 171-176 (documents); 191-200 (Herbert Gutman); 275-317 ("Cultures of the Workplace") in Major Problems in the History of American Workers.

Film/Video: "The River Ran Red" [To be shown in class]

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Home Page of the Steel Industry Heritage Corporation. Assorted historical materials on the steel industry and the 1892 Homestead Strike
History of the United Steelworkers of America

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

"melting pot"; "chain migration"; the "long turn"; "sweating" or "sweating system"; "work culture"; John Brophy; "soldiering"; David Montgomery; Barbara Melosh; sympathetic strikes; "open shop"; craft rules; "workers' control"; "I Was a Probationer; Homestead strike, Pinkerton Agency, Henry Clay Frick; Amalgamated Association of Steel and Iron Workers; "Tramp Terror," Workingman's Party.

Tuesday, Oct. 14: Immigrant Workers

REQUIRED READING: Out of this Furnace, parts I - III (pp. 1-258)


World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Anti-Chinese Editorial from 1874, San Franciso Real Estate Circular
An Overview of Immigration During the Industrial Era -- Stanley Schultz's Lecture Outline (U. of Wisconsin)

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882; 1906 "Gentleman's Agreement"; George Kracha; the "new" immigration; yellow dog contract; Braddock; Mike Dobrejcak; "Fort Frick"; Alexander Berkman; "turns"; "Stint"; "Hunky"; J. P. Morgan; stock purchase plan; Depression of 1907; Mary Dobrejcak; Depression of 1921; AFL; "Blackjack"; boarding/boarders; Austria-Hungary; temperance movement; credit purchasing.

Thursday, Oct. 16: Unions and Workers, I: Ideologies and Structures

REQUIRED READING: pp. 229-250; 258-273 in Major Problems in the History of American Workers.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Selection from Samuel Gompers, Seventy Years of Life and Labor (1925).
Samuel Gompers -- Papers and Biographical Material.
An Overview of Labor Organizations in the Late 19th and Early 20 Centuries. Stanley Schultz's Lecture Outline (U. of Wisconsin).

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

trade unionism; labor reform; Knights of Labor; Terence Powderly; Uriah Stevens; reform unionism; FOOTALU (or FOTLU); Pullman Strike of 1894; American Railway Union (ARU); John P. Altgeld; closed shop; open shop; business unionism; "pure and simple unionism"; American Federation of Labor; Samuel Gompers; Adolph Strasser; Haymarket Square "Riot" (1886); anarchism.

Tuesday, Oct. 21: Unions and Workers, II: Socialists and Syndicalists

REQUIRED READING: 1) Stewart Bird, et al., Solidarity Forever: An Oral History of the IWW, pp. 1-74. [On reserve in Ten Broeck]; 2) pp. 235-239 in Major Problems in the History of American Workers.

FIRST PAPER/PROJECT DUE

Film/Video: "The Wobblies" [Selections shown in class. Also available at IMC: VidCas HD 8055 W63X 1980]

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Daniel DeLeon Read Reform or Revolution? (1896) and the editorial "Industrial Unionism" (1913).
IWW Links
Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888). Read editor's introduction and Chapters 1 and 5.
Emma Goldman Archives and Biographical Materials. Take a look at the online exhibit on Goldman, especially material up to World War I.
Miscellaneous documents on the WWW.
Review of Sally M. Miller's Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Early Twentieth-Century American Socialism (1966)
Eugene V. Debs (1904 presidential campaign speech -- audio file)
Memories of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Selection from Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, The Rebel Girl: An Autobiography, My First Life (1906-1926)
Mary Licht, Rebel Girl: The Revolutionary Life and Work of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn(People's Weekly World, March 30, 1996).
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Bibliography.
IWW Photographs -- including some of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
Colleen O'Neill, "Domesticity Deployed:† Gender, Race, and the Construction of Class Struggle in the Bisbee Deportation," Labor History, 34(Spring-Summer 1993), 256-273.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, SABOTAGE (1916)

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Edward Bellamy; Looking Backward; Daniel DeLeon; Eugene V. debs; socialism; IWW; Western Federation of Miners; syndicalism; anarchism; Industrial Democracy, Wobblies, The Little Red Song Book, Bindlestiffs, the A.W.O.; William Haywood; Mother Jones; Bolshevik Revolution; Lawrence Strike of 1912; Paterson Silkworkers Strike (1913); sabotage; free speech movement; "the Rebel Girl"; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn; sedition trials of WWI; A. Mitchell Palmer; Palmer raids; "little red Henski."

Thursday, Oct. 23: Women's Work Cultures in Early 20th Century America

REQUIRED READING: 1) Meredith Tax, "The Uprising of Thirty Thousand" in Unequal Sisters, pp. 203-227; 2) Kathy Peiss, "Dance Madness: New York City Dance halls and Working-Class Sexuality, 1900-1920" in Charles Stephenson and David Asher, Life and Labor

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Child Labor in America, 1908-1912: Photographs of Lewis W. Hine.
This commercial site presents some of the most famous photographs of Lewis W. Hineótaken between 1908 and 1912ódocumenting the exploitation of children in early 20th century industrial America. Hine (1874-1940) is one of the founders of modern documentary photography and the photographs showcased at this site illustrate why his reputation is so immense; they are powerful and moving, and beautifully reproduced here with stunning clarity and contrast. Along with the photographs which contain Hine's original captions, there is a short essay about the photographer, as well as the history of child labor in the United States.
Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Short Biographical Profile of Mother Jones
The Uprising of Twenty Thousand.
University at Binghamton WWW Site: "The documents in this project date from the brief period between December 1909 to February 1910. During these three months more than 20,000 shirtwaist workers went out on strike and unionization in the women's clothing industry made great strides. . . . This project focuses on relations among strikers, the strike's wealthy women supporters, and socialist activists. The documents speak to two related questions: what were the relations between striking shirtwaist workers and their elite women supporters and what was the impact of socialism on those relations? Primary sources, drawn mainly from New York newspapers, help to tell the story of the shirtwaist strike."
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 -- Web Exhibit Maintained by the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University.
Charlotte Perkins Stetman Gilman, Herland (1915)

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Uprising of the Thirty (Twenty) Thousand; Meredith Tax; ILGWU; Clara Lemlich; Local 25, ILGWU; the Rand School; Jewish Daily Forward; New York Call; waist makers; Triangle Waist Factory; subcontracting; "sweating" labor; Women's Trade Union League; Triangle Shirt Waist factory fire (March 25, 1911); Victorian mores; "racket"or "affair" dance; "pleasure" clubs [i.e. - the "Fly-by-Nights," East Side Crashers," Lady Millionaire"]; "treating"; "breaking women"; "charity girls."

Tuesday, Oct. 28: Divided Workers: Race, Ethnicity, and Labor in the Early 20th Century

REQUIRED READING: 1) "Class, Race, and Ethnicity, 1917-21," chapter 6 of James R. Barret's, Work and Community in the Jungle: Chicago's Packinghouse Workers, 1894-1922.

Films/Videos: Selections from "The Killing Floor" and "Matewan" will be shown in class. Both are available at IMC. I highly recommend viewing the full versions when you get a chance, especially if you are contemplating a paper on the subject.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Jacob A. Riis, How the Other Half Lives (1890) A classic work on immigrants, immigrant communities, and New York's urban ghettoes by Jacob Riis (1849-1914).
N.Y.S. Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities (Lusk Committee). Introduction to the printed guide to the records of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities, giving background information on the Committee.
Example 1: Original Scanned Informant's Report Sent to the Lusk Committee. This document is directly drawn from Prof. Gerald Zahavi's research on labor and radicalism in America. It, and the ones that follow, profile post-WWI radicalism in Broome County, New York. Broome County radicals were a divided lot in late 1919. This division--shared by many of their comrades across the nation--reflected the strength of ethnic and national chauvinisms, the general crisis in American socialism precipitated by World War I, and the impact of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. The vast majority of the County's radicals were right wing socialists, but there was also a substantial pro-Bolshevik left-wing. Local socialists were organized into a number of foreign language federations -- Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Russian, and so on. This document is a report on pro-Bolshevik Lithuanians active in Binghamton N.Y. [Source: N.Y. State Archives]
Example 2: Original Scanned Informant's Report Sent to the Lusk Committee. An informant's report on a recent Socialist Party meeting in Binghamton. It was written by Julia Preston, a Binghamton Press reporter fluent in a number of East European languages. Preston, a right-wing socialist who detested pro-Bolshevik left-wingers, attended many local socialist meetings. Little did her comrades know that she was sending regular reports on their activities to the state legislature. Preston identified herself in her correspondence as agent 100. [Source: N.Y. State Archives]
Example 3: Original Scanned Informant's Report Sent to the Lusk Committee. Here's another report by Julia Preston (agent 100), this time with a fascinating profile of the cultural world of Slovak radicals. [Source: N.Y. State Archives]
Transcribed Versions of Informants' Reports and Correspondence Sent to the Lusk Committee. Here are more informant reports, this time from A. Adomaitis, along with correspondence from the Chief Investigator of the Lusk Committee and Binghamton attorneys responsible for relaying the reports to the Committee.
Selection from 1921 FBI File on Broome County, NY Radicals A fascinating account of religious conflicts, Endicott radicals, and George F. Johnson, head of the Endicott-Johnson Company. E-J was a shoe manufacturing firm with plants in Endicott, Johnson City, and Binghamton, N.Y.
Red Scare, Broome County, I. An article in the Binghamton Press from 1919, illustrating the erosion of civil liberties during the red scare years.
Red Scare, Broome County, II. Two articles from the Binghamton Press from 1919. More examples of the erosion of civil liberties.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Lusk Committee; Endicott Johnson Corporation; "hana-hana"; "lunas"; "haolas"; Organic Act of 1900; Hawaiin Sugar Planters' Association; Japanese Federation of Labor; Filipino Federation of Labor; The Great Migration; Chicago Stockyards Labor Council; Wlliam Z. Foster; International Trade Union Education League; Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen; President's Mediation Commission; Stockyards Community Clearing House; The Jungle; National War Labor Board; Robert Bedford; National Urban League; Wabash Avenue YMCA; American Unity Labor Union; race consciousness; a "race man"; "Black Belt" of Chicago; nativism.

FILMS/VIDEOS: "Up South" will be shown in class. "THE KILLING FLOOR" will be shown in TB-02 on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. From now on, longer, feature-length videos will be shown on Wednesday mornings in Ten Broeck for optional viewing. I'll try to be there for these showings; if I can't, either Matt or another History graduate student will be present. If you can't make it, we may be able to schedule individual viewings in my office suite (we now have a video production area set up).

Thursday, Oct. 30: Controlling Workers: Scientific Management and Welfare Capitalism

REQUIRED READING: 1) Frederick W. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York, 1911): 5-29 [available at: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1911taylor.html
2) Gerald Zahavi, "Negotiated Loyalty: Welfare Capitalism and the Shoeworkers of Endicott Johnson, 1920-1940," Journal of American History, 71(Dec. 1983), 602-620 (on reserve).

RECOMMENDED READING: 1) Stephen Meyer, "The Making of Ford's Assembly Line," and Susan Porter Benson, "Taylorizing the Shopgirl," in Major Problems in the History of American Workers, pp. 333-360.

Films/Videos: "Clockwork" (To be shown in class) & "Modern Times" (selection) ["Modern Times" is a Chaplin classic and is available at most video stores.]

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Selection from Sam Salvatore [Endicott-Johnson Corp. worker] interview by Gerald Zahavi, July 7, 1981 (audio file)
Transcription of 1927 meeting between EJ head George F. Johnson and striking edge trimmers.
A discussion of F. Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management.
A very short biography and discussion of Frederick W. Taylor.
Access to the F. W. Taylor archives -- on line! Approximately 800 documents available for primary source research.
Brief introduction to Sanford M. Jacoby, a recent scholar who has written extensively on welfare capitalism. Includes references to his works.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Welfare capitalism; scientific management; Fredrick W. Taylor; The Principles of Scientific Management; time studies; task and bonus system; Frank Gilbreth; micro-motion studies; corporate housing plans; profit sharing; stock ownership plans; employee representation; David Brody; Stuart Brandes.

Tuesday, Nov. 4: Labor in the South: Appalachia

REQUIRED READING: Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, "Disorderly Women," Journal of American History.

RECOMMENDED READING: Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, et al., Like a Family : The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World, pp. 289-363.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Mary Harris ("Mother") Jones, "Civilization in Southern Mills," International Socialist Review, March, 1901.
Comprehensive Bibliography on Appalachia.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

"public work"; doffers; Southern Farmers Alliance; crop lien; fence laws; United Textile Workers of America (UTW); company towns; welfare work; Burlington Mills/Industries; "stretch-out"; National Labor Board (NLB); Piedmont region; National Civic Federation; Appalachia; Tidewater-vs-Hill country conflicts; yeoman farmers; subsistence farming; effects of Civil War on the Hill country, Post Civil War credit system in Hill country; the "New South"; cotton mill towns, Depression of 1893; National Textile Workers Unions (NTWU); Gastonia; General Textile Strike of 1934; Section 7(a) of the NIRA; "green hands"; textile code; Blue Eagle; NIRA (National Industrial Recovery Act); Wagner Act; John L. Lewis; Burlington Dynamite Case; flying squadrons.

Thursday, Nov. 6: Radicalism, Labor, and the Coming of the Great Depression

REQUIRED READING: 1) "Industrial Unionism During the Great Depression," (chap. 9) in Major Problems in the History of American Workers; 2) Out of this Furnace, Part IV (259-end); 3) "'Who's Going to Dance With Somebody Who Calls You a Mainstreeter': Communism, Culture and Community in Sheridan County, Montana, 1918-1934," Great Plains Quarterly, 16 (Fall 1996): 251-286. .

Film/Video: Selection from the PBS series, "The Great Depression" or "Seeing Red" [To be shown in class]

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Selections from Studs Terkel's oral history of the Great Depression.
An account of the Flint sit-down strike of 1936-37." An Introduction to Sol Dollinger: The Flint "Sit-Down" for Beginners by Charlie Post
Voices from the 1930s (The WPA Life Histories Collection) The Life Histories Collection is part of the U.S. Work Progress Administration Federal Writers' Project and Historical Records Survey. From the home page of the collection, you can conduct subject searches and extract interviews on specific issues.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Employee representation plans (ERPs); bank holidays; (Dobie, Julie, Tighe, Amalgamated Association, U.S. Steel -- from Out of This Furnace); Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO); unemployed councils; FDR; Bonus Army; The New Deal; The Wagner Act; Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC); UAW (United Auto Workers Union); company unions; NIRA (National Industrial Recovery Act); .

Tuesday, Nov. 11: Agricultural Labor and Radicalism in the 1930s -- a Case Study of California

REQUIRED READING: John Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Steinbeck Research Center (San Jose State University) Information about John Steinbeck. Steinbeck wrote extensively about California agricultural workers.
Audio File: Sam Darcy interview, Feb. 2, 1992. Long selection from a recorded interview conducted by Nelson Pichardo on February 1, 1992, from the archives of the Oral History Program, University at Albany. Darcy was the California District Organizer for the Communist Party in the early 1930s and was heavily involved in leading the efforts to organize California farmworkers. 1 hour 2 minutes long.
Audio file: "Talking Farmwork Blues." Selections from a two-part series on California Agricultural workers, produced by Margo McBane (date of production uncertain). 32 minutes long.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Cotton Strike of 1933; Jim Nolan, Mac, Joy, Dakin, Doc Burton, London, Burke, "Bloody Thursday", Torgas Valley -- from In Dubious Battle; John Steinbeck; Sam Darcy; Caroline Decker; Pat Chambers; CAWIU (Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union).

Thursday, Nov. 13: Women and the CIO

REQUIRED READING: Edited interviews with Stella Nowicki and Sylvia Woods, from Alice and Staughton Lynd, eds., Rank and File: Personal Histories by Working-Class Organizers (Princeton Univ. Press, 1973). [On reserve at Ten Broeck]

Film/Video: "With Babies and Banners" [To be shown in class]

Also "Union Maids" [selections, video available at IMC].

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Audio file: "On The Line: Radical Women in the Labor Movement." Part three (3) of a six-part series on radical women's activism in the 1930s. Produced by WBAI-FM and the Oral History of the American Left, Tamiment Institute Library, New York University, New York, N.Y. No date. Project Directors: Paul and Mari Jo Buhle, Oral Historians: Jon Bloom & Bea Lemisch. Project Coordinator: Ruth Prago. Mixed by Steven Erickson. Produced by Beth Friend and Charles Potter. 30 minutes long.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Tuesday, Nov. 18: Race, Gender, and War

REQUIRED READING:Major Problems in the History of American Workers, pp. 462-467; 471-495.

Film/Video: "Rosie the Riveter" [To be shown in class]

Film SEEING RED will be shown at Ten Broeck (come to Rm. 202) at 9:45 a.m. and at 3 p.m. Students may also make other arrangements with me.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Helen Quirini's WW II-Era Diary -- Selections.
Ruth Yong Jandreau's recollections of women, the UE, and the CIO in the WWII and the post-War era.
NOT YET ON LINE! Audio file: recollections of Helen Quirini of World War II Years At Schenectady General Electric. Source: Helen Quirini Papers, History Documentation Center, University at Albany History Department.
Coming soon! Audio file: Ruth Young's recollections of women's labor struggles during the 1940s. Source: Ruth Young Papers, History Documentation Center, University at Albany History Department.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

The National War Labor Board; equal pay for equal work; 'The Crisis'; "forgotten years of the Negro Revolution"; Winston-Salem Local 22 of the FTA; HUAC; UCAPAWA; FTA; tobacco workers; defeminization of post-war industry, the sexual division of labor; NAACP.

Thursday, Nov. 20: The Cold War and Labor, I

REQUIRED READING: Major Problems in the History of American Workers, pp. 496-503; 506-539.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

UERMWA (United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America; UAW (United Auto Workers); CIO purge of "communist-led" unions; Taft-Hartley Act (1947); Section 9(h) of the Taft-Hartley Act; Joe McCarthy; "Stalinist line"; ADA (Americans for Democratic Action); Henry Wallace; UE Members for Democratic Action (UEMDA) ; ACTU (Association of Catholic Trade Unionists); Father Charles Rice; Non-Communist Affidavits; House Committee on UnAmerican Activities; Cold War Liberalism; Industry Council Plan; Full Employment Act of 1946; Industry Council Plan; War Labor Board (WLB); the Reuter plan; tripartite, corporatist model of wage-price bargaining; New Deal social engineering; .

Tuesday, Nov. 25: The Cold War and Labor, II: Cultural Conflict and Labor in the Cold War

REQUIRED READING: Gerald Zahavi, "Passionate Commitements: Race, Sex, and Communism at Schenectady General Electric, 1932-1954," Journal of American History, 83 (September 1996): 514:548; Also, selections from the script of "Salt of the Earth" (handout).

Film: "SALT OF THE EARTH." Selections shown in class. Copy on reserve in my office.

World Wide Web Sites/Documents:

Audio file: Jules Schwerin, Assistant Director and production manager of the film Salt of the Earth, speaks about the production of the film. Recorded December 1, 1994 at the University at Albany. Introduction by Prof. Gerald Zahavi. Time: 47 minutes, 11 seconds.

Project: Second WWW assignment due. Locate five Web sites pertaining to the labor history of a particular decade (as discussed in class). Hand in a page or two with the URLs of the WWW sites and a paragraph desribing the content of each site.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Salt of the Earth ()1953); Esperanza Quintero (played by Rosaura Revueltas); Ramon Quintero; "But why must you say to me, "Stay in your place." Do you feel better having someone lower than you?"; Mine-Mill and Smelter Workers Union; Zinc Town, N.M.; Herbert Biberman (Director of Salt of the Earth); Local 890, Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union; blacklisting; the Hollywood 10; Helen Quirini; Dante DeCesare; Local 301 (UE, later IUE); A. C. Stevens; industrial "colonizers"; Ruth Young Jandreau; Leo Jandreau; IUE.

Thursday, Nov. 27: No Class

Tuesday, Dec. 2: Working Class Icons: The Representation of Blue and White Collar Workers on Television and in Hollywood

Videos -- to be shown in class: Selections from the following series -- LIFE OF RILEY (1949); THE HONEYMOONERS (1955); THE FLINSTONES (1960); JULIA (1968); ALL IN THE FAMILY (1971); LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY (1976); ROSEANNE (1988); THE SIMPSONS (1990); Also, selections from the films: ON THE WATERFRONT, HOFFA, NINE TO FIVE, WORKING GIRL, AND MORE.

World Wide Web Sites:

Segment summaries and more on the Honeymooners (1955).
An excellent web page discussing the TV show Laverne & Shirley (1976) and its depiction of working women.
ALL IN THE FAMILY (1971) web site, with segment summaries.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Thursday, Dec. 4: Labor, Technology, and the Meaning of Progress

REQUIRED READING: 1) Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano (read first half of book); 2) Selection from interviews with Kurt Vonnegut [handout]

RECOMMENDED READING: Chapter 14 (pp. 579-633) in Major Problems in the History of the History of American Workers.

Film: "ROGER AND ME." Selections shown in class. Copy on reserve in my office.

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

Player Piano; Kurt Vonnegut; Epicac; "The Meadows"; Association Island; Roger and Me; Paul Proteus; Ilium; Rudy Hertz; National Industrial Planning Board; "Reeks and Wrecks"; Reconstruction Reclamation Corps.; Dr. Lawson Shepard.

Tuesday, Dec. 9: The New Economy and Labor

REQUIRED READING: 1) Finish Player Piano; 2) Major Problems in the History of the History of American Workers, pp. 567-578 and chapter 15 ("The Future of Work").

RECOMMENDED READING: Major Problems in the History of the History of American Workers, pp. 540-567.

Recommended Films/Videos: "Minimum Wages: The New Economy," "Company Town," and "The Global Assembly Line." These films may be screened in Ten Breock. Make arrangements with me if you are interested.

World Wide Web Sites:

Opening Plenary Session: Introductory remarks. "The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary speeches and selective workshop sessions. Tapes courtesy of WRPI (Troy), University at Albany History and Media Project, and Thad Russell. Original tapes held by the Oral History Program, University at Albany, Albany, N.Y. Speeches by Columbia University President George Rupp, Steve Fraser, and Eric Foner -- including introduction to Betty Friedan's speech which follows. (October 3, 1996). [28:12 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Opening Plenary Session: Speech by Betty Friedan (October 3, 1996) [14:47 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Opening Plenary Session: Speech by Richard Rorty (University of Virginia) (October 3, 1996) [16:38 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Opening Plenary Session: Speech by Patricia Williams (Columbia University) (October 3, 1996) [18:07 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Opening Plenary Session: Speech by John Sweeney, Pres. AFL-CIO (October 3, 1996) [30:49 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Opening Plenary Session: Speech by Cornell West (Harvard University) and conclusion of opening plenary session (October 3, 1996) [28:34 minutes]


"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary Session #2, "The Incorporation of America" -- Introductory Remarks (October 4, 1996). Remarks by Josh Freeman (Columbia University), Brian McLaughlin (Pres. of the NYC Central Labor Council), and Ira Katznelson (Columbia University). Also Katznelson's introduction of first speaker, Linda Chavez-Thompson. [14:08 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary Session #2. Speech by Linda Chavez-Thompson (Executive Vice-President, AFL-CIO) (October 4, 1996). [19:09 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary Session #2. Introduction of, and speech by Orlando Patterson (Harvard University) (October 4, 1996). [19:15 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary Session #2. Introduction of, and speech by Katha Pollitt (Writer, The Nation) (October 4, 1996). [19:58 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary Session #2. Introduction of, and speech by Joel Rogers (University of Wisconsin, Madison) (October 4, 1996). [25:34 minutes]

"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary Session #2. Concluding remarks by Ira Katznelson and Josh Freeman (October 4, 1996). [3:10 minutes]


"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Plenary Session #3. Whole session. Individual speeches will soon appear below as separate files. Speakers include: Manning Marable, Chair (Columbia University), Francis Fox Piven (City University of New York), Karen Nussbaum (Women's Department, AFL-CIO), Jose LaLuz (Intl. Area Director, AFSCME), David Montgomery (Yale University), Richard Trumka (Sec.-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO). (October 4, 1996). [2 hrs, 19 minutes]


"The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement," held October 3-4, 1996 at Columbia University, NYC. Labor teach-in workshop on Culture, Identity and Class Politics. Moderated by Nelson Lichtenstein (U. of Virginia). Speeches by Todd Gitlin (NYU), Robin D. G. Kelley (NYU), and Jo-Ann Mort (UNITE) (October 4, 1996). [1 hr, 43 minutes]

Key Terms, Concepts, Names to know:

feminization of poverty; labor force participation rates; "smart machines"; decentralized production; globalization; IAM's Technology Bill of Rights (1984); home work; sweatshops; underground economy; deskilling; PATCO strike (1981); UPS Strike (1997); Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974).

LAST PAPER/PROJECT IS DUE DECEMBER 12!

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Updated June 20, 2000

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Prof. Gerald Zahavi
Department of History
202-2 Ten Broeck Hall
University at Albany
Albany, N.Y. 12222
Tel. #: (518) 442-4780
Email: gz580@csc.albany.edu