Think about your work environment…are you allowed to rest periodically? Do you earn a decent wage? Can you voice your concerns without losing your job? There was a time when workers in the United States did not have basic rights such as a minimum wage or time for a break.
Work with primary source documents from American Memory to study the working conditions of U.S. laborers at the turn of the century. Answer the question, "Was there a need for organized labor unions?"
- analyze and discuss the significance of primary source documents;
- describe the working conditions in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century that gave rise to the labor union movement;
- understand the justification for organized labor unions; and
- present their justification by using the primary source documents from American Memory to defend their arguments.
Recommended Grade Level
- Science, Technology & Business
- City & Regional History
- Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900
- Progressive Era to New Era, 1900-1929
Nancy Woodward and Trish Shoemaker, American Memory Fellows 2000