Women, Unions, and Social Change

 

 


Andrea Wilford

Muscatine High School

Image, Source: scan from b&w copy photo in Publishing Office


Spring 2010


 

Change in the lives of women is strongly correlated with changes in cultural mores or standards of a society.  The cultural proscriptions circumscribing women and the world of work are very powerful agents, that, when shifted, have a compound effect that leads to changes throughout a culture. The following selections of primary sources reflect the influences of the working world on women and society throughout the early 20th century.

Overview/ Materials/LOC Resources/Standards/ Procedures/Evaluation/Rubric /Handouts/Extension

 

Overview                                                        Back to Navigation Bar

Objectives

Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the social and political impact of the rise of modern labor unions on American women through the use of primary sources.
  • Develop primary document interpretation skills.
  • Hone teamwork skills through a cooperative task.

Recommended time frame

3–5,  55-minute class sessions

Grade level

9–12

Curriculum fit

U.S. History

Materials

1.     Student copy of the description of the activity  

2.     Computer lab with Internet access to Library of Congress and other document links or one printed version of each document, grouped according to chart color code (lilac, gold, green, pink)

3.     Primary resources interpretation worksheets

4.     Cooperative Work Rubric

5.     Pens, pencils, notebook for writing activity or props for skit activity

6.     Handouts with activity information or use information PowerPoint

 

Iowa State Learning Standards                   Back to Navigation Bar

 

Iowa Social Studies: History

·         Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.

·         Social Studies: 21st Century Skills: Civic Literacy Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action.

National Standards: Social Studies, Level IV (Grades 9-12)

*Standard 2. Understands the historical perspective

à  2. Analyzes the influences specific ideas and beliefs had on a period of history and specifies how events                                                                                might have been different in the absence of those ideas and beliefs

à12. Knows how to evaluate the credibility and authenticity of historical sources

à13. Evaluates the validity and credibility of different historical interpretations

Procedures                                                     Back to Navigation Bar

 

Instructional Narrative:

The following activity is a cooperative learning opportunity that will allow students the chance to view, interpret, and summarize primary resources concerning American women, unions, and social change. 

Preparation for Lesson: Teachers

1.    If students are unfamiliar with using primary sources, use a projector and the Internet to walk the class through the three lessons concerning using primary sources on the LOC learning page for students at: 

http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/psources/source.html 

2.    Post the following discussion questions from slide six for students to respond to in a large group session before beginning the activity.

Questions for discussion!

  • Why was the relationship between business and labor often hostile throughout the 19th and 20th centuries?
  • What is the role of organized labor in democratic societies?
  • How does organized labor influence social and economic structures?

Activity Directions: Students

Day One:

1.        You will be working in cooperative teams.  Each team will be assigned a selection of primary resources from a certain time period that they will be evaluating individually and collectively within the team. Each team will be provided with a selection of primary source interpretation worksheets (also available online at http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/).  Each team member will be responsible for evaluating one primary source individually. (Teams in excess of six members may allow two students to examine the same primary source and submit one worksheet over the source that has been completed together.)

  1. Teams will use the inference chart to extend their understanding of the documents. 

Teams should select a team leader, timekeeper, note-taker, presenter, and two skit/storyboard writers/directors.

Duties of each assignment

·         Team Leader:  This person is responsible for delegating and directing the work completed by the team.  They will direct the assignment of the primary documents and appoint the rest of the role assignments and, in general, guide the group discussions.

·         Timekeeper:  This person is responsible for keeping the team on task throughout the unit. They set the time limits for document evaluation and presentations by the team members. They are to ensure that the team reads, evaluates, and shares all the primary sources assigned to the team before the end of the class period for Day One.

·         Note-Taker:  This person is responsible for being the team secretary.  They will record the highlights and or inferences/conclusions derived from each document presented by the team in preparation for the group’s summary that will be the background for the group story/skit.

·         Presenter:  This person is responsible for sharing the group summary/document highlights with the other teams and acts as skit narrator.

·        Writer/Director:  These individuals will be responsible for writing the team skit/story and directing the skit (with input from the rest of the team).  If only a story is assigned, the director will be responsible for presenting the team’s story to class with help of the presenter.

Day Two:

Students create presentations according to handout instructions.

Handout #6:   Skit/Story Guideline and Rubric

Each group will generate a story/skit based on the interpretation of their team’s primary sources. Each story should attempt to convey the attitudes and ideas that shaped American views of women and work during the period of time as referenced from the sources.  Use your document interpretation sheets and previous knowledge learned in the unit. The stories should follow a factual idea with people, places, things, ideas, and results.

When writing your “Women, Unions, and Social Change” story/skit, use the following items as a guide:

Characters – What are the main characteristics of the people involved in the story?

Setting – Describe the time, place, and context in which the information takes place.

Initiating event – The event or circumstance that creates a challenge for the character(s).

Internal response – The characters’ responses to the challenging event.

Result – How did the response to the challenge end?

Day Three:

Student presentation of skits/stories. 

Teachers may set a time limit of 13 minutes for each presentation.  Upon completion of skit, the presenter should present a summary of the team’s primary resources and highlight the connections of each resource to the actions taking place in the skit/story.

 

 

Days Four and Five: 

Completion of skits if necessary and final reflections/evaluation.

Process:  Upon completion of the skits/stories, students will be asked to hold a general class discussion over the presentations and the primary sources used (teacher may elect to project select documents while discussing).

For their final evaluation, students will be asked to read one last primary document that comes from a local source: an oral history of a woman who describes her working life in the early 20th century. Each student is then to write a one-page reflection paper that responds to the lesson’s overarching essential question (see Handout #7).

Handout #7  Reflective Summary Assignment      

  1. Read the Florence Paul interview.

As you read the Florence Paul interview, look for the answers to the following items:

1.   How old is Florence when she seeks her first job?

2.   Note her places of employment and her compensation for each job. 

3.   Did her pay seem adequate to meet her needs?  Why or why not?

4.  Make a prediction about the rest of her story once the union comes to her workplace.  Do you think Florence will welcome or reject unionization?                                

  1. Use this interview information and the other information presented in class to write a thesis statement and a one-page response that reflects your understandings of the unit’s essential discussion question:

“To what extent did the role of women in the workforce and their union involvement contribute to social change throughout the time periods presented?”

Students may be asked to complete a paper in class or be allowed to turn it in later at the teacher’s chosen deadline.

 

Evaluation                                                      Back to Navigation Bar

 

This learning experience will be evaluated on four levels: 

First, each student will be evaluated for his or her daily participation (see Handout #1).

Second, each student will be evaluated for his or her individual work in primary source analysis (see Handouts #2, 3, 4, & 5) found online at http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/ (or available as handouts at end of lesson).

Third, each student will be evaluated for the final product of the group activity, the group skit/story (see Handout #6).

Fourth: Student will be evaluated for his or her final reflective summary paper, submitted individually (see Handout #7).

 

Extension                                                        Back to Navigation Bar

 

Students may choose to do further research about labor legislation and connect these events to historic happenings within the decades of the 20th century.

 


Primary Resources from the Library of Congress

Back to Navigation Bar

 

Image

Description

Citation

URL

Image 1 of 3, [Protective legislation]

1

Protective Legislation. Regarding hours of labors in: The Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, v. 1, chap. 106. Boston: Wright & Potter Printing Co., State Printers, 1902, p. 919-921, section 24

Library of Congress, American Women’s History: protective legislation

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/awhbib:@field(DOCID+@lit(awh0026))

 

http://memory.loc.gov/ll/llmisc/awh/awh0026/0026001u.gif

 

Image 1 of 1, Florence Kelly Speaks on Child Labor

2

Newspaper clipping: Florence Kelly Speaks on Child Labor 1904

 

Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collection Division, NAWSA Miller Scrapbook Collection

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=rbcmil&fileName=scrp1015201/rbcmilscrp1015201.db&recNum=0&itemLink=r?ammem/rbcmiller:@field(DOCID+rbcmilscrp1015201)%23scrp10152011&linkText=1

Image, Source: scan from b&w copy photo in Publishing Office

3

National Women's Trade Union seal

Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-02954 DLC

http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/ppmsca/02900/02954r.jpg

 

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/awhbib:@OR(@field(AUTHOR+@3(Wendt,+Julia+Bracken,+1871+1942,+))+@field(OTHER+@3(Wendt,+Julia+Bracken,+1871+1942,+)))

 

 

http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/ppmsca/02900/02940t.gif

4

Illus. in: Life. (1912 August 22), Looking Back, by Laura Foster

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, American Women, LC-DIG-ppmsca-02940 DLC

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.02940

 

 

Digital ID: ppmsca 02940  

 

5

Folder 58: Strikes Garment Industry 1910, Statements on the strike, p. 1

National Women's Trade Union League of America Records, 1910-1934; B-16, folders 24, 30, 58 and 63. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/view/2428977?xcap=mx%2BH1zMK5j7hx82zCIFrFnVueAoTe4xt4BAJZkh2JsRX%2FzBEy5UKE2evSS2T3nuV4g9MRk%2F3%2B5KOOdXIx4XCDCrdHnwKPJ8v6g7EGXyEfzaUJFESTSUrRcwdBPk1BW9oRKljmGWfUca96lzt%2FzXvrzjgvrKg2DNPtok%2FNOUC6%2Fy7YW8afLQhXzHO%2F5URyAAfXb9pp5ywrxRCE2V%2Bayc%2Fj1kmeGvprXKiTBCYbET14U%2BuE0QvxrCj9TL6oOKdCIecQcQuvySekMeCzHb6p3oXUh%2BhgHaJkL2g2OCtQLu1orqPPaBCMVAe64Wl%2FT6kKY6eA5FhERG1DIJpTYiIMUjEDJHlHKbDsP9hXrsFPNCFj2%2BSO9sqOxrpKIN6sTT2m7JM

 

6

Folder 58: Strikes Garment Industry 1910: Prices, p. 1

National Women's Trade Union League of America Records, 1910-1934; B-16, folders 24, 30, 58 and 63. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/view/2429047?xcap=mx%2BH1zMK5j7hx82zCIFrFnVueAoTe4xt4BAJZkh2JsRX%2FzBEy5UKE2evSS2T3nuV4g9MRk%2F3%2B5KOOdXIx4XCDCrdHnwKPJ8v6g7EGXyEfzaUJFESTSUrRcwdBPk1BW9oRKljmGWfUca96lzt%2FzXvrzjgvrKg2DNPtok%2FNOUC6%2Fy7YW8afLQhXzHO%2F5URyAAfXb9pp5ywrxRCE2V%2Bayc%2Fj1kmeGvprXKiTBCYbET14U%2BuE0QvxrCj9TL6oOKdCIecQcQuvySekMeCzHb6p3oXUh%2BhgHaJkL2g2OCtQLu1orqPPaBCMVAe64Wl%2FT6kKY6eA5FhERG1DIJpTYiIMUjEDJHlHKbDsP9hXrsFPNCFj2%2BSO9sqOxrpKIN6sTT2m7JM

Image, Source: scan from color copy photo in Publishing Office

7

Cartoon showing Supreme Court Justice Sutherland handing a woman worker the minimum wage decision

1923

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-02945

http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/ppmsca/02900/02945r.jpg

8

Folder 63: Strikes Garment Industry, Facts about the 1926 Cloak strike, Clippings: p.6

National Women's Trade Union League of America Records, 1910-1934; B-16, folders 24, 30, 58 and 63. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/view/2429335?xcap=mx%2BH1zMK5j7hx82zCIFrFnVueAoTe4xt4BAJZkh2JsRX%2FzBEy5UKE2evSS2T3nuV4g9MRk%2F3%2B5KOOdXIx4XCDCrdHnwKPJ8v6g7EGXyEfzaUJFESTSUrRcwdBPk1BW9oRKljmGWfUca96lzt%2FzXvrzjgvrKg2DNPtok%2FNOUC6%2Fy7YW8afLQhXzHO%2F5URyAAfXb9pp5ywrxRCE2V%2Bayc%2Fj1kmeGvprXKiTBCYbET14U%2BuE0QvxrCj9TL6oOKdCIecQcQuvySekMeCzHb6p3oXUh%2BhgHaJkL2g2OCtQLu1orqPPaBCMVAe64Wl%2FT6kKY6eA5FhERG1DIJpTYiIMUjEDJHlHKbDsP9hXrsFPNCFj2%2BSO9sqOxrpKIN6sTT2m7JM

 

9

Folder 63: Facts about the 1926 Cloak strike

National Women's Trade Union League of America Records, 1910-1934; B-16, folders 24, 30, 58 and 63. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/view/2429255?xcap=mx%2BH1zMK5j7hx82zCIFrFnVueAoTe4xt4BAJZkh2JsRX%2FzBEy5UKE2evSS2T3nuV4g9MRk%2F3%2B5KOOdXIx4XCDCrdHnwKPJ8v6g7EGXyEfzaUJFESTSUrRcwdBPk1BW9oRKljmGWfUca96lzt%2FzXvrzjgvrKg2DNPtok%2FNOUC6%2Fy7YW8afLQhXzHO%2F5URyAAfXb9pp5ywrxRCE2V%2Bayc%2Fj1kmeGvprXKiTBCYbET14U%2BuE0QvxrCj9TL6oOKdCIecQcQuvySekMeCzHb6p3oXUh%2BhgHaJkL2g2OCtQLu1orqPPaBCMVAe64Wl%2FT6kKY6eA5FhERG1DIJpTYiIMUjEDJHlHKbDsP9hXrsFPNCFj2%2BSO9sqOxrpKIN6sTT2m7JM

 

10

Folder 63: Chicago Tribune news, Clippings, p. 2: 1930 garment strike: Dressmakers strike 1930

National Women's Trade Union League of America Records, 1910-1934; B-16, folders 24, 30, 58 and 63. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/view/2429285?xcap=mx%2BH1zMK5j7hx82zCIFrFnVueAoTe4xt4BAJZkh2JsRX%2FzBEy5UKE2evSS2T3nuV4g9MRk%2F3%2B5KOOdXIx4XCDCrdHnwKPJ8v6g7EGXyEfzaUJFESTSUrRcwdBPk1BW9oRKljmGWfUca96lzt%2FzXvrzjgvrKg2DNPtok%2FNOUC6%2Fy7YW8afLQhXzHO%2F5URyAAfXb9pp5ywrxRCE2V%2Bayc%2Fj1kmeGvprXKiTBCYbET14U%2BuE0QvxrCj9TL6oOKdCIecQcQuvySekMeCzHb6p3oXUh%2BhgHaJkL2g2OCtQLu1orqPPaBCMVAe64Wl%2FT6kKY6eA5FhERG1DIJpTYiIMUjEDJHlHKbDsP9hXrsFPNCFj2%2BSO9sqOxrpKIN6sTT2m7JM

 

11

Folder 63: Chicago Tribune news, Clippings, p. 1: 1930 garment strike 1926

National Women's Trade Union League of America Records, 1910-1934; B-16, folders 24, 30, 58 and 63. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/view/2429283?xcap=mx%2BH1zMK5j7hx82zCIFrFnVueAoTe4xt4BAJZkh2JsRX%2FzBEy5UKE2evSS2T3nuV4g9MRk%2F3%2B5KOOdXIx4XCDCrdHnwKPJ8v6g7EGXyEfzaUJFESTSUrRcwdBPk1BW9oRKljmGWfUca96lzt%2FzXvrzjgvrKg2DNPtok%2FNOUC6%2Fy7YW8afLQhXzHO%2F5URyAAfXb9pp5ywrxRCE2V%2Bayc%2Fj1kmeGvprXKiTBCYbET14U%2BuE0QvxrCj9TL6oOKdCIecQcQuvySekMeCzHb6p3oXUh%2BhgHaJkL2g2OCtQLu1orqPPaBCMVAe64Wl%2FT6kKY6eA5FhERG1DIJpTYiIMUjEDJHlHKbDsP9hXrsFPNCFj2%2BSO9sqOxrpKIN6sTT2m7JM

 

12

Folder 58: Unnamed workers statement: (p. 1 seq. 188) child labor/Strike of 1926

National Women's Trade Union League of America Records, 1910-1934; B-16, folders 24, 30, 58 and 63. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/view/2429041?xcap=mx%2BH1zMK5j7hx82zCIFrFnVueAoTe4xt4BAJZkh2JsRX%2FzBEy5UKE2evSS2T3nuV4g9MRk%2F3%2B5KOOdXIx4XCDCrdHnwKPJ8v6g7EGXyEfzaUJFESTSUrRcwdBPk1BW9oRKljmGWfUca96lzt%2FzXvrzjgvrKg2DNPtok%2FNOUC6%2Fy7YW8afLQhXzHO%2F5URyAAfXb9pp5ywrxRCE2V%2Bayc%2Fj1kmeGvprXKiTBCYbET14U%2BuE0QvxrCj9TL6oOKdCIecQcQuvySekMeCzHb6p3oXUh%2BhgHaJkL2g2OCtQLu1orqPPaBCMVAe64Wl%2FT6kKY6eA5FhERG1DIJpTYiIMUjEDJHlHKbDsP9hXrsFPNCFj2%2BSO9sqOxrpKIN6sTT2m7JM

 

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/blondie/images/uc03232u.jpg

 

13

“Blondie: The Night Shift.” Chic Young. Drawing, 1933. Published September 5, 1933

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-126672

 

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/blondie/images/uc03232u.jpg

 

 

Image 4 of 5, [Gertrude D.] -

14

Oral history transcript: Female packing plant worker-1939

Library of Congress, American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940, Gertrude D.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/wpa:@field(DOCID+@lit(wpa007050705))

 

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/59.jpg

15

Lithograph, 1934

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Life of the People, Realistic Prints and drawings from the Ben and Beatrice Goldstein collection, Capital and Labor, 1912-1948, LC-USZC4-6593 (59)

Main page http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/goldcap.html

 

Image http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/59.jpg

 

Office Girls

16

Etching: Office Girls, 1938

 

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Life of the People, Realistic Prints and drawings from the Ben and Beatrice Goldstein collection, Capital and Labor, 1912-1948, LC-USZC4-6963

Main page http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/goldcap.html

 

Image http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/8.jpg

 

digital file from original negative

17

Photo Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller, Democratic National Committeewoman urged approval of the Burke Constitutional Amendment for Equal Rights for Women …business women have "felt the ruinious effects of discriminatory and so-called protective legislation," 2/9/38

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Harris & Ewing Collection, LC-DIG-hec-24038

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/hec2009010736/

 

Image 4 of 7, [Songs and Yells of Steel Workers] -

18

Sheet Music: Union songs 1930s

Library of Congress, American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940

Doc image: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=wpa0&fileName=08/0801/08010107/wpa008010107.db&recNum=3&itemLink=D?wpa:1:./temp/~ammem_Tcai::%23080101070006&linkText=1

 

Transcript: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/wpa:@field(DOCID+@lit(wpa008010107))

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/31.jpg

19

Lithograph: Full Production and Full Employment under Our Democratic System of Private Enterprise, ca. 1944

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Life of the People, Realistic Prints and drawings from the Ben and Beatrice Goldstein collection, Capital and Labor, LC-USZC4-6568

Main page http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/goldcap.html

 

Image: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/goldstein/31.jpg

 

 

Man and woman worker seated, eating

sandwiches together20

Photomechanical print/Poster 1944

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division,

LC-USZC4-5597

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/97515638/

Buffalo, New York. Women operating lathes at the New York Car Wheel Company, makers of locomotive wheels for the railroads. The company never hired women until recently and most of these women are still learning to use the machines

21

Photo: 1943

Women operating lathes at the New York Car Wheel Company, makers of locomotive wheels for the railroads. The company never hired women until recently.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USW3-023759-D

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8d16892/

 

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/hec/25500/25567r.jpg

22

Photo: Woman doctor urges women be allowed to serve in U.S. Army on equal basis as men. Washington, D.C., Dec. 13.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Harris & Ewing Collection, LC-DIG-hec-25567

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/hec/item/hec2009012265/

Image, Source: color film copy transparency

23

Poster/ Ad

International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, sponsor

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Yanker Poster Collection,  LC-USZC4-8146

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/yan1996000850/PP

http://memory.loc.gov/gmd/gmd370/g3701/g3701f/awh00001.gif

24

Newspaper: How Working Women view the ERA (mid-page right-hand side) St Petersburg Times, 1979

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, American Women

DIGITAL ID
g3701f awh00001
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3701f.awh00001

 

Image, Source: b&w film neg.

25

Photo: Women holding signs against the Federal Equal Rights Amendment gathered outside the White House 1983

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, American Women, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection, LC-DIG-ppmsca-01952 DLC

http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/ppmsca/01900/01952r.jpg

 

(Document 25 will be used as an example for all groups but need not be incorporated into group summaries or skits/stories.)

 

Rubric

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Handouts

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