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Election Of !912

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Question:

Using the documents and your knowledge of the time period, assess the validity of the following statement: The American political and social landscape was significantly altered by the Progressivism which originated from the Election of 1912 .

Document A

Source: Upton Sinclair's, The Jungle (1906)

...Meat scraps were also found being shoveled into receptacles from dirty floors, where they were left to lie until again shoveled into barrels or into machines for chopping. These floors, it must be noted, were in most cases damp and soggy, in dark, ill-ventilated rooms, and the employees in utter ignorance of cleanliness or danger to health expectorated at will upon them. In a word, we saw meat shoveled from filthy wooden floors, piled on tables rarely washed, pushed from room to room in rotten box carts, in all of which processes it was in the way of gathering dirt, splinters, floor filth, and the expectoration of tuberculosis and other diseased workers.

Where comment was made to floor superintendents about these matters, it was always the reply that this meat would afterwards be cooked, and that this sterilization would prevent any danger from its use. Even this, it may be pointed out in passing, is not wholly true. A very considerable portion of the meat so handled is sent out as smoked products and in the form of sausages, which are prepared to be eaten without being cooked...

Document B

Leon Stein, ed., Out of the Sweatshop: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy (New York: Quadrangle/New Times Book Company, 1977)

Life in the Shop, by Clara Lemlich

First let me tell you something about the way we work and what we are paid. There are two kinds of workÐ'--regular, that is salary work, and piecework. The regular work pays about $6 a week and the girls have to be at their machines at 7 o'clock in the morning and they stay at them until 8 o'clock at night, with just one-half hour for lunch in that time.

The shops. Well, there is just one row of machines that the daylight ever gets toÐ'--that is the front row, nearest the window. The girls at all the other rows of machines back in the shops have to work by gaslight, by day as well as by night. Oh, yes, the shops keep the work going at night, too.

The shops are unsanitaryÐ'--that's the word that is generally used, but there ought to be a worse one used. Whenever we tear or damage any of the goods we sew on, or whenever it is found damaged after we are through with it, whether we have done it or not, we are charged for the piece and sometimes for a whole yard of the material.

At the beginning of every slow season, $2 is deducted from our salaries. We have never been able to find out what this is for.

Document C

Source: Session Laws of Oregon 1908, p. 148, sec. 1

This law was a direct result of the Muller v. Oregon (1908) supreme court case.

Ð''Sec. 1. That no female (shall) be employed in any mechanical establishment, or factory, or laundry in this state more than ten hours during any one day. The hours of work may be so arranged as to permit the employment of females at any time so that they shall not work more than ten hours during the twenty-four hours of any one day.'

Document D

The Verdict 22 May 1811 by C. Gordon Moffat

Document E

from Let's Sing! (1909). Educational Department, International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union , New York City, n.d.

The Uprising of the Twenty Thousands

(Dedicated to the Waistmakers of 1909)

In the black of the winter of nineteen nine,

When we froze and bled on the picket line,

We showed the world that women could fight

And we rose and won with women's might.

Chorus:

Hail the waistmakers of nineteen nine,

Making their stand on the picket line,

Breaking the power of those who reign,

Pointing the way, smashing the chain.

And we gave new courage to the men

Who carried on in nineteen ten

And shoulder to shoulder we'll win through,

Led by the I.L.G.W.U.

Document G

MultiEducator. 2004. http://www.multied.com/elections/1912Elec.html

Document H

Sources : Mabel Newcomer, A Century of Higher Education for American Women (New York Harper and Row; 1959), p. 46.

DBQ Progressivism

The turn of the century ushered in a new feeling of reform. Common interests brought workers, women, and African Americans together to strive for better standards of living. Progressivism also had an effect at the national level, changing the government's focus toward the people. Although there were ambiguities of progressivism itself, it drastically changed the social and political landscape.

As the public became more aware of the reality of working conditions, greater efforts were made to form unions and change the working environment. Sixty percent of the working force was foreign born. American discrimination of new immigrant workers

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