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Modern America: Radical Labor Movement: Radical Labor in the Age of Reform

Beginning in the 1870s, America underwent a second industrial revolution driven by the metal industries. For the worker, opportunities abounded; the United States experienced a massive migration from country to city, while immigrant workers flocked to America from Eastern and Southern Europe. As industrial wealth grew, so did class divisions and class unrest. In this period, a succession of organizations sought to mobilize workers according to a variety of ideologies and structures.

The Fight for Women’s Rights

This two day lesson uses the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to assess the efficacy of the Women’s Rights Movement of the 19th century. Using the grievances from the Declaration establishes some understanding of women’s rights prior to 1848. Students will engage in class discussion to determine the progress women made in gaining equal rights. Students will use specific examples to assess progress as of today.

Women’s Suffrage

The demand for women’s suffrage began in the 1840’s and culminated in 1920 with the passage of the nineteenth amendment. Two competing organizations were established in 1869 and eventually merged in 1890 to become the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Cartoons, newspaper articles, and marches demonstrate the urgency with which women sought this basic democratic right. In the following primary source set, these materials are made available for instruction and research.

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