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Week Ten: Organized Labor and Class Conflict in the Northwest

Seattle
Seattle streets calm as 1919 strike begins. Striking workers on Pike Street, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW334.

The final topic in this unit is that of labor and class conflict. In the Lecture (approximately 56 minutes), Jeff Wiltse examines these themes through two examples - the murder of Frank Little and the Seattle strike of 1919. Maps and Cityscapes contains images and stories of labor action in cities across our region.

Tribal Perspectives takes up the topic of Indian citizenship and action in WWI through images and oral and written histories. People and the Humanities presents biographies of politician Jeannette Rankin, labor activist Mother Jones, and the story of Hogan's Army, as well as songs from the IWW's "Little Red Songbook." The Research section contains our top reading and film choices.

Assignment suggestions for this week’s content include:

  • How does work affect the rest of our lives? Here we deal with the arrival of heavy industry, but what about the movement from heavy to light industry, or from manufacturing to, for example, the hospitality industry? Do these changes in working conditions and environments alter the way we live the rest of our lives?
  • Indians in this week discuss the changes to their status as citizens. Participation in WWI helped bring about citizenship for all Native Americans. How does participation in a war change the notion of what citizens deserve or what they demand for themselves from their government?
  • We've chosen not to focus on WWI, since most of us have learned American History one war after another. How does your understanding of history of this time expand or change by shifting the focus onto social relations in the region?