History of Labor and Work in the U.S. 1880-1945


You will answer both questions.

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Questions are worth 10 points each for a total of 20.

There are no requirements for how much or how little you write. I’m looking for the right answers—logical and coherent paragraphs in your own words and nothing more. So the length is totally up to you and whatever you think it takes to answer each question and get full credit.

A few tips:

You can only use assigned readings to answer the questions!!! Do not use outside sources. I am not interested in long quotes or citations. They are not required but if you use quotes, make sure they are worth quoting! I should note that I have included the links to the documentaries and/or short clips that may be relevant to the questions. You will find them in the folders on Sakai.

In terms of structure, you will get more points if your answers are well organized with good introductions and conclusions. (See the Peer Review Checklist and the attached Grading Rubric.) Finally, I would encourage you to develop good outlines of your answers before you start writing. Good outlines will insure that you don’t forget important information and they will help you organize your thoughts into logical, coherent answers.


1. Explain Taylorism, and Fordism and how they are connected. Then tell me how much of an impact Taylorism and Fordism had on American society and the extent to which both are still with us in the present.

2. At Homestead and many other industrial workplaces of the late 19th century, skilled workers held firm to protecting their autonomy. In fact, as noted in your textbook, the workers at Homestead believed the facility belonged to them as much as it did to Andrew Carnegie. Based on your readings, to what extent did the workers have control of these massive industrial facilities and on what basis did they define their autonomy and control over the work? Why were workers so resistant to employer initiatives that violated or threatened their [worker] autonomy? Why did they think it was worth striking and literally dying for?

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