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HIST 437 U.S. Labor History from the Gilded Age to the 21st Century

Prerequisite: Eight credits of history and junior or senior standing, or permission of the instructor (First semester—even years/4 credits)

This course offers students a history of work, labor relations, social movements, and labor policy in the United States from the Gilded Age into the twenty-first century. Readings on industrial, agricultural, service, and domestic work, as well as on migration and immigration, will enable us to trace the history of class politics and economic development in modern America. The course also places American labor struggles within the context of global capitalism throughout the twentieth century. Our readings will reveal how the labor movement has wrestled with its role in politics in different time periods and its relation to the state and the courts, and, in turn, how the government impeded or encouraged labor organizing and workers’ rights over the last century.