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HIST 203 - Week 2 Notes

by: Alex Tucker

HIST 203 - Week 2 Notes Hist 203

Marketplace > University of Oregon > History > Hist 203 > HIST 203 Week 2 Notes
Alex Tucker

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Week 2 Notes
Twentieth Century American History
Beda S
Class Notes
AgeOfTheMass, ProgressiveEraLabor, ProgressiveEraScience
25 ?




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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alex Tucker on Saturday April 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 203 at University of Oregon taught by Beda S in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Twentieth Century American History in History at University of Oregon.


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Date Created: 04/23/16
The Age of the Mass (Day 4) 4/4/16 - Mass Production, Mass Consumption, & Mass Culture in the Progressive Era - Progressive Era was not just a time of political changes; it was also a time of economic & cultural changes. - Mass production became routine.  more affordable consumer goods - Nativists hoped that mass culture would “Americanize” the immigrant working-class. - Mass Production - Frederick Winslow Taylor & “Taylorism” - “Hardly a competent workman can be found who dos not devote a considerable amount of time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace” – Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, 1911 - Henry Ford & the “Moving Assembly Line” - First person to use automated conveyor-belt to assemble things - Faster - The Five Dollar Day - Ford paid his workers $5 / day - Started “second gold rush” - Mass Consumption - Model T - “I will build a care for the great multitude … it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessings of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces”. – Henry Ford, 1922 - in 1925, the Model T cost $260 (about $3,230 today); by 1927, more than 7 million Americans owned one - Electrification - “The working man’s reward. Where all was darkness, now is light” - the Radio - by 1930, roughly 53% of working-class households owned at least 1 radio The Age of the Mass (Day 4) 4/4/16 - Mass Culture - From Penny Arcades to Nickelodeons - Penny arcades & later Nickelodeons were almost exclusively found in working-class & immigrant neighborhoods. Middle- class people tended to go to the theater or watch Vaudeville performances. - Expansion of Nickelodeons - “Often, when a moving picture house is set up [in a neighborhood] the saloon on the right hand or the left declares bankruptcy. … [the movies] are the first enemy of ‘King Alcohol’ with real power where that king has deepest hold”. - NYC sociologist, 1915 - 1908, NY had more than 600 nickel theaters alone - more than 300,000 people attended movies daily - gross annual ticket sales = more than $6 million - 1927, American movie industry sold 600 million tickets - US population = 122 million (each person saw ~ 4.92 movies / year) - Working-Class Cinema - Early films had neither narrative nor story. What attracted audiences was the novelty of moving pictures. - Did Mass Culture Help “Assimilate” Immigrants? - High rates of movie attendance, as well as sales of radios & consumer goods might suggest that as immigrants participated in consumer culture they increasingly “became American”. - Did Mass Culture Help “Assimilate” Immigrants: Case of Radios - What would you have heard if you turned on the radio in the early 20 C.? - “Early radio listening neither enticed people away from habitual family and community circles nor undermined existing identities … Instead, radio frequently reinforced these affiliations”. – Lizabeth Coen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in The Age of the Mass (Day 4) 4/4/16 Chicago, 1919 – 1939 - Culture & “Assimilation”: Problem w/ “Assimilation” - Immigrant groups don’t “assimilate”. Immigrants navigated American culture, society, & politics in much more complex ways, borrowing and taking from the dominant American culture, but ultimately making that culture their own. - Fearing the “Age of the Mass” - Questioning Technology & “Progress” - Arrowsmith (1925) - The Great Gatsby (1925) - Cultural Anxieties on Screen - At the same time the movies were products of mass consumption & mass production, they also became vehicles to critique the “age of the mass” - Metropolis (1927) - The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari (1920) - Frankenstein (1931) - Mad Love (1935) - Are We Much Different? - The Matrix (1999) - Google Glass - Modern Times (1936) - How is Modern Times a critique of the “age of the mass”? - What is the film’s criticism of mass industrialization, mass consumption, & mass politics? - Do you agree w/ Chaplin’s critique of the “age of the mass”? Do any of the things we talked about in lecture today challenge Chaplin’s critique? Progressive Era Labor Movement (Day 5) 4/6/16 - Improving Labor in the Progressive Era - Who Gets the Credit? - American workplace was radically transformed in the Progressive Era. Work became safer, work-days became shorter, & wages became higher. - Important example is Henry Ford’s $5 day (8 h. shift) - An Alternative View - Industrialists were forced to offer $5 / day (unions) - How did unions transform the American workplace? - Why do Americans tend to give the credit, for workplace reforms to industrialists like Ford & not to the workers who farced Ford’s hand? - Experiencing the Scientific Movement - Life in the Resource Extraction Economy - In all Progressive Era Industries, especially resource extraction workers’ health & safety took a back seat to speed, efficiency, & production. - NW, “unskilled” work done by immigrants - “Miner’s Lullaby” - Mine disasters were so routine that many miners carried a tin of morphine w/ them into the pits. If miners were trapped, the morphine would help them die more peacefully. - Brief History of the Labor Movement, 1880 – 1900 - Haymarket Riot & Knights of Labor th - Many elements of late 19 C. labor movement were radical & did much to organize immigrants. - After the Haymarket Riot, both employers and government sought to suppress unions. th - Perhaps the most radical union of the late 19 C., the Knight of Labor, faced opposition from the Catholic church. The Knights organized many Eastern European immigrants & Catholic clergy worried that their members were growing more loyal to the union. - American Federation of Labor & “White Man’s Wages” - Founded in 1886, AFL was a more successful union, much narrower social vision. - Unlike other radical unions, women, African Americans, & immigrants weren’t allowed - Main goal = protect “white man’s wage” Progressive Era Labor Movement (Day 5) 4/6/16 - Vast majority of industrial immigrant workers didn’t have representation in workplace - Immigration & Radicalism: Socialism, Anarchism, & Trade Unionism - Most immigrants didn’t come to America w/ much, but one thing they did come w/ was a radical political tradition. - Italian immigrants = anarchists - Eastern Europeans = communists - Scandinavians = radical trade - Experiencing popular culture didn’t encourage immigrants to abandon their political traditions. Rather, pop culture strengthened immigrant political communities & traditions. - Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - Brand’s Hall, Chicago, 1905 - “The American Federation of Labor, which presumes to be the labor movement of this century, is not a working class movement. … What we want to establish at this time is a labor organization that will open wide its doors to every man that earns his livelihood either by his brain or his muscle”. - IWW & Immigrant Workers - “Protect yourself from this menace The Ku Klux Klan is anti- Jew, anti-negro, anti-Catholic, anti-foreigner and anti-labor”. - Employer Fears & Workplace Reform: Federal Government, Employers, & Unions - “The labor unions shall have a square deal, and the corporations shall have a square deal, and in addition, all private citizens shall have a square deal”. – Teddy Roosevelt - First Red Scare: World War I, Russian Revolution, & Radical Repression - “We’ll never change the blue and white to red” - Legacy of Progressive Era Radicalism: From the Wobblies to the CIO - Red Scare of late Progressive Era did much to stem rising tide of immigrant radicalism. - However, radical Progressive Era unions created new cultural & political tradition that workers would draw on during the darkest days of the Depression. Progressive Era Labor Movement (Day 5) 4/6/16 - American Labor Movement: Why Should You Care? - Unions not only protect workers on the job, but by ensuring fair wages through bargaining & political activism, labor unions help to limit economic inequality. - And, as power of union’s wanes, economic inequality grows. - Which is to say, if you care about economic inequality, you should care about the American labor movement. - Remembering (or Ignoring) the Labor Movement - America prides itself on being being a land of “opportunity” & “economic inequality”. In so far as this is true, labor unions have been at the center of that story. And, as labor unions disappear, economic inequality grows. - Why, then, do you think labor unions aren’t seen as central to preserving American equality & opportunity? Why does the credit go to Henry Ford when, in reality, it should go to his workers? - Or, to put this question another way: why did the CBS Sunday News Almanac commemorate Henry Ford’s $5 day” Why didn’t it commemorate any one of the Progressive Era strikes that forced Ford to adopt the $5 day? Progressive Era Science (Day 6) 4/8/16 - Gold King Mine Spill, Las Animas River, CO - Aug 5, 2015 - Water polluted - Near Silverton, CO - Progressive Era Science - Overarching belief - Definitions of “science” - systematic study of structure & behavior of physical / natural world through observation and experiments - Science & nature - Progressive Era Resource Extraction - Scientific management - Production & efficiency - Resource use & increased production - Progressive Era Conservation - Origins - Audubon Society - Teddy Roosevelt - Gifford Pinchot - 1905 = National Forest Service founded - 1916 = National Park Service founded - view on top of Mogollon Rim, AZ - Conservation Compilation - Defining “nature” - phenomena of the physical world collectively - Conservation vs. preservation - Whose wilderness? - Progressive Era Battle: Conservation vs. Preservation - Rifts in environmentalism - Urban & rural - US West - Ranger on Cabinet National Forest, MT, 1909 - Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, CO, 1927 - Mining & Mining Communities - Mechanization & environmental impact - Science & health - Colorado experience video - Recruiters that went to Italy, Czech Republic, Yugoslavia, Germany, France, & Greece Progressive Era Science (Day 6) 4/8/16 - Immigrants were not able to speak English, which reduced their ability to form unions - “Someone to produce profit for companies” - so many ways to die in coal mine - explosions - gas buildup (methane) - coal dust; (settles in lungs) - 1910 alone, more than 400 miners died - 210 of them died in 3 separate explosions - “mule was more important than miner”; plethora of people who wanted to work - paid by amount of coal collected - Consequences (Mining) - Immediate - Distortion to surrounding topography - Can fix w/ reclamation & remediation stage - Reclamation = act of returning something to a former, better state - Remediation = act or process of remedying something that is undesirable or deficient - Lasting - Toxic waste - Lessons - Mining is just one example - Can have unintended consequences - Environmental inequalities - “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe”. - John Muir Discussion 2 4/5/16 - Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1932) - Warning about dependence on technology - Only voices we hear are people w/ authority - Over-arching topics - Technology - Industry - Worker’s rights - Poverty - Crime - Relationship - Gender equality


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