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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Themes and Formulas of Corridos

This handout describes the themes and formulas of corridos, Mexican and Mexican-American folk songs.

"Newcomers Help Massachusetts Economy"

While immigrants have long been portrayed as representing unfair competition for American-born workers and maligned as a burden on social services, data shows that their presence is beneficial, even essential, to the economy. As these statistics [...]

"'The White Man's Burden' and Its Critics"

Jim Zwick is an American Studies scholar and author of Confronting Imperialism: Essays on Mark Twain and the Anti-Imperialist League and Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire: Anti-Imperialist Writings on the Philippine-American War, as well as numerous [...]

Massachusetts Anti-Federalists Oppose the Three-Fifths Compromise

The ratification of the United States Constitution was the subject of intense debate between 1787 and 1789. One particularly controversial issue was the Three Fifths Compromise, which settled how enslaved people would be counted for purposes of [...]

"Life in the Shop": The Story of an Immigrant Garment Worker

Clara Lemlich ignited the 1909 walkout of shirtwaist makers with her call for a general strike. This piece was first published in the New York Evening Journal, November 28, 1909.

Background Essay on the 1968 Latino Student Walkouts

This short essay describes the social, political, and educational climate that resulted in the 1968 Los Angeles walkouts.

"Latino Student Walkouts: In 35 Years, What Has Changed?"

Professor and author Carlos Muñoz, Jr. describes his participation in the 1968 Los Angeles walkouts and the aftermath. He then explores the current inequalities in education and calls for a new wave of student activism and protest.

"Russian Jews as Desirable Immigrants" (Excerpt)

Ida Van Etten was a writer and the first Secretary of the Working Women's Society of New York. In this excerpt from an article published in Forum, Van Etten defends the character of the Russian Jewish immigrants that were then arriving in New York [...]

Background Essay on Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was a renowned photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer who used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell his own personal history. Gordon Parks was the first [...]

Background Essay on Late 19th and Early 20th Century Immigration

This summary of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century immigration describes the "new immigration" that originated from Southern and Eastern Europe. The essay also outlines American responses to the new wave of immigration, including some of [...]