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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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We found 19 items that match your search

"'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 [...]

"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.

"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 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 [...]

Background Essay on Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine

This short essay describes Jacob Riis and Lewis Hines, two important documentary photographers of the turn of the twentieth century.

Background Information on the Events at Wounded Knee

This essay outlines the events leading the massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee, including the role of Ghost Dancers, and the chaotic violence that ensued on December 29, 1890.

Background Essay on San Francisco's Chinatown

This short essay describes the origins of San Francisco's Chinatown, as well as some of its major economic, political, and social facets. The essay also describes the challenges San Francisco's Chinese community faced from the city's white [...]

An Economist Declares Mexicans "An Undesirable Class of Residents"

Discussions of the "Mexican problem" in the early 20th century often revolved around issues of race and culture, much as they did with other immigrant groups. Samuel Bryan published this study of Mexican immigrants in a leading Progressive social [...]

W.E.B. DuBois Defines "The Talented Tenth"

At the beginning of the twentieth century, as now, access to quality public education was uneven, and the problem disproportionately impacted African-American children. W.E.B. DuBois, himself highly educated, was sharply critical of Booker T. [...]

An Activist Advocates for Women's Leadership in Improving Black Life

Mary Church Terrell was one of the first African-American women to complete a college degree. Terrell, an educator and activist, also founded the National Association of Colored Women. The National Association was organized into many local [...]