Honors Theses


William V. Trollinger



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Honors Thesis


The American Labor Movement of the first decade of the twentieth century was a host to radical labor union organizers and diverse schools of radical thought. By 1919, however, the Movement had shifted away from radicalism toward more pragmatic cooperation between owners and workers. This thesis uses the national organ of the American Flint Glass Workers' Union to recount this same radicalism and traces its disappearance from the Labor Movement during and after American involvement in the First World War. Using events recorded in "The American Flint," it argues that the workers themselves, motivated by patriotic zeal or self-preservation, purged their own ranks of radical elements. This thesis takes a step toward providing a more nuanced understanding of the American Labor Movement as it entered a crucial moment in its history, one that is described as the “ lean years” or the “collapse of organized labor” in America.

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Undergraduate research