Labor’s Response to Industrial Growth

Need to Reed

Evaluate the different responses of labor to industrial change including
  • development of organized labor, including the Knights of Labor, American Federation of Labor, and the United Mine Workers
  • southern and western farmers’ reactions, including the growth of populism and the populist movement (e.g., Farmers Alliance, Grange, Platform of the Populist Party, Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech)

Learning Activity

Essential Questions:

  1. What were some of the negative consequences of industrial change and growth?
  2. How did urban workers organize and how did these organizations aim to achieve their goals?
  3. What different ways did farmers organize, what different purposes did they serve, and what successes did they have in achieving their goals?
  4. How did these organizational movements differ in their efforts to meet the needs of the people they intended to assist?

Explore these questions by downloading, opening, and completing the 6.1.2 Worksheet.pages document. You will need your textbook for these - specifically Section 17-4 and Section 18-2.

Putting it Together/Assessment

Work with a partner to represent how you've learned about "labor's response to industrial growth". Choose one of the three options below:

Example of Labor Unrest

Explore an event, organization, or individual that exemplify or illustrate labor's response to industrial growth. Choose any two of the following people/events:
Elizabeth Mary Lease
Haymarket Square Riot
Railroad Strike of 1877
Populist Party/Movement
William Jennings Bryan
Eugene V. Debs
The "Molly Maguires"
Farmers' Alliance
National Grange
Homestead Steel Strike of 1892
Knights of Labor
American Federation of Labor
Henry George
Pullman Strike
Samuel Gompers
Terence Powderly
The reason for choosing two rather than one is that doing so provides an opportunity to link them or the contrast them. For instance, a little research on William Jennings Bryan tells us is that he was a strong Populist leader - an adept student would pair that with a study and report on the Populist movement and political party. Another example could be the evaluation of two different labor groups or strikes.

While it is up to the students to determine their form of representation, I strongly encourage you to stay away from a "Keynote" as these tend to be underdeveloped and devoid of deep thought. I encourage the descriptive, documentary video which may include the same things a Keynote often does, but adds soooo much more.

Music Video

Take a look at two songs written in the 1870s that reflect the topic of "Labor's response to industrial growth". The first is "The Workers' Anvil". The other is "Don't leave the Farm, Boys". Select one song and create a music video for it following the guidelines in the rubric below. Click here for rubric PDF. The video must be at least 2:30 minutes and include the song with lyrics unaltered. How you choose to present the music is up to you!

5-Point Performance
3-Point Performance
1-Point Performance
All aspects of the video identify and preserve the song and its original intended purpose as it was written; the theme is unaltered or spoiled by careful attention to detail
There are some aspects of the video that detract from the theme that song exudes; the theme is spoiled by a lack of attention to detail
The video does not reflect the intended theme of the song; detail and concern for the theme are lost
Function: The video accomplishes the goal of demonstrating understanding of the content learned - The visual nature of the project promotes labor's struggle with industrial growth Aesthetics: Editing and production portray a nice looking and sounding video; “professional”
Function: The video lacks elements that suggest that the creators truly understand the content behind the song Aesthetics: Editing and production lack focus and attention to detail; leaves audience suggesting ways to improve
Function: The video is disconnected with the song and shows that the creators lack understanding of the content Aesthetics: The video is poor in sound and video, not worth watching
Creators use the available tools well and employ possibly original ideas in a way that adds meaning and direction to the video; iMovie and Garageband are explored and employed well
Creators use some tools well and incorporate ideas to the video, but they may not add to the meaning or direction of the video; iMovie and Garageband are not explored enough to maximize what they offer
Video lacks creativity and originality; the song is left without visual expression of any sort
Product of team/peer evaluations: Individual was a firm member of a collaborative unit, communicating effectively, maintaining focused attention to the team goal, producing at a rate that met or exceeded expectations
Product of team/peer evaluations: Individual met some team expectations, but may have spent time leading group off-task or failing to maintain focus and attention to the team goal; distracted and/or distracting
Product of team/peer evaluations: Individual failed to assist the team and did not produce any substantive article that was used by the team toward the team goal


The alternative to creating a music video is to create an essay that captures labor's response to industrial growth. The essay must have a thesis statement with supporting statements clearly organized and articulated. See rubric below for more or download the PDF here.

5-Point Performance
3-Point Performance
1-Point Performance
300 words and 5 paragraphs (I-B-C); introduction includes the thesis, conclusion restates, and the body supports the thesis.
Has about 150 words and isn’t in a 5 paragraph form, lacking organization necessary to achieve demonstration of mastery
Has less than 150 words and not in any type of form
Organization, Editing, Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation, Uses 3 Details and Examples
Has some organization, there are some spelling and grammar errors, Uses less than 3 details and example
Has no organization, there are many spelling and grammar errors, uses no details at all and does not make sense.
Use what we researched and know; truly and accurately demonstrates mastery of 6.1.2
Used some of the topics that we know and researched, but too few to suggest that the writer barely meets 6.1.2
Used nothing that we know or learned; suggests the writer does not understand 6.1.2


For anyone making a video see: