Organized Labor and the American Dream

Julie Stern

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Main idea of the lesson: The story of power, justice, and opportunity is complicated. It is not one of constant or linear progression and expansion, as young people often think.

Time to complete: 2 – 3 class periods

Students read and watch several source documents and then have a rich class discussion on the following questions: 

  • How have power and justice played out over American history?
  • How are fair pay and working conditions related to freedom?
  • What is the role of government in promoting fairness in economic opportunity?
  • Should we be concerned about an ever-widening gap between the extremely wealthy and the working class? Does this strengthen or threaten the American dream?
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