The Unheard

Growing up, in our American History classes, we’re taught the following basic fact about race relations in our country: South Bad, North Good. South Segregated, North Integrated. This is not only a gross oversimplification, it’s one that’s lead generations of people to believe that simply because segregation was not the legal norm, that it didn’t exist at all, even though it was de facto in … Continue reading The Unheard

Blog Topic #7 for HIS 237

Topic: Although we often think of the civil rights movement and racial problems as a southern issue, as you read and watched–both civil rights agitation and racism existed in Michigan. Riots broke out all over the nation in the summer of 1967, but especially impacted Detroit. Why did the riots occur? What were race relations like in Michigan during the 1960s? Continue reading Blog Topic #7 for HIS 237

The One Where We Strike

Going on strike is as American as eating a hot dog at a baseball game. My grandfather went on strike against GM with the UAW in 2008 during mass layoffs, teachers are doing it now to get adequate teaching supplies for their students, and fast food employees are still striking today for better wages. We can thank the OG strikers of 1937 from Flint to … Continue reading The One Where We Strike

“When You’re Right You Can’t Lose”

When Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1932, he had a job to help the people of America and to reorganize things from the Great Depression. The New Deal was implemented which included a variety of programs to bring relief, recovery and reform. In 1936 when Roosevelt was elected to a second term as president, he carried out the Second New Deal which also included more … Continue reading “When You’re Right You Can’t Lose”

The Flint Strikes of 1937, “The Second Great War.”

When we envision a strike, do we imagine a brutal, blood war? Of course not, and that is thanks in part to the union strikers of the 1937 Flint strike, who challenged how Michigan, and the U.S. as a whole would handle unions, labor laws and the possible strikes that might ensue. The sit down strikes that occurred in Flint in 1937 were “a new … Continue reading The Flint Strikes of 1937, “The Second Great War.”

Women’s Suffrage Through the Years.

The women’s suffrage movement started back in the 1840’s. Since then, numerous advances have been made for women’s rights. It’s obvious that women’s suffrage was one of the most successful Progressive reforms, even though it took 80 years in the making, doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful. In The Great Water, Professor Thick provides an excerpt by Sojourner Truth where she states that women should have … Continue reading Women’s Suffrage Through the Years.

Progressivism – Keep Moving Forward

Progress is defined as the forward or onward movement toward a destination. Near the turn of the 20th century a reform movement occurred that reflected this and brought a hunger for change. This movement was referred to as Progressivism. The people who aspired toward the societal changes this movement could bring were called the Progressives. The Progressives were a group of people that were a … Continue reading Progressivism – Keep Moving Forward

Our World As We Know It

“It is to the progress, to the preponderance of domestic manners that women owe their happiness and influence in modern society. It is to the domestic family circle, to our houses that we owe our civilization” (Willcox, 135). Women have a tremendous influence in today’s society and yes, we can thank progress for that. It was a long journey coming and is still continuing today. … Continue reading Our World As We Know It

Progressive Political Reform

The Progressive Era (1890-1920) was a time of great reform, not only for the State of Michigan, but also for the entire nation. The Progressives were worried about the state of the country. They had concerns over what they felt were risks to their way of life and the values they held. They were especially concerned over how cities were being operated. Progressives were concerned … Continue reading Progressive Political Reform

Blog Topic #5 for HIS 237

Topic: The group that we call the Progressives engaged in many types of reform: prohibition, child labor, birth control, municipal “housekeeping,” workplace safety, woman suffrage, political reform, tenement reform, labor laws for women, and pure food and drugs to name a few. Which reform do you think was the most successful?  (Be as specific and unbiased as possible in your answer–your answer shouldn’t reflect your … Continue reading Blog Topic #5 for HIS 237

“Ten Hours or No Sawdust”

“Ten Hours or No Sawdust”     The mid-late 1800’s was a time when what we know as America was beginning to be built.  Labor industries were on the rise and the country was beginning to be connected by railroads.  All of this was possible with lumber and Michigan was a huge contributor.   In Bay City the lumber industry was large and in charge … Continue reading “Ten Hours or No Sawdust”

Strike Hard

The Saginaw Valley Lumber Strike paints an all-too familiar picture of American Capitalism: the rich minority wielding power over those who work underneath them, not realizing (or possibly caring) that manual laborers are human, first and foremost, and are the foundation on which their fortunes rest. In the mid-late 19th century, men flocked from all over the country to get a piece of that lucrative … Continue reading Strike Hard

Saginaw Strikers

Saginaw Strikers   It’s 1885 in Saginaw, MI. Workers are exhausted, overworked, unpaid and ignored by employers. It was either work when and for what your boss told you or your family wasn’t going to have food on the table. Families were struggling, households didn’t know when their next check was coming in or if it would be enough to cover what they needed even … Continue reading Saginaw Strikers

Time To Strike For Laborers

Imagine working a mandatory 11 to 14-hour day for six days a week. Imagine the lack of family time, sleep or even personal space. Your hands have an extreme amount of calluses and you’re suffering with back pain. You’re not only working all this time with kids or animals or something calm and collected, yet, something very dirty and dangerous, lumber fields. In July of … Continue reading Time To Strike For Laborers

Blog Topic #4 for HIS 237

Topic: Using my video, the annotated article (notice that I made some remarks where I disagree with the author), and the texts, discuss the 1885 Saginaw Valley Lumber Strike. The Ten Hour Law (1885), which working men (united under the Knights of Labor) fought for, was not effective enough to protect Michigan’s working men. Although a plethora of strikes were waged in numerous industries over long … Continue reading Blog Topic #4 for HIS 237

History 237 Blog Post #3

The year was 1890, the state of Michigan was just starting to get away from the stagnant republican control and beginning to move towards a democrat state. This move however did not stop mayor elect Hanzen S. Pingree from Detroit from taking office. He was a progressive thinker who was young and full of ideas that would ultimately help the “common man” and this is … Continue reading History 237 Blog Post #3

Social Reforming

There is a bunch of sides people take on government issues. One thing people can pretty much agree on is we all want the best for everyone. Everyone deserves equal opportunity and a good life. Pingree had great actions of being a social reformer, we can compare that to government officials now and who’s job is it to reform society? The mayor of Detroit was … Continue reading Social Reforming

Blog Topic #3 for HIS 237

Topic: Thinking about Hazen Pingree during his time as mayor of Detroit and governor of Michigan, answer the following questions: What actions did Pingree take that made him a social reformer? You may want to think about how this compares or contrasts to current politicians. In a republic such as ours, whose job do you think it is to reform society when it is not running … Continue reading Blog Topic #3 for HIS 237

The One With Michigan Settlers

After distinguishing some rumors about how Michigan was uninhabitable, Michigan decided to follow suite with the rest of the country. New settlers flowing down the Erie Canal from the East coast caused a shift in Michigan’s demographics. With a population on the upswing, new parts of the Mitten were being explored and claimed by eager settlers.  Michigan pioneers were “…ambitious, but poor…”  and  wanted to … Continue reading The One With Michigan Settlers

Michigan’s First Settlers

American pioneers have always had a reputation of being industrious, hardy, and adventurous, but Michiganders took this to a new height. Beginning in 1825, Michigan would escape its reputation as uninhabitable and barren land, with the opening of the Erie Canal. The canal would allow for the first mass migration to Michigan from New England and New York, and thus open Michigan up to the … Continue reading Michigan’s First Settlers

Michigan’s Earliest Settlers

The earliest settlers of Michigan faced hard times as they made their way to the state. When someone decided to leave their home and travel to this state, they needed to be tough and resilient. Upon entering the state back in the 1850’s, travelers were met by towering trees and not much more. Where the trees were missing, the area was likely covered in swampland. … Continue reading Michigan’s Earliest Settlers