Guiding Question:

How did immigrants obtain political power?



Travel back to the first decades of the Twentieth Century. Your job is an attorney for new Americans who are experiencing life in the United States for the first time after moving to the country c. 1920. Your clients want to become citizens and they have hired you to help them with the little extra money they have. They already have jobs in one of the factories surrounding Boston, but they are worried about keeping their jobs and how much they should talk about them and the conditions they experience. They also want to be "good citizens." They know of the recent events of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and about the trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. These events, your clients say, have given them pause: how much should they talk about their work to others and what can they say? What should a "good citizen" do?


Image Credit: Department of Labor, Bureau of Naturalization: Applicants for naturalization [between 1909 and 1932]. Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.