Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Workers in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Clock 180 minutes

This lesson explores the experience of American workers during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.  Students will gain an understanding and analyze the experience of workers in the factory system, the rise of labor unions, and labor strikes through a historical narrative, primary sources, role-plays, and other interesting student activities.  Students will better understand the place of workers in the economy as a basis for discussing current events such as minimum wage debates.

Founding Principles

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Due Process

The government must interact with all citizens according to the duly-enacted laws; applying these rules equally among all citizens.

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Equality

Every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law.

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Federalism

The people delegate certain powers to the national government, while the states retain other powers; and the people, who authorize the states and national government, retain all freedoms not delegated to the governing bodies.

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Freedom of Speech

The freedom to express one's opinions without interference from the the government is critical to the maintenance of liberty within a free society.

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Inalienable / Natural Rights

Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.

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Limited Government

Citizens are best able to pursue happiness when government is confined to those powers which protect their life, liberty, and property.

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Property Rights

The natural right of all individuals to create, obtain, and control their possessions, beliefs, faculties, and opinions, as well as the fruits of their labor.

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Rule of Law

Government and citizens all abide by the same laws regardless of political power. Those laws respect individual rights, are transparently enacted, are justly applied, and are stable.

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Separation of Powers

A system of distinct powers built into the Constitution to prevent an accumulation of power in one branch.

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