The Coal Strike of 1902

     It's 1902, and the nation is in crisis.  The United Mine Workers of America who work in the anthracite coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania are on strike.  The strike has been dragging on for months and the American people are very concerned.  Winter is coming and with the strike going on much less coal is being mined.  American families need coal to heat their homes. What if there is a shortage?

     President Roosevelt decides that the idea of people suffering with no heat is too terrible to ignore.  The government must intervene!  The government will step in as a neutral arbitrator to help the two sides (owners -vs- workers), work things out.  This is historic as the government has never done this before.

     Your assignment is to chose a side and write a letter.  Carefully read the two options listed to the right.  Chose which perspective to write a letter from -- a coal mine owner in Pennsylvania or a coal mine worker.  Before you write your letter, use at least one of the given links to research the strike from the perspective of your chosen person -- worker(operator) or owner.  Your letter must include at least 6 historical facts.  Make sure you consider carefully the style of your letter.  How much education would the writer of your letter have? Might that affect how the person speaks and the words he uses?  Finally, make sure your letter communicates the appropriate emotion.  We should feel what your person is feeling.  Use the link below to chose a name from the 1900s for your miner.  You might want to chose a name for a mine owner from your research.

 

Name Link:  http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/decades/names1900s.html

Option 1

 

   You are a coal mine owner.  You are writing a letter to another coal mine owner expressing your opinion on the strike in general, the union, and the President of the United States becoming involved in the strike. Make sure you do some research and communicate effectively the emotions of the owner.

 

Option 2

 

   You are a coal mine worker (operator). You are writing a letter to another coal miner expressing your opinion on the strike in general, the union, and the President of the United States becoming involved in the strike. Make sure you do some research and communicate effectively the emotions of the worker.

 

FCA's

 

1)  correct friendly letter format (5)

2)  at least 6 facts related to the strike (6)

3)  clear point of view (5)

 

Friendly Letter Format:  https://www.jfmed.uniba.sk/fileadmin/jlf/Pracoviska/ustav-cudzich-jazykov/LetterWriting.pdf

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