An Investigation of the Impact of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Company Fire on Workers' Rights

An Investigation of the Impact of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Company Fire on Workers' Rights

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A. Plan of the Investigation

The purpose of this investigation is to analyze the progress of workers’ unions in the U.S. through the event of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire. The question being investigated is: to what extent did the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire catalyze progress for American laborers? The investigation includes the evaluation of labor unions both prior to and following the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire. Legislation following this notorious event will also be analyzed in order to properly determine the extent to which this event catalyzed progress for the workers’ rights movement, and its overall impact on workers’ rights. Primary and secondary sources such as articles, books, and journals will be used throughout this investigation to determine the overall progress of workers’ rights, and the extent to which that progress can be attributed to the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire.


B. Summary of Evidence

On March 25 in the year 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory building was enthralled by flames in the heart of Manhattan. Of the 500 workers in the building, 146 of them died- the majority of the victims were young women (Phillips, 16-17). In the years prior to this horrific event, protests and strikes by workers (specifically the Uprising of Twenty Thousand protest- mainly involving working women), had taken place, demanding wages by the week instead of by every two weeks, and weeks consisting of no more than 52 hours (Burt). Phillips states that these protests were led by the Women’s Trade Union League, and they also insisted on better working conditions, such as an end to hazardous labor, access to exits by workers, and more. These protests ended up accomplishing very little, and poli...


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.... 2014.

McEvoy, Arthur F. "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911: Social Change, Industrial Accidents, and the Evolution of Common-Sense Causality." Law & Social Inquiry 20.2 (1955): n. pag. Jstor. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Perkins, Frances. The Roosevelt I Knew. New York: Viking, 1946. Print.

Schneiderman, Rose, and Lucy Goldthwaite. All for One. New York: P. S. Eriksson, 1967. Print.

Shackleton, Robert. The Book of New York. Philadelphia: Penn, 1917. Print.

Stein, Leon. The Triangle Fire. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1962. Print.

Van Dyke, John C. The New New York: A Commentary on the Place and the People. New York: Macmillan, 1909. Print.

Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The Fire That Changed America. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. Print.

Watson, Bruce. Bread and Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream. New York: Viking, 2005. Print.



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