3 pm to 5pm
“Edge of Endurance: Mexican Migrant Workers and the Making of a North American Working Class, 1880-1945”
Josef Barton, Northwestern University
Between 1880 and 1945, Mexican peasants plunged into a new world of big-scale agricultural development. In northern and west-central regions, they exploited their holdings, pushed their bodies and their household members, and spread their labor across a vast Mexican and United States agricultural terrain. The outcome of this movement was a new, migratory working class. I link the migrants’ remaking of their own world with the transformation of the American working class. Migratory workers not only made possible the emergence of big-scale agriculture in both Mexico and the United States, but also created a new social formation in American labor.
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