The 1938 San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike, DBQ: Part A

This question is based on the accompanying documents (1-10). The question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Historical Context:

In the depths of the Great Depression, Mexican and Mexican-American men and women went on strike in San Antonio in 1938 to oppose cuts in piece wages that threatened starvation. The city government sided with owners and managers of the shelling companies, repressing the strike by denying strikers the right to assemble or picket peacefully. Middle-class support and public exposure created pressure on the company management, and contributed to a compromise settlement.


Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States history, answer the questions that follow each document in Part A. Your answers to the questions will help you write the essay in Part B, in which you will be asked to:

  • Discuss the causes and methods of the strike from the perspective of the diverse participants
  • Explain why the strike was either successful or not successful

Part A: Short-Answer Questions

Directions: Analyze the documents and answer the short-answer questions that follow each document in the space provided.


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