Florence Kelley and the Illinois Sweatshop Law: Part A

This question is based on the accompanying documents (1-8).В  The question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents.В  Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question.В  As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document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:

Between 1890 and 1920, reformers sought to remedy the worst working conditions in the new industrial economy by passing and implementing new labor laws to regulate these conditions. Passed first at the state level, and very often initially for women only, eventually these laws were adopted at the federal level and extended to include men as well as women. In Chicago, Florence Kelley rose rapidly to a leadership position within the city's surging anti-sweatshop movement. As Chief Factory Inspector of Illinois, she was instrumental in the passage and enforcement of that state's 1893 labor law. В However, the provisions of the law regulating the working hours of women in manufacturing establishments remained in effect for only two years; in 1895, the Supreme Court of Illinois declared the law unconstitutional.


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

  • Describe conditions in the sweatshops

  • Discuss the attempts to regulate the sweatshops

  • Discuss the results of the attempts to regulate sweatshops


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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