The Iron Heel in Coal and Copper: Three Mine Wars of the Early Twentieth Century

This panel will examine three iconic mining conflicts of the early twentieth century: the Pennsylvania Anthracite coal strike in 1906, the 1913-14 Michigan copper strike, and the southern Colorado coal strike of 1913-1914. In all three examples, the combined power of corporate control (sometimes cast as “benevolent paternalism”) and government policing power crushed organizing drives […]

Miner’s Fight for Democracy-Historical Lessons from the West Virginia Mine Wars

Throughout the 20th century, Southern West Virginia was the site of several bloody battles between competing notions of political and economic freedom. Places like Paint Creek, Matewan, and Blair Mountain conjure images of hard-nosed mountaineers fighting coal operators’ private armed guards to attain the basic freedoms that most Americans take for granted. What lessons can […]