One student combined disciplines in a unique and compelling way: The story of the development of the assembly line was combined with the story of the arrival of unskilled laborers to the US. Later, the same paper told the story of the impact of immigration on culture (and especially fashion) so that the overall argument that immigration had a large economic impact on the US could be seen not only on the assembly line but also on the fashion pages.
Another student did something similar organizationally by combining the story of America’s 20th Century imperialism in Latin America with the story of the US’s rapid industrialization in that same period.
The location and railroad connections of the city of Chicago made it the ideal place to build livestock processing facilities. By 1861 the metropolis was the largest train centre in the world, with over thirteen lines converging on it. Local stockyards and meatpacking companies in the windy city grew tremendously, especially during the Civil War due to increased demand for meat products, but their scattering throughout the city caused problems. Lifestock would be driven through the streets of Chicago to the different yards in the city, causing harm to the animals and sometimes death, which would affect the profits of the lifestock owner as well as disturbing city residents and commerce.
Use of quotations
Wages were not the only issue on the minds of the workers. Meat processing plants were dark, dirty and dangerous places where few precautions protected employees from injury; death was not uncommon. Unions wanted to change those conditions. Employers did not view the potential rise of payroll and operating costs as worthwhile investments. A manager in a large meat processing plant told university researcher Chas Bushnell, “When one cog wears out we put in another,” (449).
“The years that followed World War I represented a period of wealth, celebration and excess for the United States.” (Because the title of the paper tells us that it is about the Great Depression, this first sentence is an elegant entry point into the story of a fall from those jubilant post-war years).
“Hated as much as he was loved, what we will remember the most about this controversial character is that he destroyed the same institution that put him in power.” (Wonderful because of the paradox!)
“In conclusion, customers have great control over the actions of giant corporations. Perhaps if the general public were better informed about what small cultural shifts can do to the largest fast food company in the world, we could witness a more involved culture engaged in making the changes we want to see regarding any corporate powerhouse in our economic system.”