Evolution, Not Revolution: The Effect of New Deal Legislation on Industrial Growth and Union Development in Dallas, Texas
Description: The New Deal legislation of the 1930s would threaten Dallas' peaceful industrial appearance. In fact, New Deal programs and legislation did have an effect on the city, albeit an unbalanced mixture of positive and negative outcomes characterized by frustrated workers and industrial intimidation. To summarize, the New Deal did not bring a revolution, but it did continue an evolutionary change for reform. This dissertation investigated several issues pertaining to the development of the textile industry, cement industry, and the Ford automobile factory in Dallas and its labor history before, during, and after the New Deal. New Deal legislation not only created an avenue for industrial workers to achieve better representation but also improved their working conditions. Specifically focusing on the textile, cement, and automobile industries illustrates that the development of union representation is a spectrum, with one end being the passive but successful cement industry experience and the other end being the automobile industry union efforts, which were characterized by violence and intimidation. These case studies illustrate the changing relationship between Dallas labor and the federal government as well as their local management. Challenges to the open shop movement in Dallas occurred before the creation of the New Deal, but it was New Deal legislation that encouraged union developers to recruit workers actively in Dallas. Workers' demands, New Deal industrial regulations, and union activism created a more urban, modern Dallas that would be solidified through the industrial demands for World War II.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Welch, M. Courtney
Partner: UNT Libraries