Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Andrew Feffer




labor history, bread and roses strike, lawrence, historiography, repression, god and country, textile workers


This thesis focuses on the historiography of the Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912 as representative of a larger trend of repression of American labor narratives. It draws from oral history accounts, news coverage and analysis from 1912, resources at the Lawrence History Center collected throughout the city’s process of memorialization, secondary historical accounts of the event, and formative works of labor history.

The first chapter introduces the American labor narrative, the history of repression by authority, the efforts of labor historians to memorialize suppressed history, and the role that monuments, historians, and popular fictional accounts play in the formation of historical narratives. The second chapter offers the chronology of the Lawrence strike, followed by the two competing narratives born from the event, and how they were formed; first the pro-strikers’ narrative, and then the “God and Country” counter-narrative, formulated after the strike. The second chapter ends by detailing efforts to repress the history of the strike, as compared to larger national trends to repress labor’s narrative. The third chapter explores the process by which the contemporary narrative of the Lawrence strike was revived, followed by analysis of what the contemporary narrative looks like, and how it is accessible to the public. To conclude, the thesis considers contemporary American perceptions of the working class and how accessible historical narratives on events like Lawrence could provide an essential component in contemporary organizing.