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Farm Worker Organizing Collection, 1948-1996
MSS 027  
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This is a collection of reports, writings, correspondence, union documents, fliers and clippings from individuals and organizations involved in the struggle for equitable wages and decent living conditions for farm workers in the United States during the 20th century.
Farm workers (as opposed to farmers) have been necessary to agricultural development in the territory that is now the United States almost from the first contact between Europeans and the peoples of the Western Hemisphere. As early as the seventeenth century, there was an insufficient supply of stable and cheap farm labor available domestically to fulfill the needs of mass (plantation) agriculture. The need was filled from populations outside of North America, beginning with the use of prisoners as indentured workers in the British colonies, followed by the importation of Africans for slave labor. Commercial farming created a subjugated underclass of farm workers that continues to the present day. In nineteenth century California, farm labor was imported from China, Japan and South Asia. Later, it became more expedient to use laborers who came from Mexico to work in the booming industrial agricultural farms of the valleys (San Joaquin, Salinas and Imperial) of California.
4 legal boxes

1 1/3rd linear feet
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