The short-handled hoe brings back memories of back-breaking labor for generations of Mexican and
Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities, Worksheets
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Posted: 11/14/2013
Historical research starts with a question about the past. However, piecing together an accurate answer to these questions is not as straightforward as it may seem. Primary sources can—and often do—conflict with one another, as do secondary sources. That said, sources can also complement one another in a way that allows for a deeper level of historical understanding. The historian’s job is to explore and evaluate all kinds of sources to construct an answer—their interpretation of the past. Historical investigations help students build these skills.
This historical investigation examines the Bracero Program, which grew out of a series of bi-lateral agreements between Mexico and the United States that allowed millions of Mexican men to come to the United States to work on, short-term, primarily agricultural labor contracts. From 1942 to 1964, 4.6 million contracts were signed, with many individuals returning several times on different contracts, making it the largest U.S. contract labor program.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
2: How the New Deal addressed the Great Depression, transformed American federalism, and initiated the welfare state
3: The causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs
World History Standards (Grades 5-12)
2: The causes and global consequences of World War I
3: The search for peace and stability in the 1920s and 1930s
4: The causes and global consequences of World War II
5: Major global trends from 1900 to the end of World War II
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
3B: Consider multiple perspectives.
3C: Analyze cause-and-effect relationships.
3D: Draw comparisons across eras and regions in order to define enduring issues.
3E: Distinguish between unsupported expressions of opinion and informed hypotheses grounded in historical evidence.
3F: Compare competing historical narratives.
3G: Challenge arguments of historical inevitability.
3H: Hold interpretations of history as tentative.
3I: Evaluate major debates among historians.
3J: Hypothesize the influence of the past.
4B: Obtain historical data from a variety of sources.
4C: Interrogate historical data.
4D: Identify the gaps in the available records, marshal contextual knowledge and perspectives of the time and place.
4E: Employ quantitative analysis.
4F: Support interpretations with historical evidence.