Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History



First Advisor

Erik Loomis


This thesis explores the history of events in Rhode Island connected to the 1934 General Textile Strike. During the strike, two people were killed by soldiers of the Rhode Island National Guard in an event known as “The Saylesville Massacre.” The established historiography of the 1934 General Textile Strike does not tell the story of the Saylesville Massacre well. Despite claims to the contrary, the strike was poorly run and lost by the union. Through a careful reading of primary sources this thesis argues that only by understanding the 1934 General Textile Strike as a loss for the union can both Labor History and the Labor Movement learn from its example.



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