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Cezar Chavez and the Farmer Worker Movement, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 414

Essay

Introduction

The historical significance of the Farmer Worker Movement started by Cezar Chavez has been discussed by many historians. It was not only a movement to achieve economical changes, but political as well.

Personality Traits of Chavez

Chavez gained inspiration from St Francis of Assisi and Mohandas Gandhi. (Collins, 2005) His main intention was to provide help for those who are unable to help themselves, and that led to using the same violence-free tools of persuasion as his role models. According to Lloyd-Moffet, (2005) “He has been championed as a social and political activist driven by a secular ideology of justice and non-violence”. Cezar Chavez himself said: “Being in service is not enough. You must become a servant of the people.” (Commitment Speech; Quoted in: Collins, 2005)

Causes of the Farmer Worker Movement

The democratic movements around the world and America led Chavez to think that Mexican American communities needed support and equal rights, just like African Americans. He realized that the exploitation of cheap workforce was based on old unwritten rules of inequality. (Joseph, 2006) According to Wells (2009), Chavez was a real labor leader as well as a national activist of the Chicano-s.

Important Dates and Events

The Grape Pickers’ strike in 1962 was one of the most successful one in the history of the United States. (Morada, 2006) It was a march of 300 miles from Delano to Sacramento. However, during the year Chavez fasted for 25 years as a part of the demonstration and helped more than 4000 farmers to become registered as voters. In the same year, Dolores Huerta also joined the National Farm Workers Association and Chavez joined the Community Service organization. In 1964, the owners of vineyards officially recognized the UFW (United Farm Workers Union. This initial movement was followed by non-violent strikes in the next ten years.

Political Impact

As a result of the Farm Workers Movement, the union representatives were in the position to negotiate terms with owners. Working conditions were improved, wages increased and this was a great achievement to the situation before the strikes. (Mendel-Reyes, 1994)

References:

Collins, D. (2005) Cezar Chavez. Juvenile.

Joseph, P. (2006) “The Black Power Movement: Re-thinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era” p. 194-200

Mendel-Reyes, M. “Remembering Cesar,” Radical History Review 58

Lloyd-Moffett, S. (2005) “The Mysticism and Social Action of Cesar Chavez” in Espinosa, Latino Religions, 35-36.

Morada, R. (2006) “So This Is the Good Old United States of America!” Google eBook

Wells, R. (2009) “Cesar Chavez’s Protestant Allies: The California Migrant Ministry and the Farm Workers” Journal of Presbyterian History Spring/Summer 2009 5-16

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