The Most They Ever Had Analysis

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The Most They Ever Had, written by Rick Bragg tells the story of hard working southern whites who even under harsh conditions went to work every day for what they felt was the best paycheck they ever made. The mill was more than work; it was family, life and salvation. It was baseball games, childhood pranks, poverty, singers, and love. From the mills of Greenleaf, to the textile union strikes, to President Roosevelt changing labor laws, the mills were a legacy of hard work. Americans worked hard, suffered lots and never complained. This was mill life and many still look back on that life as the most they ever had. This report will discuss the lives of millworkers from the early 1900s through 2006 when the Jacksonville, Alabama cotton mill closed. It will describe the hard working people of the mills in the south to the criminal owners and finally the memories that these hardworking Americans will have for generations to follow. When the mills first opened in the south in the early 20th century, they opened a new world and a new way of life but not a new amount of money. Mills were created in villages which also provided housing, grocery stores, local churches and schools. Even with the promised community the paychecks were minimal. This was …show more content…
This left hundreds of workers unemployed. The workers felt defeated. Sonny parker said, “We did everything they asked us to do” (p. 148). In the end they knew there was no fight to fight. There were people in other countries that did not have the regulations that the United States mills had. People in other countries would work for pocket change. Some cried silently, stared at the floor in disbelief, but in the end, they left and found other things to do. Some retired and others like Sonny found other employment. It may not have paid as well as the mill but the work was secure and the working conditions were

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