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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

The Road to Ludlow: Work, Environment, and Industrialization in Southern Colorado, 1870-1915

EPA Grant Number: U915609
Title: The Road to Ludlow: Work, Environment, and Industrialization in Southern Colorado, 1870-1915
Investigators: Andrews, Thomas G.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
EPA Project Officer: Broadway, Virginia
Project Period: January 1, 1999 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $74,224
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Economics and Decision Sciences , Fellowship - Environmental Decision Making



The objective of this research project is to use the coal- and steel-producing area of southern Colorado in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a case study to examine the interrelationships between workers, the environment, and industrialization in the United States. Labor versus the environment has been a perceived conflict since a trade-off between environmental protection and blue-collar jobs was first posited. Policymakers, environmentalists, economists, sociologists, and others have debated this perceived conflict in a number of ways. With few exceptions, they have done little to incorporate historical perspectives into these analyses. This is regrettable, as the past promises to provide important insights into current and future debates on labor and the environment.


I will explore the ways in which environmental concerns provoked coal miners to strike in the "coal war" of 1913-1914 that resulted in the infamous Ludlow Massacre, and to uncover the broader historical processes of environmental, social, and technological change that led to the emergence of heavy industry in southern Colorado in the first place.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Colorado, CO, coal mining, labor, landscape change, steel making, railroads, industrialization, Pueblo, American West, landscape change, industrial accidents, industrial hygiene, Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, workers, environmental decision making.

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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