Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Alex Cummings

Second Advisor

John McMillian


This thesis is on the passing of Right to Work (RTW) laws in Georgia. It tracks public debate surrounding the passing of Senate bills 10 and 11 in 1947. This thesis examines who was arguing for and against the bills in public forums, mainly in the Atlanta Constitution newspaper and how these bills came to pass. Existing scholarship focusing on the Taft-Hartley Act and RTW laws seemingly overlook the fact that Georgia’s RTW laws were passed months before the Taft-Hartley Act was enacted. Most of the challenges to Georgia’s RTW laws pointed out the laws contradicted the Wagner Act, the key labor law passed by Congress in 1935. This thesis follows the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations who opposed Georgia’s RTW laws. This thesis also argues that Georgia’s RTW laws paved the way for the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act.

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