Free History Essays Samples

The Life And Work Of Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez is a civil right leader and a key figure in American agricultural politics. Chavez was part in the fight against American agricultural slavery. His peers all agreed that they were entitled to more. Chavez joined his ranks to form a union and to organize a revolution. The nonviolence of the unions that Chavez helped form is a hallmark of his work. This civil approach helped immigrant workers to come to an understanding with their economies that would help them achieve more fair employment in agriculture. Modern civil rights wouldn’t be the same without Cesar Chavez.

Cesar Chavez, a Mexican immigrant, was born in Yuma Arizona. Chavez’s family was the owner of a small ranch which was destroyed in the Great Depression. “Issues related to citizenship and ethnicity complicated all members the Chavez family.” (Carnes 5) Chavez’s family eventually lost their home. Chavez’s parents decided that California was the best place to work and start a new life. Cesar Chavez’s family worked for many years in California’s fields to earn a living. Cesar Chavez was a teenager when he decided to quit school to be a full-time worker in the field. He did this to support his mother. Cesar Chavez was ready to go into the Navy after four years working in the fields. He was able to travel the globe and gain a wider perspective through his time in the military. Chavez quit his military service after only two years. He said that it was the worst part of his entire life. Chavez tried to convince the migrants to register to vote when he returned to his fields. “Cesar Chazá knew the struggles of these people firsthand. Cesar Chavez encouraged migrants to organize and to fight for their freedom peacefully. His encouragement instilled hope and belief in migrant worker’s minds that they can all make a difference, and that their voices are heard.

Cesar Chavez started to attract followers who shared his beliefs. He gained popularity and gained power. Chavez gained more power and started encouraging people to take action on the issues. “Chavez stressed nonviolence right from the start of his strike. (Garcia 46) Cesar Chavez’s ideals were supported by many organizations until a revolution began.

Cesar Chaz, a migrant worker in the field, was catholic. He made it his strategy to spread his influence. “Chavez was conscious of integrating the Catholic faith into the movement. He gave the union a sense of identity through his shared religious beliefs. (Prouty. 23) Chavez had the opportunity to use religion to support his beliefs in human equality. “Chavez was a catholic leader in nonviolence and his writings inspired him to do so.” (Martin 748). Chavez used prayer in his gatherings and joined with the bishops of the Catholic Church to raise his trustworthiness.

Cesar Chavez organized the 1952 Community Service Organization that brought together Latin Americans looking for freedom and rights. The National Farm Workers Association was then established by Cesar Chavez in 1962. The National Farm Workers Association was formed in 1962 by these organizations to unite against California’s agricultural standards. The result was better working conditions that would last many years. Chavez was an organizer of farm workers protesting low wages in migrant labor camp camps and rising rents. In 1965, he joined forces with other organizations to support a strike by Delano grape growers. The strike was organized by the Filipino workers of Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. Also supported by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC) and Congress of Racial Equality. (Garcia 1, 1) Chavez won many small victories with his large circle of supporters that would lead to an entire revolution. This uprising was peaceful in all aspects, including peaceful protests and hunger strikes.

Cesar’s efforts in California were crucial during a time of extreme poverty for many migrant families. “Chavez was the first to organize California’s farmers.” (Prouty 30). Many people came to America in the early 1900s to work as farm workers. Agriculture was a labor-intensive career and there were always openings. As there was a greater demand for field workers, their work days became more complicated and their wages decreased. This created an unbalanced economy for American farmers who abused the migrants. Cesar Chavez did everything possible to bring these workers into line with his justice system.

Cesar Chavez’s revolts were widely reported, inspiring other migrant workers to adopt his methods and fight for their freedom. Texas and Ohio both have large agricultural areas and many unions are similar to the ones formed by Cesar Chavez. In these states, migrant workers were fighting the same battles that Chavez and his organisations had started on America’s west coast. Chavez was a leader in the fight against hunger strike, protests and boycotts. Chavez’s tactics proved to be nonviolent and easily understood by his target audience. His union and Chavez’s influence extend far beyond their respective fields. They are known for inspiring many Latinos and Americans to political and social activism. (Martin 750) Chavez and his organizations’ influence gave hope to so much American workers in 1900s America that revolutions began all over the country.

Cesar Chazá led one of the most significant and popular strikes, the Salad Bowl Strike. The strike was made up of thousands of people who boycotted the workplace and protested unfair treatment. The California Agricultural Labor Relations Act was created in response to the protests and boycotts of migrant workers. This act was designed to guarantee equality for all field workers as well as protect their rights.

Cesar Chavez’s vision of revolution was not limited to the treatment of migrant workers. He also felt strongly against illegal immigration. Chavez believed that illegal immigrants were damaging his unions and discrediting him. He fought for strong borders between the United States of America and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out of America. Chavez was instrumental to the passage of 1986’s Federal Immigration Act. This gave legal migrant workers more stability at work.

Another impact that Cesar Chavez had was his support of the gay and bisexual population. Chavez believed there should be freedom for all men, regardless gender, sexual orientation, or race. Cesar Chazavez fought against bills that would have made it difficult for the LGBT community. The Briggs Amendment would have banned gay or lesbians teachers from California schools. Chavez’s contribution to the increasing fairness in treatment was a huge impact. However, this is an ongoing and unfinished project.

Cesar Chavez assembled other leaders to support him in growing his unions. Chavez recruited economists and intellectuals who could help the field workers understand economic issues and how to effectually make changes. “Chavez slowly assembled a remarkable talent group and shaped them into leadership of the Union” (Carnes 67). As more leaders began to speak out for the civil rights of migrants workers, more people joined the unions to support Chavez’s fight for justice.

There were many hardships, but they were all part of the victory for fairness. Many political battles prevented the unions from recognizing their points. “By 1984, the [union] was losing its earlier momentum.” Cesar Chavez, his partners, and others had to do more to resist the decline in support for the movement. They were able, however, to pass visible changes for field workers that brought back many of the followers. This allowed the revolution to grow again and become a powerful force that would make big changes in future.

Cesar Chavez began his career in American fieldwork and was raised in poverty and injustice by thousands of migrant workers. Chavez rose through the ranks to become an advocate for workers and a leader. The unions Chavez set up had an impact on American agriculture politics and have helped to shape the way field workers fight for their rights. Cesar Chavez was a great leader in the fight for civil rights throughout the country. This ongoing struggle continues until justice for all.


  • theothomas

    I am 29 years old and I am an educational blogger and teacher. I enjoy writing about education and sharing my knowledge with others. I enjoy helping people find the information they need and empowering them to learn in the most effective way possible. I hope that my blog and teaching can help others reach their goals and become the best version of themselves.


I am 29 years old and I am an educational blogger and teacher. I enjoy writing about education and sharing my knowledge with others. I enjoy helping people find the information they need and empowering them to learn in the most effective way possible. I hope that my blog and teaching can help others reach their goals and become the best version of themselves.