History 430: Theory and Practice

Document Type

Undergraduate Research

Publication Date

Fall 12-6-2012


In the first 30 years of the twentieth century, southeast Kansas stood out from the rest of the state. People commonly look at the immigration to the area during this time, and the idea that Kansas is the "Little Balkans" of the state. This is a reference to the Balkans area of central, Europe where many immigrants to the area came from, and is used to show how much ethnic diversity is present in this area. What really brought all of these immigrants to the area was the opportunity for employment in the coal mines in Cherokee and Crawford counties. These counties were part of a large coal field that encompassed the four-state area, and was the most productive coal-producing area in the state. As the mines grew and mining administrators began to abuse their power, unions were established to fight on behalf of the miners.