Date of Defense



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Renstrom

Second Advisor

Dr. Carolyn V. Lewis


The concept of affirmative action finds its origin in the Wagner Act of 1935 and Executive Order 10925 signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Both pieces of legislation prescribe positive remedial measures in response to unfair labor practices, though neither document specifically enumerates or defines such measures. Affirmative action is defined, to some extent, in the Wagner Act as "including reinstatement of employees with or without back pay." This definition, though not complete, infers an intent to correct or remedy only past occurrences of unfair labor practices, inclusive of, according to Executive Order 10925, invidious employment discrimination. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 1124 6, which mandated compliance to affirmative measures for all federal contractors, executive departments, and agencies, thus, enforcing nondiscrimination in federal government employment.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only