America in the 19th Century Essay

This essay has a total of 605 words and 3 pages.

America in the 19th Century

In colonial America, most manufacturing was done by hand in the home. Some was done in
workshops attached to the home. As towns grew into cities, the demand for manufactured
goods increased. Some workshop owners began hiring helpers to increase production.
Relations between the employer and helper were generally harmonious. They worked side by
side, had the same interests and similar political views.

The factory system that began around 1800 brought great changes. The employer no longer
worked beside his employees. He became an executive and a merchant who rarely saw his
workers. He was concerned less with their welfare than with the cost of their labor. Many
workers were angry about the changes brought by the factory system. In the past, they had
taken great pride in their handicraft skills; now machines did practically all the work,
and they were reduced to the status of common laborers. In bad times they could lose their
jobs. Then workers who would accept lower wages might replace them. To skilled craft
workers, the Industrial Revolution meant degradation rather than progress.

The Industrial Revolution was dawning in the United States. At Lowell, Massachusetts, the
construction of many mills and factories began in the early 1800ís. Factory owners were in
desperate need of workers, and as most jobs in these factories required neither great
strength nor special skills. In turn the owners thought women could do the work as well as
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