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Work, Culture, and Society In Industrializing America 1815- 1919 Essay

It is historian Herbert G. Gutman’s thesis that the conflicts between the working class and the non working class resulted in a departure from its values and principles. The working class did not want this departure to happen; it was only the inevitable result of the growing industrialization. The conflicts between the rest of society and the working class resulted in the disappearance of its principles. During the beginning of the 19th century, the United States had remained a pre-industrial society and there were few workers and factories because at the time, it was dominated by a farming, skilled workers, and agricultural culture.

However, after 1843, the industry developed radically through the civil war and was followed by a new nature industrial society that appeared in 1893. During this development, both skilled women and men were forced to modernize. Just as Sidney Pollard had described, “a society of peasants, craftsmen, and versatile labourers became a society of modern industrial workers. ” This process was difficult because it required a task of industrializing whole cultures. Nevertheless, the process was achieved as the nation gathered and worked to transform themselves and new groups from the pre-industry to the new.

This progression was continually altered by immigration, social conflicts, and through various other elements. These women and men sold their labor to an employer to join this new changing factory working condition. Work habits in comparison remained the same from the native culture and to the immigrants. Also, the working pattern also parallels one of that of the European patterns in pre-modern development. There were also tensions between culture, work, and society. Work habits of men and women in the new factory and labor life attributed to the diverse pre-modern cultures.

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During the early 19th century, many Americans were newly introduced to a more efficient process of production called the factory. At this period of time, most work was done by man, not machines. Conversely, as time developed, more and more factories, beginning with textiles and cotton industry used unskilled labor to work in mass producing products. Drinking was common in this time even while working, it caused unproductive labor and often be inclined to have more accidents and deaths. Reform movements began and to solve this there was a temperance movement although it was short lived it served its process.

Also, managers began to fine and deduct from wages if there was unproductiveness, for instance, drinking liquor. And at places where unskilled factory workers could easily be replaced, they took this as an advantage and often fired those who did become drunk. The effect was better working habits to society. These work habits were not just common to pre modern America but also later generations of factory workers. And by 1920, two thirds of workers in the twenty-one major mining and manufacturing industries came from either Southern or Eastern Europe or were American blacks.

Many of these cultures and factory workers had numerous of the pre-industrial work habits. Assorted patterns of working class behavior accompanied the industrialization of the United States. Forms of protest occurred throughout the periods and development of industrialization in America. This followed the ever changing behavior and diversity of the cultures that were in the working class. Another form of culture was included in street gangs that were believed to hold artisan and lower class workers and were organized by ethnicity. Others, people often had food riots against the monopolies and the rising food prices.

Similar behaviors in riots even decades apart for instance, the 1837 food riot wasn’t much different from one from 1902. For instance, women became organized and were led by a woman butcher and these people protested the rising price of kosher meat and a disloyalty among the members in not boycotting it. Like the previous disorders and riots, these women battered shops and carried the meat like flags although they did not steal at all. The development of the industrial age was a process where many progressed and left their previous values behind, although there was some resistance to this new modernization.

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