With the transformation of American society from a commonwealth model to a capitalistic one, young American men left their families and pursued their individual interests. Quickly, American society realized that the new system had many defects. The process of fixing those defects did not pass without creating victims. For example- Industrial Capitalism created a corrupt youth. Inexperienced young men found themselves without family guidance and under the unfamiliar cultural and social pressures of the new life. Society leaders thought that prescriptive literature and lectures would be enough to guide the youth to the virtuous world. In reality, youth required more than that. Young men required supervision and laws to correct and rectify the corrupt ones.
The rise of industrial capitalism altered the social boundaries, and ultimately the cultural possibilities of young men. Before the transformation, the location of work was at home and young apprentices lived with their employers, who are most accurately described as masters in a familial-type relationship. With the Industrial Revolution, masters were able to move their families to the new residential neighborhoods of the city, miles away from the industrial districts. At the same time, thousands of young men moved from New England to New York City, seeking their fortunes. These young men rented rooms in boarding houses. These houses had multiple bedrooms with two or three young men in each room. It was impossible for anyone to watch over these young men in this crowded environment.
Lack of adult supervisions and social institutions, loosened the good behavior and values of young men. According to Patricia Cline Cohen in The Murder Of Helen Jewett, “the new living arrangements allowed for masculine youth culture to form virtually on its own.” (Cohen, 11) When on their own at night, “unsupervised young men were ready to... [continues]
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