Lowell Mills

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During the 1830s and 1840, New England was getting a more modernized economy. This region of the country started to make things in factories rather than by hand. The machines made their work more efficient because it was faster and easier to produce goods than ever before. The workers in these factories were unmarried women between the ages of fifteen and thirty from the middle class. The fact that women were working in the factories caused conflict because it challenged a woman’s role in society. Prior to this time, women were supposed to work in home and make sure that the household ran smoothly. The new role of women was that they worked in the factory and were away from their family for several hours at a time. Most women went to work in the Lowell Mills of Lowell, Massachusetts. Here, there was a conflict with women and their role in society. In this paper I will explain what the public thought about women working and what the working girls thought about working in the Lowell system. The culture of New England in the 1830’s and 1840’s expected young girls and women to be submissive, moral, and domestic. The factory girls families weren’t too happy with their daughters working outside the home. The industrialists had to convince the public that textile mills were appropriate places for young girls to work. Working at the textile mills provided young women with financial independence that they wouldn’t get staying at home and working on the farm. This idea of financial independence really challenged the role of women in society prior to this time. The girls no longer had to rely on their father’s income for support and this didn’t sit well with the daddies. Working in the mills also provided the girls with more opportunities to extend their education and learning. Often, these working girls would become more educated than their mothers and grandmothers. The girls that worked in mills had very pleasant experiences. They were always paid the...
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