The Industrialization of Lowell
Justin P. Wilson
Lowell, Massachusetts was quickly changed from a rural community to a factory driven city. Changes in gender roles, socioeconomics, land use, and individual business would forever impact the area. Women would go to work, lands would become crowded, and people from outside communities would migrate to turn a profit.
What was once a small, rural community quickly transformed into an industrial city, flourishing with labor and changes. Men would no longer be the primary wage earners, while women would leave their homes. Open land would develop into crowded cities, only further compounded by an influx of people looking for work. Lowell, Massachusetts was one of these cities. Changes quickly occurred to the norms, and social stigmas were forever shattered.
Many people were attracted to work at the mills. Farming was losing its profit base, as it was easy to import what was being grown. With this, a migration of people began, seeing hopes of profits and good living conditions, which in Lowell they received. “The Lowell workers, for example, were well fed, carefully supervised, and housed in clean boardinghouses and dormitories, which the factory owners maintained.” (Brinkley, 2010). Wages and free housing were excellent prospects for many who could no longer afford to run farms that were losing profits, so they made the move. Land in Lowell changed dramatically. What was once like the rural communities of the East quickly changed as mills and housing would transform it from a small community to a crowded industrial city. “Lowell, Massachusetts, grew from a rural village of 1500 people in 1820 to a manufacturing city of 33,000 in 1850” (Weiss, 2011). As these changes took place, the landscape of Lowell dramatically changed. Buildings and people filled the streets. As industry continued to swallow this area, efforts were made to beautify the lands. “Instead, they...
References: Kirtley, B., & Kirtley, P. (2011). City of Spindles: The Lessons of Lowell, Massachusetts. National Social Science Journal, 37(1), 67-72. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.vlib.excelsior.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=eb3c1876-dbf6-4d23-90a1-74af94cbae59%40sessionmgr14&vid=4&hid=104
Weiss, J. (2011). 'In the Mills, We Are Not So Far from God and Nature ': Industrialization and Spirituality in Nineteenth-century New England. Journal For The Study Of Religion, Nature & Culture, 5(1), 82-100. doi:10.1558/jsrnc.v5i1.82
Birkley, A. (2010). The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People. New York: McGraw Hill.
Lowell System. (1991). In The Reader 's Companion to American History. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://www.credoreference.com.vlib.excelsior.edu/entry/rcah/lowell_system
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