A Shopkeeper's Millennium

Topics: Laborer, Working class, Social class Pages: 2 (687 words) Published: July 20, 2010
A Shopkeeper’s Millennium by Paul E. Johnson explains the religious revival in Rochester, New York, when higher classes found themselves loosing control of there workers. While looking though many of the documents in Rochester; he explained why the revivals even took place. Even though the revival wasn’t necessarily created to solve there problems the new rules on religion and lifestyle helped change the way people work and some could argue that it even changed we work today. Rochester changed in the way business was run at the turn of the 19th Century. Paul E. Johnson believes and proves that the people who created Rochester were networks of families, churches, and friends who worked together by helping each other towards their goals. Masters started hiring cheap and unskilled labor to increase profit and the entire bond that the Master and the Worker was broken. This gave this working class to great there own “society” and the idea that the Master could control the worker was gone. This became obvious when alcohol and self-control became a growing issue. The Masters wanted increased production and was hiring young men which they didn’t bother or just didn’t want to get to know.

The first major attempt to control the workers through religious ideals was in 1828 with the creation of the Rochester Society for the Promotion of Temperance. These employers only made the situation worse because they stopped giving daily amounts of alcohol as part of worker's wages and tried to lead by example which only managed to drive the classes further apart. Workers unable to drive in their normal ways moved to driving together in their neighborhoods and in defiance of their masters teaching them that they could only control their workers so far. The other religious conflicts were by the Sabbatarians, trying to make Sunday a holy Holiday. They tried to stop work on Sundays and attempted to completely remove alcohol from people's lives. The Pioneer Line was one which did...
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