The Lowell System: New Transition In American History

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Aya Abdulrahman Professor Perine History 1151 29 Oct. 2015 The Lowell Textile System The Lowell system made a new transition in American history that explored working and labor conditions in the new industrial factories in the United States. In 1813, Boston Associates a group of capitalists “constructed the first textile mill” in Waltham, Massachusetts. “In 1822, the Boston Associates developed a new water-powered mill at a village along the Merrimack River, which they rename Lowell” (America, 286). In the beginning, the system seemed promising but years later, multiple problems such as restricted living, dangerous living condition, low wages started to appear. Finding workers was not much of a problem for factories. People were attracted …show more content…

They were required to attend church and worship God (America, 287). In the beginning, the girls enjoyed the peaceful life of dormitories but soon their life started to become worse. The supervisors who watched over the girls in broad houses did not only control and regulate every aspect of their working life but their leisure life too. The girls were limited to curfew at a certain time in the evening, and after that time no one was permitted to enter. They realized that lives before working in mills were so much …show more content…

As a result, “ The women organized strikes to protest deteriorating conditions. In 1834, they unsuccessfully went on strike against the miles after learning of a proposed sharp cut wages” (America, 288). Their goals were to change the dangerous working conditions, have more freedom, reduce the long working hours, and receive higher wages. There were other many protests, but all of them failed. Yet, women gained a sense of pride for standing up against poor living and working conditions. Nevertheless, mill owners kept cutting wages as a response for the protest and to increase profits. As the strikes accomplished nothing, many women started leaving the mills and they were replaced by Irish immigrants. In 1845, the Irish made only 8 percent of workforce in Lowell mills; “by 1860, they made up 50 percent” (292). After many workers left, mills were in a desperate need of employees and that’s why they hired Irish immigrants. However, the Lowell mills began to lose moral and honesty as working conditions became

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