Amy Cheung APUSHPD 5 12/5/17The Lords And The Mill Girls AssignmentThomas Jefferson’s philosophical beliefs is that farmers represented the basis of a democratic wealthy society. In his eyes, manufacturing is unnecessary to support the surplus of the people because we have an immensity of land that can be used for agricultural industries. European industries were evil because it degraded workers, factories were polluted, high chances of life threatening injuries, child and unskilled labors meant no guarantee on job. However, the city of Lowell escape these evil beliefs of Jefferson because Francis Lowell’s cotton textile manufacturing factory was a success. Lowell had well-disciplined and obedient female workers who were semi-skilled due to work experiences at home.
The Lowell city introduced a new system of manufacturing and established a new form of urban development and brought the opportunity of new gender employments. The Industrial Revolution had shift an economy from being agriculturally based to a mechanized manufacturing based. The desire for financial gain is incompatible to certain democratic ideals due to some arousing issues of wealth and poverty. The Lowell experiment failed to increase the pays and hours of workers. There were many protests going on against wage cuts and working on harsh, dangerous conditions. Female workers were hurt due to the lack of knowledge on how to use the advanced technologies. This indeed, did destroy its inception because the origin of using female workers was to give them value and the ability to help their struggling families. However, this system is a similar form of slavery.
Harsh working conditions and long hours are unhealthy components contributing to harm the body of workers. The low wages were not worth the effort that laborers put into work.During this time, Lowell’s factory had over hundreds of machinery to run. He needed a massive workforce to help and at the time, the biggest unemployment figure were women.
The rural of New England had a surplus of young women and the Boston associates believed that they can be put to use by making these young females operatives. Since the girls were really familiar with spinning and weaving, they suitable for the profession. Although wages weren’t really high, women were still able to make a pretty decent amount of money compared to staying at home. Working on mills allowed them to get a sense of freedom. The women were free from strict parental authority and the money that they earned can be saved for them to get education.
Lowell’s offer for the young females gave them opportunity to help out their poor families and since they were able to work, females felt valued as well. The boarding houses were dorms for 15-30 young female workers. Unlike the factories they work in, the house was very clean. This meant that sanitation was being considered which can reduce the chance of contaminations. Most girls enjoyed living in boarding houses because they had company.
Since everyone were females, they had many conversations and activities to do with one another. Meal preparations were better compared to what the girls eat at home. Meat was served twice a day and dinner had a variety of foods, from meat to vegetables to desserts. Even with these advantages, there were certain downfalls that the girls had to face. Since there were six girls packed in one bedroom with three beds, there was lack of privacy and poor air circulation. If one is sick, it’s prone that the other five girls in the room can get sick too.
Women has been the most important workforce during the Industrial Revolution. Lowell women learned to protest the social changes that was happening. Factory owners reduced salaries in order to increase their profit and sped machines in order to get work done faster. The boarding house increased their charges which weren’t proportionally corresponding with their low wages. Women soon began to protest against this action and formed their first union, the Lowell Female Reform Association (LFLRA).
Magazines such as the Lowell Offering reflected the life of the female operatives in the mills. The group of Lowell women soon left the mill, forcing the Lowell to hire Irish women. They were willing to hire the Irish only because they could be hired for less wages.