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hirsch_roots_of_the_american_working_class

Chapter 2: The Process of Industrialization

In her essay, Hirsch defines industrialization and the effects it had on society, especially workers. Most narrowly, industrialization was a “technological process” which consisted of improvements in task breakdown and mechanization (15). There was, however, much more to industrialization than the technical side. It also had myriad social effects. In many ways, industrialization served to make economics less home-centered. Manual skills were less important and thus the practice of apprenticeship went into decline, thus removing young workers from the almost familial structure of the apprenticeship where an apprentice would live with their master. The presence of factories shifted the main place of manufactory work out of the home. Not only was the workplace shifted away from the home, but one of the earliest areas to feel the benefits of industrialization was the textile industry, an industry which had traditionally been the occupation of the women of a family. -Jason Elms

In the book Roots of the American Working Class, by Susan E. Hirsch, industrialization wasn’t merely the dawn of technological advancements; it was also the start of a new social working era. In the case needlewomen from Foster's “New York by Gas-light,” Hirsch states that mechanization brought about “the introduction of sewing machines” which eventually “undercut family labor by decreasing the number of females working in those crafts in which women had done sewing.” (Hirsch, 15) –Theophilus Felder

Industrialization spurred growth in cities, production and created a new social milieu. Mechanization moved work from home to factories. The old unity between master and journeyman was gone and workers formed unions to oppose employers if need be. The effects of industrialization also caused the population to increase six-fold. -Khalia D

The traditional process of making goods through the ranking system of apprentice, journeyman, and master soon dissolved in the upspring of industrialization. As society figured it was better to change this system, many people found it cheaper and faster to assign simple tasks to each ranked worker, which draws the early blueprint of the assembly line. As cities grew bigger, demand grew along with it. The response was innovation, and the era of machine would soon result from it.

In, Chapter 2 of “The Roots of The American Working Class” Hirsch describes the effects of industrialization with Newark, NJ as an example. This process was broken down into different stages as the move from an artisan environment to a mass industrialized society. This began with the breaking down of the creation of individual craft into separated, specialized but less skilled operations. As opposed to an individual knowing the process from start to finish. Next would be the addition of non-human power which would increase the speed of production and the creation of a new labor force. -J.Binns

Newark was a fast-growing city during the 1800s. The rise of the Industrial Revolution made it a hot spot for families to find work, and for businesses to thrive. The transportation routes were great for businesses to get natural resources fast, they had the Morris Canal, the Rail Road system, and were extremely close to New York City, which was a booming city also. The Industrial Revolution helped the people in Newark have jobs, but it also brought many hardships. The workers' pay was becoming less and less. Employees were looking to get higher wages, but employers did not want that. They started looking for cheaper labor, aka, African Americans, Women, and Children, Also, many of the new workers that came to Newark had no skills, but Artisan class was dying, because of the rise of machines doing all the work in making the products.

Newark grew rapidly during the mid-nineteenth century due to industrialization; its population in 1860 was eleven times what it had been in 1820. The rise of industrialism in Newark meant that Newark’s economy was now much more dependent on state and national markets. This decreased self-sufficiency led to periods of decline in Newark when the nation was doing poorly.

Traditional craft had two characteristics. One being each workwoman making each part of their products by learning how to make them in their entirety. The other was that they only used hand tools. These characteristics were the reason that each work was able to have so much independence. This is meant to compare traditional crafting to industrialization. -Gianna Banish

There are three broad stages to industrialization-task differentiation, the introduction of simple machines, and finally machines with nonhuman power sources used for important parts of the production process. In Newmark, task differentiation started in the early 19th century, with three-person teams introduced in shoemaking. Those in the workforce then had few skills, sans those already knew the entire process and taught parts of it to new employees. With less skill, the wage system was established, as workers could not control their pay as easily as they had less skill. Workers still owned their tools but not the materials or the finished product. In the second stage, the machines used were mostly human-powered machines. Due to the mechanization, the skills and wages of the labor force decreased further. Workers also stopped owning the tools of production. However, putting-out was still used for some tasks. Finally, with the third stage, sans for a few tasks, skill, apprenticeship, and putting-out was gone, and wages were close to other nonskilled occupations. With factories large and machines expensive, workers were also unlikely to rise to self-employment. To reach the idealized industrial state, the trends of mechanization and the end of putting-out had to continue. -Francesca Maisano

Not only did industrialization have a big impact on the population and the economics of Newark, but it also helps impact the social process of the city. Workers who were craftsmen had an incredible amount of independence when it came to working since they were skilled at their craft and had the tools to complete projects on their own and in their own spaces. With the rise of industrialization, that freedom is stripped away so then all of the means of production are now put into one space, the factory and workers have to congregate in that space to get the job done. – Ellora Larsen

Industrialization did not occur uniformly across all trades at the same time. Trades that produced mainly for wholesale markets industrialized faster, as they had more incentive to improve efficiency and increase output. The negative impacts of industrialization on workers led to the development of many different unions. However, trades that relied on a strong local market did not experience the same pressure to mechanize production and subsequently unionize, with the exception of carpentry. The early unionization of carpenters was brought about by the emergence of contractors as opposed to industrialization.

Chapter 3: Industrialization of the Labor Force

The population Census from the 1850s would want us to believe that it was rare, if not unheard of, for women to work any type of manufacturing job. The reality at the time was there were actually a significant amount of women working crafts, with many of those being young, unmarried women who were living with one or both parents and were not the head of household and often worked in the same industry as those they lived with. Most men and women were ashamed to admit that women were indeed workers within manufacturing jobs because they were “violating Victorian standards” (Hirsch, 40). Due to the women not being the head of household or considered the breadwinner of the family, employers did not pay women as much as men because of the belief that they were not as reliant on the money as men who had families to provide for were. Married or widowed women were often not employed because they were less desirable and deemed unreliable. It was difficult for women to join the crafts industry after machinery was introduced, due to the fact that they lacked the skills that the men had as well as them having trouble adjusting to the machinery required to complete tasks due to those lack of skills. A consequence of this was a complete reliance on the husband/head of the household for everything and a lack of independence for married women and their children. - Devin Wright To add, women were excluded from work because of social reasons. Victorian era America believed that women should take a domestic role in society with mothers belonging at home and daughters learning domestic skills to prepare them for their later lives. The absence of women from the industrial labor force was touted in newspapers which catered to employers with one article in the Newark Daily Advertiser using the presence of German women in hard labor jobs to boast about how American labor practices protected the fairer sex. -Jason Elms

Susan Hirsch went over the industrial advancement of the city of Newark. Newark was known for having god factories and production. Newark was known for shoemaking and having cheaper taxes and rent. Providing cheaper living and taxes caused more people to move to Newark. Newark provided smart trading and this can be reflected with the California Gold Rush. Newark provided the Gold Rush with materials. With all of the good industries that Newark had Hirsch reflected also on the downfall. Mechanization happened which started to make craftsmanship go away. Not only did craftsmanship start to go away but industries stated to go away because of competition. - Jasmine Williams

In Hirsh reading, the author examines the city of Newark, which is known for its large industrial sector. Industrialization made notable impacts on the ways in which people worked and contributed to society, however, how significant the impacts were was dependent on the craft and/or job. Traditional work involved a single person using hand tools only to make a single product in its entirety. While in the factory-based industry each person is in charge of a certain task. Products are made by individuals typically with little training who make a single product as a collective. –Sherronda Robinson

Newark, New Jersey was a small artisan town which transformed into an industrial mecca in the nineteenth century. The process was both technological and social. The idealization improved the economy creating hundreds of jobs every year. The ability to find employment helped spur the physical growth of the city by attracting people seeking employment. These new positions in manufacturing helped to make the skills of craftsmen obsolete. Deborah Hunnel

hirsch_roots_of_the_american_working_class.txt · Last modified: 2019/02/01 09:52 by tfelder