American History

  • As land is always scarce, it often serves as a basis for conflicts. Different people make different claims regarding the optimal use of land and thus misunderstandings may emerge. The 19th century is characterized by the rapid development of industrial production. Moreover, the newly emerged plants, factories, and mills tried to integrate all spheres of production. Although it was rational from a business perspective, it created enormous difficulties for people as their working conditions were very poor.

    It is reasonable to examine the primary source, Complaint of a Lowell Factory Female Worker. The majority of workers on this factory were unmarried women, but they had to work under very difficult conditions. The unnamed worker compared their lives with those of slaves, because their rights were absolutely unprotected. She explained her position by stating that the existing system of production and labor required them “to toil from five until seven o’clock”. They had only one hour for satisfying their natural needs while the rest of time they had to work very intensely. The worker doubted that the devotion of their owners to Christian principles and beliefs was sincere. She asked rhetoric questions about their “moral, religious, or intellectual culture”

    It may be concluded that workers experienced extremely difficult working conditions, because all factories were controlled by large business owners. Thus, workers had no choice but accept these conditions. This primary source also reveals that even women had to work for 9-10 hours per day, and all their rights were unprotected. For this reason, they began to consolidate their efforts to advocate their interests and basic individual rights. In general, the development of capitalism and industrial production in the United States, especially during the 19th century stages was characterized by the large-scale violation of workers’ rights and freedoms. Only gradually the situation tended to improve.