Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Free Labor and the Working Class 1830-1860 I Industrial Evolution Urbanism and Immigration II The Working Class Free Labor Ideology and

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Free Labor and the Working Class, 1830-1860 I. Industrial Evolution, Urbanism, and Immigration II. The Working Class, Free Labor Ideology, and Race III. How the Irish Became White IV. Free Labor, Slavery, and the Civil War Terms: John Deere Irish Potato Famine Mechanic National Trades Union Free labor ideology Minstrel show Zip Coon Philadelphia Riot of 1834 I. Industrial Evolution, Urbanism, and Immigration Railroads boomed. They bypassed canals and steamboats. Railroads could go places canals could never go. By putting unskilled workers on assembly lines, production increases dramatically and the number of factories exploded. John Deere – patented a steel plow which could slice through really thick coverings of grass where you would just tear up a wooden plow. This made Midwestern farming easier and far more productive. Samuel McCormick developed a prototype of a mechanical reaper. Production increased from harvesting one acre of wheat per person per day to 12 acres per day. This growth was connected to the growth of cities. Firms want to capitalize on the large number of cheap workers in cities. They no longer have to depend on having factories being close to a river for power. They now have steam for power and railroads for transportation. This causes the population of cities to double in twenty years. Some of the people in cities are formerly northeastern farmers. 1830’s - 600,000, 1840’s - 1.5 million, 1850’s - 2.5 million immigrants. Most people coming from Germany are middle class craftsman because the industrial revolution in Germany was increasing even faster than in America so the Germans had to come to America to continue to practice their trade. Irish Potato Famine - In summer 1845, a fungus destroyed the Irish potato crop. Tens of thousands die of starvation. The vast majority of farmers in Ireland were renters, so when the potato crop didn’t produce, the landlords kick them out. When the Irish arrive in the US, they have nothing; they are dirt poor and have no skill. Men were laborers, women 1
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were domestic servants. By 1860, there were more Irish in New York than there were in Ireland. II. The Working Class, Free Labor, Ideology, and Race Into the early nineteenth century, most people controlled their own labor. Mechanic – this was a term for a general laborer. This meant they knew how to use their mechanism of their trade. They did the work, owned their own tools, and were their own bosses, kept their own profits. As the 19 th century goes on, more Americans are working in factories which are owned by other people. The crafts of mechanics are starting to get broken down into pieces. Their whole sense of being their own person is getting dissolved, piece by piece. National Trades Union – workers start getting together and demanding higher wages and
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2008 for the course HY 203 taught by Professor Rothman during the Spring '07 term at Alabama.

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Chapter 3 - Free Labor and the Working Class 1830-1860 I Industrial Evolution Urbanism and Immigration II The Working Class Free Labor Ideology and

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