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engaged in complex transactions – leading to both the
rise of the office as we know it and the expansion of
- The Second Bank of the US, which was esp. attacked
during the Panic of 1819, was finally killed off in 1836,
leading to a nat’l credit shortage, which, combined with
the Panic of 1837, led to reforms in banking.
- The new free banking system, initially introduced in
Michigan and NY, meant that any bank that met
minimum standards would get a charter automatically.
This stimulated the economy in the 1840s/1850s.
*Workers and the Workplace*
- At first, the young farm women who came to the NE
textile mills were very optimistic, and the mills operated
on the paternalistic Lowell System, which provided the
women with good working conditions.
- But from 1837 – 1842, demand for cloth declined and
the mills worked only part-time, causing managers to
89 pressure workers by speeding out the machines, giving
each girl more machines to work, and paying extra if
workers produced the most cloth. Hours lengthened,
wages were cut, and discipline increased.
- Workers responded by organizing and striking, but they
were unsuccessful. In the 1840s, more concerted efforts
to shorten the workday began – worker-run newspapers,
labor organizations [these didn’t work that well b/c
workers stayed only a short time]. Then, Irish immigrants
replaced NE girls as the work became less skilled in the
- Another important result of manufacturing was the
sharp division between men’s and women’s jobs and
cultures. Also, the market economy devalued the unpaid
labor of women in the home.
- The hierarchical organization of the factories,
impersonal nature of labor, dangers from machines, and
the lack of opportunities for advancement combined to
produce new labor organizations and labor parties.
- Although the parties tended to agree on advocating free
public education, an end to debt imprisonment, and were
anti-bank/anti-monopoly, they were still divided, weak,
and stayed pretty local. Their big...
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- Fall '10