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Factory System and Labor Movements Before the Civil War

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Evaluate the factory system from the perspective of owners and workers and assess the impact of the factory system on the rise of labor movements in the period before the Civil War.

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1. Evaluate the factory system from the perspective of owners and workers and assess the impact of the factory system on the rise of labor movements in the period before the Civil War.

From the perspective of owners and workers, the introduction of the factory system had a profound negative effect on social relationships and living conditions. By contrast, the factory owners were considered to have discharged their obligations to employees with the payment of wages; thus, most owners took an impersonal attitude toward those who worked in their factories. This was in part because no particular strength or skill was required to operate many of the new factory machines. The owners of the early factories often were more interested in hiring a worker cheaply than in any other qualification. Thus they employed many women and children, who could be hired for lower wages than men. These low-paid employees had to work for as long as 16 hours a day; they were subjected to pressure, and even physical punishment, in an effort to make them speed up production. Since neither the machines nor the methods of work were designed for safety, the ...

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Evaluates the factory system from the perspective of owners and workers and assesses the impact of the factory system on the rise of labor movements in the period before the Civil War.

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