Class and Community Review

Samuel Leiding
Prof. Resch
History 105-522
Class and Community Review
Class and Community is about the impact the industrial revolution and factory systems had on the small village of Lynn Massachusetts. It is an in depth view of Lynn shoemakers and their transition from life of preindustrial labor to their life after the industrial revolution and after the introduction of factory system labor. Alan Dawley’s purpose of the book was to point out the limits of class conflict and the corruptness of factory employers by describing the hardships the workers lived through and the extremes the workers went to, to improve their conditions.
The pursuit of equal rights by the shoemakers of Lynn made them a microcosm of the industrial revolution because shoemaking was seen as a small step for the inventing of new things for American culture and wasn’t seen as an issue to the public until the townspeople began strikes against their employers. The careers of Ebenezer Breed, Micajah Pratt and Benjamin Newhall reflect the capitalist transformation of shoe manufacturing in Lynn from their very promising beginnings and their strive to increase their social status but utter fail after their attempts.
The relationship between equal rights and the community’s was strong, the townspeople and workers united together to strike back against the employers. Central shops and outwork altered this relationship because only a few shoemakers worked together under the same building before factories were introduced so there wasn’t a sense of community until the workers all worked under the same roof and experienced the same hardships while spreading their opinions to each other. The introduction of the sewing machine for stitching and binding the shoes is what defined the factory system for the shoe industry. The hunger for profit from masters and the lack of skill required to use the machines is why the factory system was introduced.
The increased work-day, the decreased salary and...