Class and Community

Lynn as a Microcosm for the Industrial Revolution
In the novel “Class and Community the Industrial Revolution in Lynn”, by Alan Dawley, the town of Lynn Massachusetts and its 19th century rise of industrialism discusses the towns change from pre-industry to factory system life after the industrial revolution takes hold of the community. Throughout the novel Dawley also notes the importance of social class and the tensions between elite employers and workers as poverty, hardships, and revolts materialize throughout the 19th century.
The pursuit of "equal rights" by the shoemakers of Lynn made them a microcosm of the industrial revolution in America by displaying the fairly new labor system of factory working and its effects on the community that would appear all over America. In an effort for people to gain their “equal rights” shoemakers pushed and persevered through the horrible conditions of factory life (including dangerous environments, long hours, and low wages) to hopefully improve their conditions. And when the conditions remained the same, the peoples decision to revolt.
The capitalist transformation of shoe manufacturing reflected by the careers of Ebenezer Breed, Micajah Pratt, and Benjamin Newhall were that of vast amounts of production in the beginning after switching from the household system to shopkeepers and factory systems. Their efforts would soon fail though, as workers saw the market revolution not as an enhancement of power to control and setup their own lives, but as a loss of freedom.
The relationship between "equal rights" and community for the shoemakers of Lynn contained a mutual feeling for the desire to obtain equal rights or “a general elevation in the moral and material condition of labor and an equalization of the upper and lower ranks of the social order”. This feeling is what eventually drove the shoemakers to revolt against their elite employers after almost all of the workers shared the same conditions and hardships of...