There were low wages
They worked from 4:00 am to 7:30 pm
Whole families worked including children
No heating systems and windows
Injuries were common and sicknesses spread easily
Factory workers faced discomforts and dangers
A young girl named Azema, who just turned 13, got her fingers caught in a spinning machine and then the foreman called the doctor who cut off one of her fingers and sent her back to work.
The workers fight back
In the 1820's and 30's artisans (skilled workers) created trade unions and they called for shorter work days, higher wadges, and better working conditions
They gained the demands and they went on strike (workers who refuse to do their jobs)
Strikes were illegal in most parts of the United States. Those whom striked were either fined, fired, or had jail sentences
In 1840, President Van Buren approved a 10 hour work day
In 1842 the court of Massachusetts declared that workers had a right to strike
Women workers organize
Women had many problems such as:
1. Always earn less money then men
2. Many believed that women belonged in the home
3. Union leaders did not believe that women should be ranked
Women had strikes in Lowell, Massachusetts in the 1830's
In the 1840's a woman named Sarah Bagley created the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association
A new wave of immigrants
In the late 1840's many factory workers were immigrants
During the 40's 4 million immigrants arrived in the United States, most of which were Irish and German
For the Irish, a disease destroyed the potato crops which caused thousands to die from starvation. They also had oats and wheat but because they were under British rule, British land owners continued to ship crops to England, this caused a famine (a severe food shortage)
1.5 million Irish fled to the United States
Harsh weather conditions from 1829 and 1830 also resulted in famine
Two years later more then 10,000 Germans had come to the United States
1848 revolutions and strikes were broken into Germany. Rebels fought for democratic reforms in result, thousands fled
Between 1848 and 1860 over 1 million Germans fled to the United States
African Americans in the north
All northern states had outlawed slavery by this time. As a result, thousands of free Native Americans roamed freely around the north. With freedom comes discrimination (a policy or an attitude that denies equal rights to certain groups of people)
African Americans were denied "the ballot-box, the jury box, the halls of legislature, the army, the public lands, the school, and the church"
Skilled African Americans could not find good jobs. Despite this, some achieved success in business. Areas included a lumberyard, furniture company, an inventor that created the corn planter and cottonseed planter, one even became licensed to practice law! Another became the editor of freedoms journal, the first African American journal.
She was born April 19, 1806 in New Hampshire and passed away in 1808 though her death date is not certain
In 1835, Bagley worked at the Hamilton Mills in Lowell Massachusetts
Due to a strike, Sarah, along with thousands of others, moved to Middlesex mills to replace the protesters.
December 1844, Bagley and 5 other women created the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association. This was to improve health conditions and shorten the work day to ten hours. They published The Voice of Industry, a women's labor magi zine which Bagley contributed in frequently
She was part of the thousands of petitions and fights against the Massachusetts work hours to just 10 hours
She was fired from The Voice of Industry and then became he first female telegrapher when hired by the New York and Boston Magnetic Telegraph Co.
She married James Durno on November 13, 1850 and they moved to Albany where they both became Homeopathic Physicians