By the end of the nineteenth century, Pittsburgh emerged as a major manufacturing center in the United States. Its rise as a leading producer of steel, glass, and coal was fueled by machine technology and mass immigration, developments that fundamentally changed the industrial workplace. Because Pittsburgh’s major industries were almost exclusively male and renowned for their physical demands, the male working body came to symbolize multiple often contradictory narratives about strength and vulnerability, mastery and exploitation. In Bodies of Work, Edward Slavishak explores how Pittsburgh and the working body were symbolically linked in civic celebrations, the research of social scientists, the criticisms of labor reformers, advertisements, and workers’ self-representations. Combining labor and cultural history with visual culture studies, he chronicles a heated contest to define Pittsburgh’s essential character at the turn of the twentieth century, and he describes how that contest was conducted largely through the production of competing images.
Slavishak focuses on the workers whose bodies came to epitomize Pittsburgh, the men engaged in the arduous physical labor demanded by the city’s metals, glass, and coal industries. At the same time, he emphasizes how conceptions of Pittsburgh as quintessentially male limited representations of women in the industrial workplace. The threat of injury or violence loomed large for industrial workers at the turn of the twentieth century, and it recurs throughout Bodies of Work: in the marketing of artificial limbs, statistical assessments of the physical toll of industrial capitalism, clashes between labor and management, the introduction of workplace safety procedures, and the development of a statewide workmen’s compensation system.
Bringing immigrants onstage as central players in the drama of rural
capitalist transformation, Anne Kelly Knowles traces a community of
Welsh immigrants to Jackson and Gallia counties in southern Ohio. After
reconstructing the gradual process of community-building, Knowles
focuses on the pivotal moment when the immigrants became involved with
the industrialization of their new region as workers and investors in
Welsh-owned charcoal iron companies. Setting the southern Ohio Welsh in
the context of Welsh immigration as a whole from 1795 to 1850, Knowles
explores how these strict Calvinists responded to the moral dilemmas
posed by leaving their native land and experiencing economic success in
the United States.
Knowles draws on a wide variety of sources, including obituaries and
community histories, to reconstruct the personal histories of over 1,700
immigrants. The resulting account will find appreciative readers not
only among historical geographers, but also among American economic
historians and historians of religion.
In this sweeping interpretive history of mid-nineteenth-century Chicago, historians John B. Jentz and Richard Schneirov boldly trace the evolution of a modern social order. Combining a mastery of historical and political detail with a sophisticated theoretical frame, Jentz and Schneirov examine the dramatic capitalist transition in Chicago during the critical decades from the 1850s through the 1870s, a period that saw the rise of a permanent wage worker class and the formation of an industrial upper class.
Jentz and Schneirov demonstrate how a new political economy, based on wage labor and capital accumulation in manufacturing, superseded an older mercantile economy that relied on speculative trading and artisan production. The city's leading business interests were unable to stabilize their new system without the participation of the new working class, a German and Irish ethnic mix that included radical ideas transplanted from Europe. Jentz and Schneirov examine how debates over slave labor were transformed into debates over free labor as the city's wage-earning working class developed a distinctive culture and politics.
The new social movements that arose in this era--labor, socialism, urban populism, businessmen's municipal reform, Protestant revivalism, and women's activism--constituted the substance of a new post-bellum democratic politics that took shape in the 1860s and '70s. When the Depression of 1873 brought increased crime and financial panic, Chicago's new upper class developed municipal reform in an attempt to reassert its leadership. Setting local detail against a national canvas of partisan ideology and the seismic structural shifts of Reconstruction, Chicago in the Age of Capital vividly depicts the upheavals integral to building capitalism.
From the lumberyards and meatpacking factories of the Southwest Side to the industrial suburbs that arose near Lake Calumet at the turn of the twentieth century, manufacturing districts shaped Chicago’s character and laid the groundwork for its transformation into a sprawling metropolis. Approaching Chicago’s story as a reflection of America’s industrial history between the Civil War and World War II, Chicago Made explores not only the well-documented workings of centrally located city factories but also the overlooked suburbanization of manufacturing and its profound effect on the metropolitan landscape.
Robert Lewis documents how manufacturers, attracted to greenfield sites on the city’s outskirts, began to build factory districts there with the help of an intricate network of railroad owners, real estate developers, financiers, and wholesalers. These immense networks of social ties, organizational memberships, and financial relationships were ultimately more consequential, Lewis demonstrates, than any individual achievement. Beyond simply giving Chicago businesses competitive advantages, they transformed the economic geography of the region. Tracing these transformations across seventy-five years, Chicago Made establishes a broad new foundation for our understanding of urban industrial America.
Michael K. Rosenow investigates working people's beliefs, rituals of dying, and the politics of death by honing in on three overarching questions: How did workers, their families, and their communities experience death? Did various identities of class, race, gender, and religion coalesce to form distinct cultures of death for working people? And how did people's attitudes toward death reflect notions of who mattered in U.S. society?
Drawing from an eclectic array of sources ranging from Andrew Carnegie to grave markers in Chicago's potter's field, Rosenow portrays the complex political, social, and cultural relationships that fueled the United States' industrial ascent. The result is an undertaking that adds emotional depth to existing history while challenging our understanding of modes of cultural transmission.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, when the word “capital” first found its way into the vocabulary of mid-Hudson Valley residents, the term irrevocably marked the profound change that had transformed the region from an inward-looking, rural community into a participant in an emerging market economy. In Farm, Shop, Landing Martin Bruegel turns his attention to the daily lives of merchants, artisans, and farmers who lived and worked along the Hudson River in the decades following the American Revolution to explain how the seeds of capitalism were spread on rural U.S. soil. Combining theoretical rigor with extensive archival research, Bruegel’s account diverges from other historiographies of nineteenth-century economic development. It challenges the assumption that the coexistence of long-distance trade, private property, and entrepreneurial activity lead to one inescapable outcome: a market economy either wholeheartedly embraced or entirely rejected by its members. When Bruegel tells the story of farmer William Coventry struggling in the face of bad harvests, widow Mary Livingston battling her tenants, blacksmith Samuel Fowks perfecting the cast-iron plough, and Hannah Bushnell sending her butter to market, Bruegel shows that the social conventions of a particular community, and the real struggles and hopes of individuals, actively mold the evolving economic order. Ultimately, then, Farm, Shop, Landing suggests that the process of modernization must be understood as the result of the simultaneous and often contentious interplay of social and economic spheres.
In From Old Regime to Industrial State, Richard H. Tilly and Michael Kopsidis question established thinking about Germany’s industrialization. While some hold that Germany experienced a sudden breakthrough to industrialization, the authors instead consider a long view, incorporating market demand, agricultural advances, and regional variations in industrial innovativeness, customs, and governance. They begin their assessment earlier than previous studies to show how the 18th-century emergence of international trade and the accumulation of capital by merchants fed commercial expansion and innovation. This book provides the history behind the modern German economic juggernaut.
Covering the late colonial age to World War I and beyond, this collection of essays places the economic history of the American South in an international light by establishing useful comparisons with the larger Atlantic and world economy. In an attempt to dispel long-lasting myths about the South, the essays analyze the economic evolution of the South since the slave era. From this perspective, the conception of a backward, wholly agricultural antebellum South occupied only by wealthy planters, poor whites, and contented slaves has finally given way to one of economic and social dynamism as well as regional prosperity.
In a coherent and cohesive progression of subjects, these essays show that the South had been deeply enmeshed in the Atlantic economy since the colonial period and, after the Civil War, retained distinctive needs that caused increasing departure from the course northerners adopted on matters of political economy. This comparative approach also helps explain the motivations behind the political choices made by the South as an eminently export-oriented region.
This book shows that the South was not slower to develop with respect to industrialization than either the majority of the northern states, especially in the West, or the countries of Western Europe. In fact, the apparently disappointing performance of the New South’s economy appears to be the result of more pervasive and largely uncontrollable trends that affected the national as well as the international economy. Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South makes an important contribution to the economic history of the South and to recent efforts to place American history in a more international context.
In this unique anthology, Steckel and Floud coordinate ten essays that bring a new perspective to inquiry about standard of living in modern times. These papers are arranged for international comparison, and they individually examine evidence of health and welfare during and after industrialization in eight countries: the United States, Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia.
The essays incorporate several indicators of quality of life, especially real per capita income and health, but also real wages, education, and inequality. And while the authors use traditional measures of health such as life expectancy and mortality rates, this volume stands alone in its extensive use of new "anthropometric" data—information about height, weight and body mass index that indicates changes in nations' well-being. Consequently, Health and Welfare during Industrialization signals a new direction in economic history, a broader and more thorough understanding of what constitutes standard of living.
For the first time in forty years, the story of one of America's most maligned cities is told in all its grit and glory. With its open-armed embrace of manufacturing, Newark, New Jersey, rode the Industrial Revolution to great prominence and wealth that lasted well into the twentieth century. In the postwar years, however, Newark experienced a perfect storm of urban troublesùpolitical corruption, industrial abandonment, white flight, racial conflict, crime, poverty. Cities across the United States found themselves in similar predicaments, yet Newark stands out as an exceptional case. Its saga reflects the rollercoaster ride of Everycity U.S.A., only with a steeper rise, sharper turns, and a much more dramatic plunge.
How Newark Became Newark is a fresh, unflinching popular history that spans the city's epic transformation from a tiny Puritan village into a manufacturing powerhouse, on to its desperate struggles in the twentieth century and beyond. After World War II, unrest mounted as the minority community was increasingly marginalized, leading to the wrenching civic disturbances of the 1960s. Though much of the city was crippled for years, How Newark Became Newark is also a story of survival and hope. Today, a real estate revival and growing population are signs that Newark is once again in ascendance.
The construction of the Three Gorges Dam on China's Yangtze River. The transformation of the Amazon into a site for huge cattle ranches and aluminum smelters. The development of Nevada's Yucca Mountain into a repository for nuclear waste. The extensive irrigation networks of the Grand Coulee and Kuibyshev Dams. On the face of it, these massive projects are wonders of engineering, financial prowess, and our seldom-questioned ability to modify nature to suit our immediate needs. For nearly a century we have relied increasingly on science and technology to harness natural forces, but at what environmental and social cost?In Industrialized Nature, historian Paul R. Josephson provides an original examination of the ways in which science, engineering, policy, finance, and hubris have come together, often with unforeseen consequences, to perpetuate what he calls "brute-force technologies"—the large-scale systems created to manage water, forest, and fish resources. Throughout the twentieth century, nations with quite different political systems and economic orientations all pursued this same technological subjugation of nature. Josephson compares the Soviet Union's heavy-handed efforts at resource management to similar projects undertaken in the United States, Norway, Brazil, and China. He argues that brute-force technologies require brute-force politics to operate. He shows how irresponsible—or well-intentioned but misguided—large-scale manipulation of nature has resulted in resource loss and severe environmental degradation.Josephson explores the ongoing industrialization of nature that is happening in our own backyards and around the world. Both a cautionary tale and a call to action, Industrialized Nature urges us to consider how to develop a future for succeeding generations that avoids the pitfalls of brute-force technologies.
In Labors Appropriate to Their Sex Elizabeth Quay Hutchison addresses the plight of working women in early twentieth-century Chile, when the growth of urban manufacturing was transforming the contours of women’s wage work and stimulating significant public debate, new legislation, educational reform, and social movements directed at women workers. Challenging earlier interpretations of women’s economic role in Chile’s industrial growth, which took at face value census figures showing a dramatic decline in women’s industrial work after 1907, Hutchison shows how the spread of industrial sweatshops and changing definitions of employment in the census combined to make female labor disappear from census records at the same time that it was in fact burgeoning in urban areas.
In addition to population and industrial censuses, Hutchison culls published and archival sources to illuminate such misconceptions and to reveal how women’s paid labor became a locus of anxiety for a society confronting social problems—both real and imagined—that were linked to industrialization and modernization. The limited options of working women were viewed by politicians, elite women, industrialists, and labor organizers as indicative of a society in crisis, she claims, yet their struggles were also viewed as the potential springboard for reform. Labors Appropriate to Their Sex thus demonstrates how changing norms concerning gender and work were central factors in conditioning the behavior of both male and female workers, relations between capital and labor, and political change and reform in Chile.
This study will be rewarding for those whose interests lie in labor, gender, or Latin American studies; as well as for those concerned with the histories of early feminism, working-class women, and sexual discrimination in Latin America.
China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang has experienced escalating cycles of violence, interethnic strife, and state repression since the 1990s. In their search for the roots of these growing tensions, scholars have tended to focus on ethnic clashes and political disputes. In Natural Resources and the New Frontier, historian Judd C. Kinzley takes a different approach—one that works from the ground up to explore the infrastructural and material foundation of state power in the region.
As Kinzley argues, Xinjiang’s role in producing various natural resources for regional powers has been an important but largely overlooked factor in fueling unrest. He carefully traces the buildup to this unstable situation over the course of the twentieth century by focusing on the shifting priorities of Chinese, Soviet, and provincial officials regarding the production of various resources, including gold, furs, and oil among others. Through his archival work, Kinzley offers a new way of viewing Xinjiang that will shape the conversation about this important region and offer a model for understanding the development of other frontier zones in China as well as across the global south.
After 1750 the Americas lived political and popular revolutions, the fall of European empires, and the rise of nations as the world faced a new industrial capitalism. Political revolution made the United States the first new nation; revolutionary slaves made Haiti the second, freeing themselves and destroying the leading Atlantic export economy. A decade later, Bajío insurgents took down the silver economy that fueled global trade and sustained Spain’s empire while Britain triumphed at war and pioneered industrial ways that led the U.S. South, still-Spanish Cuba, and a Brazilian empire to expand slavery to supply rising industrial centers. Meanwhile, the fall of silver left people from Mexico through the Andes searching for new states and economies. After 1870 the United States became an agro-industrial hegemon, and most American nations turned to commodity exports, while Haitians and diverse indigenous peoples struggled to retain independent ways.
Contributors. Alfredo Ávila, Roberto Breña, Sarah C. Chambers, Jordana Dym, Carolyn Fick, Erick Langer, Adam Rothman, David Sartorius, Kirsten Schultz, John Tutino
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, type for newspapers and books was set one letter at a time, and the manufacturers of the metal type used in the printing trade were called typefounders. This prominent yet rarely documented industry was essential to the development of modern American publishing and was particularly prevalent in St. Louis. In Recasting a Craft: St. Louis Typefounders Respond to Industrialization, Robert A. Mullen recognizes the city’s significant contributions to typefounding and details how the craft fundamentally changed through mechanization, growth, and the creation of a large conglomerate.
Like many trades of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that were eventually lost to industrialization, the typefoundries of St. Louis grew from small shops to factories with organized labor. Mullen describes three distinct periods of the industry that emerged in St. Louis’s typefounding trade: the early struggles in establishing the industry there, the period of intense competition and creative enterprise, and the proliferation of new companies that appealed to those customers who felt alienated by the monopolizing older companies.
Mullen discusses at length the technological, social, and demographic foundations of the immense growth of the trade in the nineteenth century, identifying the changes in typographical design and the demand for it in the new era of advertising. He also profiles the workers, working conditions, and labor issues—such as the failed industry-wide strike of 1903—that emerged as the craft of typefounding entered the industrial age. More than two hundred type designs that originated with the St. Louis firms are listed in an appendix with examples of each face. The volume also contains a list of the catalogs of the St. Louis typefoundries known to exist in the public and academic libraries of the United States.
At the height of the Russian industrial revolution, legions of children toiled in factories, accounting for fifteen percent of the workforce. Yet, by the end of the nineteenth century, their numbers had been greatly reduced, thanks to legislation that sought to protect the welfare of children for the first time.
Russia's Factory Children presents the first English-language account of the changing role of children in the Russian workforce, from the onset of industrialization until the Communist Revolution of 1917, and profiles the laws that would establish children's labor rights.
In this compelling study, Boris B. Gorshkov examines the daily lives, working conditions, hours, wages, physical risks, and health dangers to children who labored in Russian factories. He also chronicles the evolving cultural mores that initially welcomed child labor practices but later shunned them.
Through extensive archival research, Gorshkov views the evolution of Russian child labor law as a reaction to the rise of industrialism and the increasing dangers of the workplace. Perhaps most remarkable is his revelation that activism, from the bourgeoisie, intellectuals, and children themselves, led to the conciliation of legislators and marked a progressive shift that would impact Russian society in the early twentieth century and beyond.
Long considered an urban phenomenon, industrialization also transformed the American countryside. Lou Martin weaves the narrative of how the relocation of steel and pottery factories to Hancock County, West Virginia, created a rural and small-town working class--and what that meant for communities and for labor. As Martin shows, access to land in and around steel and pottery towns allowed residents to preserve rural habits and culture. Workers in these places valued place and local community. Because of their belief in localism, an individualistic ethic of "making do," and company loyalty, they often worked to place limits on union influence. At the same time, this localism allowed workers to adapt to the dictates of industrial capitalism and a continually changing world on their own terms--and retain rural ways to a degree unknown among their urbanized peers. Throughout, Martin ties these themes to illuminating discussions of capital mobility, the ways in which changing work experiences defined gender roles, and the persistent myth that modernizing forces bulldozed docile local cultures. Revealing and incisive, Smokestacks in the Hills reappraises an overlooked stratum of American labor history and contributes to the ongoing dialogue on shifts in national politics in the postwar era.
A study of the immigrants who flocked to this Central Pennsylvania steel town in the late nineteenth century in search of employment. Comprised primarily of Southern blacks and Eastern European immigrants, they formed the lower class of this town. Analyzes the social structure and dominance of the white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant elite.
In this innovative grassroots to global study, Kathleen Mapes explores how the sugar beet industry transformed the rural Midwest by introducing large factories, contract farming, and foreign migrant labor. Identifying rural areas as centers for modern American industrialism, Mapes contributes to an ongoing reorientation of labor history from urban factory workers to rural migrant workers. She engages with a full range of individuals, including Midwestern family farmers, industrialists, Eastern European and Mexican immigrants, child laborers, rural reformers, Washington politicos, and colonial interests. Engagingly written, Sweet Tyranny demonstrates that capitalism was not solely a force from above but was influenced by the people below who defended their interests in an ever-expanding imperialist market.
Because of its strong agrarian roots, the South has typically been viewed as a region not favorably disposed to innovation and technology. Yet innovation was never absent from industrialization in this part of the United States. From the early nineteenth century onward, southerners were as eager as other Americans to embrace technology as a path to modernity.
This volume features seven essays that range widely across the region and its history, from the antebellum era to the present, to assess the role of innovations presumed lacking by most historians. Offering a challenging interpretation of industrialization in the South, these writings show that the benefits of innovations had to be carefully weighed against the costs to both industry and society.
The essays consider a wide range of innovative technologies. Some examine specific industries in subregions: steamboats in the lower Mississippi valley, textile manufacturing in Georgia and Arkansas, coal mining in Virginia, and sugar planting and processing in Louisiana. Others consider the role of technology in South Carolina textile mills around the turn of the twentieth century, the electrification of the Tennessee valley, and telemedicine in contemporary Arizona—marking the expansion of the region into the southwestern Sunbelt.
Together, these articles show that southerners set significant limitations on what technological innovations they were willing to adopt, particularly in a milieu where slaveholding agriculture had shaped the allocation of resources. They also reveal how scarcity of capital and continued reliance on agriculture influenced that allocation into the twentieth century, relieved eventually by federal spending during the Depression and its aftermath that sparked the Sunbelt South’s economic boom.
Technology, Innovation, and Southern Industrialization clearly demonstrates that the South’s embrace of technological innovation in the modern era doesn’t mark a radical change from the past but rather signals that such pursuits were always part of the region’s economy. It deflates the myth of southern agrarianism while expanding the scope of antebellum American industrialization beyond the Northeast and offers new insights into the relationship of southern economic history to the region’s society and politics.
In the recent economic history of Latin America no country has yet found the means to combine effectively economic growth with equity. Unavoidable Industrial Restructuring in Latin America compares the development path of Latin America with that of the East Asian newly industrialized countries (NICs), the United States, and Europe in the 1970s and 1980s to show the national policies and international cooperation necessary to set Latin American countries on the road to healthy economies. Fernando Fajnzylber argues that technological and industrial progress is the driving force of a positive relationship among dynamism, competitiveness, austerity, and equity. Latin America’s failure to master this technological progress underlies its economic difficulties. To overcome the inheritance of past mistakes, the author maintains, Latin America must undergo not only macroeconomic stabilization and a reduction of the debt burden, but also a complete transformation of the production structure. The role of the state and the institutional setup need to be modified and new social and sectoral policies devised. Fajnzylber sees this radical restructuring as an unavoidable step if Latin America is ever to achieve a workable balance between growth and equity.
Unknown Tongues examines the social and economic factors of northern industrialization, social reform, and black nationalism, all of which undergirded black women’s political consciousness during the decades before the American Civil War. The linkages between black women’s roles in the “culture of resistance” in slave communities and their transformations in the urban market economy fueled the development of black women’s political consciousness. As community activists and then as abolitionists, black urban women organized and protested against slavery, racism, sexism, and its attendant ills. Driven by market forces of nascent capitalism, black women created broad- based protest responses to the white power structure. Unknown Tongues explores the material realities that underpinned black women’s political development as well as the transformative stages of their political consciousness and activity.
The years from the Porfiriato to the post-Revolutionary regimes were a time of rising industrialism in Mexico that dramatically affected the lives of workers. Much of what we know about their experience is based on the histories of male workers; now Susie Porter takes a new look at industrialization in Mexico that focuses on women wage earners across the work force, from factory workers to street vendors. Working Women in Mexico City offers a new look at this transitional era to reveal that industrialization, in some ways more than revolution, brought about changes in the daily lives of Mexican women. Industrialization brought women into new jobs, prompting new public discussion of the moral implications of their work. Drawing on a wealth of material, from petitions of working women to government factory inspection reports, Porter shows how a shifting cultural understanding of working women informed labor relations, social legislation, government institutions, and ultimately the construction of female citizenship. At the beginning of this period, women worked primarily in the female-dominated cigarette and clothing factories, which were thought of as conducive to protecting feminine morality, but by 1930 they worked in a wide variety of industries. Yet material conditions transformed more rapidly than cultural understandings of working women, and although the nation's political climate changed, much about women's experiences as industrial workers and street vendors remained the same. As Porter shows, by the close of this period women's responsibilities and rights of citizenship—such as the right to work, organize, and participate in public debate—were contingent upon class-informed notions of female sexual morality and domesticity. Although much scholarship has treated Mexican women's history, little has focused on this critical phase of industrialization and even less on the circumstances of the tortilleras or market women. By tracing the ways in which material conditions and public discourse about morality affected working women, Porter's work sheds new light on their lives and poses important questions for understanding social stratification in Mexican history.