Aspirations and Anxieties: New England Workers and the Mechanized Factory System, 1815-1850

Synopsis

Aspirations and Anxieties is a working class intellectual history of early factory operatives in antebellum New England. The book focuses on the operatives' perceptions of technological and socio-economic changes in the mechanized workplace. The study uncovers a complex debate over many facets of the factory system--the machines and factory buildings, wages and hours, relations between managers and workers, and the content and character of protest. Finally, the book argues that the roots of this debate lie in the struggle to define the meaning of work itself in a period of profound social change.