The American Work Ethic and the Changing Work Force: An Historical Perspective

By Herbert Applebaum | Go to book overview

9
ARTISANS IN THE
NINETEENTH CENTURY

ETHIC OF INDEPENDENCE

By the middle of the nineteenth century, a work ethic pushed by manufacturers developed, based on the concept of the discipline of time. Its symbol was the milltower clock. This work ethic, powerfully argued for by the clergy and intellectuals, was nevertheless challenged by craftsmen and workers whose traditions clashed with factory discipline and the growing ethic of commercialism. The challenge was reflected in the persistence of work habits that frustrated and angered managers who could not understand the indifference of factory hands to steady work, being on time, and being at the workplace every day.

The nineteenth-century work force was a patchwork quilt of attitudes and cultures that varied according to skill level, ethnic background, religion, race, region, occupation, gender, and country of origin. There was no typical worker and no typical adjustment to factory discipline. It did not come easy to overcome traditional values of European peasants or the pride and independence of craftsmen. Small-town textile mills shut down when the circus came to town. Skilled craftsmen objected when factory gates were locked because it violated their view that they could come and go as free men. Blue Monday absenteeism, immigrant festivals, farm chores, and fishing jaunts that took priority over showing up for work were all evidence that nineteenth-century workers were not yet ready for the routine of an industrial society. Artisans did not want to give up time-honored work habits that they associated with the good and moral life. David Johnson, a shoemaker, recalled with pleasure the festivals, fairs, games, and excursions that were common rituals among Lynn, Massachusetts, cobblers. Samuel Gompers, remembered with delight how New York cigarmakers paid a fellow craftsman to read a newspaper to them while they worked.

The functional autonomy of craftsmen in the nineteenth century was based on the superior knowledge that gave them a sense of independence. This applied to

-83-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The American Work Ethic and the Changing Work Force: An Historical Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.