Between the years of 1790 and 1840, the United States experienced a massive change by virtue of industrialization. Many historians argue that this change was very beneficial for New Englanders. There is no doubt that wage workers and the poor reaped positive benefits from the sudden submergence into an urban society. Improvements in the specialization of work, use of technology, and organization of work all assisted in upgrading the lives of New Englanders. However, artisans did unfortunately see many negative effects of industrialization.
Industrialization improved lives vastly for wage workers in New England. Modern factories began to emerge. Samuel Slater introduced a spinning mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, paving the road for the rise of other factories (Brinkley, 230). More job opportunities were available; thus improving situations for skilled workers. Factories soon specialized in one specific job or craft. This specialization allowed for the production of products with better quality as well as the honing of workers' crafts (Bixby House, O.S.V). Productivity began to improve, which led to better efficiency in factories ”a truly fortunate occurrence. Eli Whitney invented a machine to fashion each part of a gun following a strict pattern. This allowed for parts to replaced easily; certainly improving life for those working in a factory (a whole new gun did not have to be made when only a small part was malfunctioning) (Brinkley, 230). Situations improved for female mill workers ”they could work for as many years as needed and make a decent wage. Four dollars was generally commonplace (O.S.V. Document). Although these workers led long and tiring work hours, industrialization helped their lives (An Independent Mill Girl, O.S.V. Document).
The indigent Americans of New England saw their lives improve. Over a long stretch of time, many were placed in either the vendue or the poor farm system. Un