The Factory System and the Women of Antebellum Lowell Was the “factory system” a source of opportunity or oppression for the women of antebellum Lowell? The Industrial Revolution brought about dramatic changes to the way of life of Americans. The discovery of water power from waterfalls made Lowell, MA a very important part of American history. In 1826, Lowell was a small farming village called East Chelmsford. The waterfall in East Chelmsford is part of a river that starts in New Hampshire and ends in Newburyport, MA ( Hollitz ). The river has always been used for transportation for loggers, but the power of the water made the river useable to the mills of the Industrial Revolution. The building of a canal to bypass the 32’ waterfall...The end:
.....The Industrial Revolution provided an opportunity for these young women to be financially independent, be free to marry the man of their choice and be free to learn about culture and the world at large. For those young women that did not grow up with an oppressive life on the family farm the work conditions of the mill, the low pay and unsafe equipment was viewed as providing no opportunity at all to the young women; in fact, these young women felt oppressed and their attitude supported their feelings. Oppression or opportunity is different for each of us individually. The attitude and past experiences of a person defines feelings of oppression and/or opportunity. Work Cited Hollitz , John. Contending Voices. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.