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Labor Press Paper: Labor Movement Of The Late 1820’s And Early 1830’s

1181 words - 5 pages

Suppressed by the wealthy elites and mainstream newspapers, the growing Labor Movement of the late 1820’s and early 1830’s, created the labor press papers that projected the voice of the working man which had previously been muffled. Headed by The Mechanics Free Press and the Working Man’s Advocate, the labor press looked to achieve political power for the working class and to criticize politicians for their total disregard of the working-class people. The Industrial Revolution and emergence of capitalism provided many jobs for the working class, but forced the laborers into terrible work conditions. The labor papers provided the working class a forum to voice issues such as child labor and ...view middle of the document...

The series of changes followed a domino like pattern, all stemming from the industrial revolution.
The Industrial Revolution that spanned from the mid-1700’s to the mid-1800’s, brought an incredible change in to the American economy and politics. As a result of America’s growing population and the advancement of technology, the revolution introduced a large-scale manufacturing industry which quickly dismissed the need for goods created by highly-skilled craftsmen. The advancement of the textile-manufacturing process and the development of the steam engine allowed factories to mass produce hundreds of products in the same amount of time it once took craftsmen to produce just one.
Perhaps the most influential technological advancement during the Industrial Revolution, the steam engine took production efficiency to new heights. W. S. Jevons wrote in 1865, “the whole question of the steam engine is one of economy — its development consisted in nothing but the quest for greater efficiency.” The introduction of the steam engine led to the development of machine tools which brought forth the transition from hand crafted to mass production. Machines such as the lathe and the steam press were developed to run on the power of steam engines and could take the place of multiple skilled craftsman. From textiles to printing presses, production was increased in all facets of economy.
The efficiency of the large-scale production industry, combined with the increased demand for manufactured goods, catapulted the nation into the world of capitalism and instigated the marriage of wealth and power. “In stark contrast to the multitudes of common laborers, there emerged a new class of merchant capitalists to reap the rewards available to the first generation of Americans who earned their livelihoods not by making goods but by hiring and managing workers, by selling the products at whatever price the market would bear, and by investing those profits to accumulate still more wealth” (Streitmatter). These capitalist became the rulers of the land controlling the economy by placing strict restrictions on the lower-class laborers and using their money to purchase the latest technology for their factories. The revolution had produced a nation of top-heavy wealth and power where t he rich got richer and more powerful,while the poor got poorer and subordinate.
The concentration of wealth and power created by the revolution played perfectly into the hands of the mainstream Partisan Press.“American political parties saw the press as a vehicle to inform, propagandize, and exhort voters” (Baldasty 11). The purpose...

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