Lowell, a city in Massachusetts, USA was drastically transformed by the growth in commerce and industrialization in the 18th century. The development in these sectors brought dissimilar changes in land use, gender structures, the people’s culture and structural composition of society. This paper seeks to explore on the effects of industrialization on these aspects of Lowell city and assess the general implication of the same.
How the development of commerce and industry in Lowell, Massachusetts affected the land use, gender roles, culture, and socioeconomic class
Initially, the growth of commerce and industry in the city largely affected how land came to be used. Notably, land became one of the most valuable assets in Lowell, owing to the demand for construction of more industries and supporting infrastructure. Land was therefore largely used for construction of settlements (Jackson, 1987). Because of this, there was the establishment of the zoning process in Lowell, charged with a responsibility of protecting land and providing guidance on how land was to be used.
Furthermore, the increase in economic and industrial activities in Lowell brought major changes in the gender roles. Initially, skilled artisans dominated the apprenticeship practice before the industrial and commercial developments. Due to increased market production that came with the new developments however, there was a resultant specialization and division of labour (Wilson &Dilulio, 2011). Most importantly, there was a change of the independence of skilled male workers and patriarchal dominance in work (Jackson, 1987). Similarly, women gained an important role in the work places where they dominated industries to provide intense labour which was required.
The commercial and industrial developments in Lowell also changed the way of life of the people in the city. The economic culture of the people particularly shifted from a barter based system to cash based system (Wilson &Dilulio, 2011). New attitudes of hard work, will power and autonomy were also considered as the norms in the new society. There was also a stretch of a new evangelical sacred spirit that was more egalitarian and enthusiastic than the previous faiths (Jackson, 1987). This was particularly promoted by independence and self-discipline that arose as new norms.
Lastly, the industrial and commercial development resulted to the formation of a distinct socioeconomic class in Lowell city. There was a resultant social mobility with an upcoming middle class. This class of people, who were majorly white collar workers, had a distinct lifestyle which was attributed to the new institution of industries (Wilson &Dilulio, 2011).
Generally, the growth of the commerce and industrial sector had a very positive implication to the whole of Lowell city. It particularly saw to the speedy development of the city, reduced unemployment rates and a positive change in the socio cultural construction of the society. Because of this, Lowell has moved from being only a center for industrialization and commerce but also a regional basis for culture, education, recreation and tourism (Wilson &Dilulio, 2011)
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Wilson, J. Q., Bose, M., & DiIulio, J. J. (2011). American government: Institutions & policies.
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