The Rise of the American Proletarian

Cover of book The Rise of the American Proletarian
Categories: Fiction » Science Fiction

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ACTORY SYSTEM It is now appropriate to consider the origin of the peculiar modern system of manufacture which constitutes the present and more highly developed form of production?the Factory System. The various anterior systems paved the way for its introduction, and the gradual improvements in machinery made possible its development. Its sudden arrival swept away like a devouring pestilence the home and all that the home stood for; it converted a strong peasantry into a puny set of slaves, it set "Timour Mammon high on his pile of childrens' bones," and defied all the decencies. But by some strange alchemy, that system which appeared to be fraught with the most disastrous consequences, and which almost succeeded in destroying the very life of the nation which first employed it, is now the greatest and most promising possession which the laboring classes have ever had thrust upon them. The very herding of the workers together in the unsanitary shed, where the machine ground out its ceaseless task, was the beginning of modern working-class association; the sameness as well as the dreariness of the employment spoke to them continually of identity of interest, preaching a sermon punctuated with the hiss and shriek of the engine, the wail of the childflogged at its task, and the scream of the murdered victim dragged to death by the unguarded machinery. It is probable that no age in the history of the world, with all its record of suffering and its sickening monotony of pain and death, ever furnished such a ghastly record as did the factory system in its earliest days. Its history or at least, some of it, is open to the student in the pages of English blue-books; the agitation of the Christian socialists, the burning pages of Engels' "Condition of the Wo...

The Rise of the American Proletarian
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