Worker and Community

Response to Industrialization in a Nineteenth Century American City, Albany, New York, 1850-1884

By Brian Greenberg

Subjects: American Labor History, Political Science
Paperback : 9780887060489, 227 pages, September 1985
Hardcover : 9780887060465, 227 pages, September 1985

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Table of contents


1. Industrialization and the Awakening of Class Consciousness

Part I
2. Workers and Free Labor
3. Militancy and Consciousness: The Emergence of a Commonwealth Ideology
4. Labor on the Defensive

Part II
5. Free Labor Fraternalism: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Albany
6. The Albany Penitentiary: Model for an Orderly Society
7. Socialization and Acculturation: Religion, Ethnicity, and Politics in Albany
Part III
8. The Anti-Prison Contract Labor Movement: A Study in Albany Workers' Evolving Consciousness



Worker and Community focuses on the social and cultural impact of industrialization in Albany, New York during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. More than a local study, it uses Albany as a laboratory in which to examine this important force in social history.

The study looks first at the full range of economic actions in which the city's workers participated between 1850 and 1884—organized strikes, labor riots, public demonstrations, and reform movements. It also examines community influences as workers defined themselves in part through affiliation with a particular ethnic group, church, fraternal society, and political party. The worker's struggle against prison contract labor, as discussed in Greenberg's text, reveals acceptance of the free labor tradition along with an emerging interest-group consciousness.

Brian Greenberg is Assistant Professor of History/Coordinator at the University of Delaware and the Hagley Museum and Library.