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