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The Industrial Revolution and evolution of the factory created a system in which women could work outside the home. The Lowell Textile Mills began to use young, unmarried woman as factor labor during the 1820’s. This was a complete change from normal accepted social practices as young women were not to work for wages in factories. Industrialization changed the social standards. While working at the mill “mill girls” sought to improve themselves through education during their free time. A part of this included writing about their lives and experiences in the mills. The first publication published in 1840 called “Offerings” was simply a pamphlet, which included a collection of essays, letters, and poetry written by the mill girls. Years later as the conditions deteriorated the girls used the publication to protest against the poor working conditions.
This is an excerpt of the Offering 1840 an article called “The Spirit of Discontent” which one girl is trying to show the advantages of working in the mill to another girl who wants to leave and go back to the farm.
"I do not think so, Ellen. I believe there is no place where there are so many advantages within the reach of the laboring class of people, as exist here; where there is so much equality, so few aristocratic distinctions, and such good fellowship, as may be found in this community. A person has only to be honest, industrious, and moral, to secure the respect of the virtuous and good, though he may not be worth a dollar; while on the other hand, an immoral person, though he should possess wealth, is not respected."
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