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How was the hierarchy of American social structure enhanced by the factory system?

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soccer213 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM via web

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How was the hierarchy of American social structure enhanced by the factory system?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the factory system did much to enhance the hierarchy that ended up becoming an intrinsic part of the American class structure.  The factory system created a fairly clear demarcation of owners and workers.  The former ended up enjoying the benefits of being at the top of the American class structure.  The more factories owned, the more wealth generated, and the greater and higher position these individuals occupied in the American social structure.  The workers fulfilled the second half of this equation.  Workers became more abundant and there were more flocking to the cities where the factories were located.  Their pay was little, and their economic and political power matched this.  In such a configuration, the workers were relegated to the bottom of the American social structure.  It is here where the factory system did much to enhance the division present in American society.  While the promises and possibilities of the American Constitution made it seem as if there was a pure equality of opportunity in American society, the factory system did much to challenge this in reality as it revealed and helped to enshrine a firm working class being different than the condition of owners of factories and those in economic and political power.

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