What sparked the women's strike at Lynn in 1860?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As with many strikes at all times and places, the strike in Lynn was largely about money.  The shoe industry was becoming more mechanized at this time, allowing shoes to be made more cheaply and in greater numbers.  This drove wages down sharply for the shoemakers at Lynn.  It was due to these cuts in wages (along with long hours) that drove the women to strike in 1860.  The strike was the largest ever in the US to that point.  Even so, it ended up as a victory for the employers.  It is also worth noting that the men who were running the strike did not include the women's concerns in their demands as they felt including them would hurt their credibility with the employers.

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