The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people. --Karl Marx
Industrialism had a profound effect on the American worker. Before machines were utilized to produce goods, they were fashioned by hand with simple tools. The production of goods required a high degree of skill and sophistication. The craftsmen that produced these goods had a great deal of pride and were respected in the community. Craftsmen were usually, at the least, middle class on the socio-economic hierarchy. The manufacture of goods was a very personal affair and paid a decent wage. To become a craftsman normally required years of working for one as an apprentice.
With the introduction of machinery to the manufacturing equation, workers that produced goods were not required to possess a high degree skill or sophistication. Machines, for the most part, had replaced the handiwork of the craftsman of the past. The emphasis moved from quality to quantity and thousands of unskilled workers were hired to work in factories. The wages of the workers were barely at a subsistence level and the work was very dangerous with very little reward. Factory work was very impersonal and elicited very little pride in the people performing the work.