Maine History Chapter 19

The Impact of the Industrial Era on Communities in Maine

The industrial era had an impact on many communities in Maine, including Eastport. This may have been facilitated by the erratic expansion of industries in urban regions. The expansion of the industries consequently led to greater uncertainty among people who had relocated to the area in search of work. Notably, many people from other parts of the globe flocked to the cities in search of work. In other words, population growth is significant not only in Eastport but also in other places like Portland. In addition, it is worth noting that the working conditions in the industries become quite pathetic and the workers went through a lot of difficulties in a bid to make ends meet. This may be attributed to the rate of unemployment which was looming in nearly all the cities. Judd et al. note that individuals resorted to moving constantly from one place another in order to keep up with the difficult conditions in which they had to work (448).

Changes in Social Ties and Community Organization

Notably, the social ties and the manner in which the community was organized also changed as a result of the industrial age. That is, in the sense that a majority of the residents resorted to transforming their kingship and friendship ties in a bid to catch up with the new system of industrial development. This meant that they had to abandon their close social ties and develop more professional and work-related relationship that would help them in acquiring jobs and making money.

Factors Affecting the Lives of Maine Workers during the Industrial Age

The authors refer to "control" and "ethnicity" as factors that affected the lives of Maine workers during the industrial age. To begin with, one may argue that the authors have used the term control several times in order to emphasize the manner in which the workers performed their duties without any freedom nor autonomy. That is, to bring out the fact that the workers were constantly manipulated and mistreated by their employees. An example is the fact that they were not allowed to join trade unions in order to advocate for their rights. Control was further manifested by the manner in which the employees went to an extent of forcing the workers to vote for a political course of the former's preference. In this sense, the authors have managed to bring out an image of how the worker went through a lot of hardship in the hands of their employees during the industrial age. That is, by referring to control as a factor in the lives of workers in several occasions, he asserts that it was not by their choice that they lived in such conditions, but instead attribute it to predisposition by the company owners.

Lastly, ethnicity is also used in several occasions to attribute the pathetic living and working conditions of the workers to their ethnic background. Given that the cities were full of immigrants who came from different parts of the world, ethnic difference was manifested in the work place. That is, the manner in which workers were treated somehow was dependent on their ethnic background. Maine had a mixture of immigrants as well as the indigenous residents who belonged to different ethnic backgrounds. Notably, they some ethnic groups were favored over others in the work place. In light of this, the authors refer to the aspect of ethnicity as one of the major factors that affected the lives of the workers.

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Work Cited

Judd, Richard W, Edwin A. Churchill, and Joel W. Eastman. Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present. Orono, Me: University of Maine Press, 1995

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