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Title: Industrialization and the politics of disorder : Paterson silkworkers 1880-1913
Author: Osborne, James D.
ISNI:       0000 0000 3303 1744
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1979
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This is an account of the social and work experience of successive generations of immigrants in a mushrooming industrial city, Paterson, New Jersey, 1880-1915. In the late nineteenth century the city became the centre of the American silk industry. It's economy flourished, dominated by the production of this one product. Its mills and machinery were technologically the most advanced of any in the world. Paterson quickly became a Mecca for immigrant silk hands. Their adaption to the new work routines in the city's mills forms the focal point of this study. Immigrant workers brought with them work and collective traditions coloured by their experience in the silk industries of their homelands. They were ill-suited to the advanced form of production in Paterson mills and constantly disrupted the plans of local factory owners. The resultant tension became an ingrained feature of industrial life in the city as a continuous stream of immigrants re-enforced the disruptive tendencies of their predecessors in the mills. Paterson millowners were so hidebound by their wayward workers that by the end of the century they formed concerted plans to assume a new dominance over the economic fortunes of the city. Their campaign was directed primarily against Paterson's newest immigrant group, Italian millhands. It assumed a distinctive flavour from that fact. In 1913 the new stance of millowners culminated in the notorious "War in Paterson". Although the 1913 strike is commonly attributed to the inflammatory presence of the Industrial Workers of the World, it was rooted in tensions wholly independent of that organization. The failure of the strike confirmed the new social and political status of Paterson's factory owners, and the eclipse of a long tradition of collective disruption by the city's immigrant millworkers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: F001 United States local history ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor