Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Dam-Breaking in the 19th-Century Merrimack Valley: Water, Social Conflict, and the Waltham-Lowell Mills

Theodore L. Steinberg
Journal of Social History
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 25-45
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3787629
Page Count: 21
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Dam-Breaking in the 19th-Century Merrimack Valley: Water, Social Conflict, and the Waltham-Lowell Mills
Preview not available

Abstract

The study of industrial capitalism has long centered on the conflict that accompanied this new mode of production. Transformations in virtually all facets of social life, especially in the workplace, are now a standard feature of the narrative of industrialization. As important as these changes are, they constitute a picture of industrial change where the natural world is largely absent. This essay explores the struggle over nature so fundamental to the emergence of industrial capitalism in New England. The Waltham-Lowell mills built in the Merrimack valley textile cities of Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts depended on water for production. To ensure a reliable supply of water, the Waltham-Lowell factories took control of a vast expanse of water extending into New Hampshire. This move placed the factories in a struggle -- at times a violent one -- with their neighbors to the north over who would benefit from the region's vast water wealth.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[25]
    [25]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
26
    26
  • Thumbnail: Page 
27
    27
  • Thumbnail: Page 
28
    28
  • Thumbnail: Page 
29
    29
  • Thumbnail: Page 
30
    30
  • Thumbnail: Page 
31
    31
  • Thumbnail: Page 
32
    32
  • Thumbnail: Page 
33
    33
  • Thumbnail: Page 
34
    34
  • Thumbnail: Page 
35
    35
  • Thumbnail: Page 
36
    36
  • Thumbnail: Page 
37
    37
  • Thumbnail: Page 
38
    38
  • Thumbnail: Page 
39
    39
  • Thumbnail: Page 
40
    40
  • Thumbnail: Page 
41
    41
  • Thumbnail: Page 
42
    42
  • Thumbnail: Page 
43
    43
  • Thumbnail: Page 
44
    44
  • Thumbnail: Page 
45
    45