Jonathan Prude – the coming of industrial order Essay

Write a 2-3 page essay analyzing the Jonathan Prude essay you read in this unit and address the following questions:

How do our modern day conceptions of what a factory is or what industrialization is affect our interpretation of historical industrialization? Did the coming of factories represent progress? Is progress always necessarily positive?

Jonathan prude – the coming of industrial order

            Jonathan Prude, in his book, investigates the impact of industrialization in rural communities in Massachusetts in between 1810 and 1860 and the evolution of the coexistence of industrialization and agriculture.  Mr. Prude observes that textile mill workers adjusted to the difficulties and movement of industrialization.  Mr. Prude also probes on labor-management relations in textile mills.

            Industrialization has helped most people to generate income and reliven declining towns.  The modern concept of industrialization is more on the convenience and efficiency of the mass production of merchadises.  Industrialization also provides jobs for most people to be able to feed their families and maintain basic needs such as shelter and clothing.  However, the traditional concept of industrialization is the substitution of machines to perform tasks done by men and animals.

            Modern day conceptions of industrialization may affect our interpretation of historical industrialization since we have been more concern with monetary benefits as well as the use of natural resources to aid that benefit.  But, historical industrialization has been more supportive to the long-term benefits of a town or country.

            The emergence of industrialization has been beneficial, both economically and socially.  Industriaization aided the towns where agriculture has seen a steady decline.  Workers were able to afford luxuries such as nice clothes and bigger houses.  There was a boom of smaller businesses to cater to the influx of immigrant workers.

            Solidarity among workers, which was unstable at first, became stronger.  Although, labor-management relations were strained, workers were united in a movement as leverage against superiors.  Industrialization gave birth to hierarchies in a social environment such a town of textile mill workers.  Town politics was influenced by textile manufacturers and mill managers.

            Yet, progress isn’t always positive since it can harm the environment, especially if the natural resources are being exhausted and neglected, an oversight in its care for the use and benefit of the generations to come.  Consequences to the family structure is substantial.  Before, a family stayed in one place for generations.  Since the growth of industrialized countries, the immediate family, consisting of parents and offsprings, are separated after adulthood, wherein the offsprings go to other towns or cities to pursue a job and live where the job is located.

            Pollution and health woes have emerged together with the birth of industrialization.  Noise, air, water pollution, poor nutrition, and dangerous machinery.  The flimsy bond of the family has also contributed to the problems of isolation and substance abuse.

            A development, such as industrialization, isn’t almost always perfect.  There are always positive and negative effects.  The good thing is to curb the negative impact of industrialization and to develop its positive ones.


Prude, J. (1999). The Coming of Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts,          1810-1860. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press.

McMullin, T. (2001). Coming of Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts,          1810-1860, The. Historical Journal of Massachusetts. Retrieved August 12, 2008, from