January 13, 2014 Hist 261
The Emergence of Industrial Capitalism
• Paternalism (Jan 10.2014)
• Worker’s Response (Jan 10.2014)
• Gender, Class, and Paternal Orders (Jan 10.2014)
• Social Life and Leisure (Jan 10.2014)
• The Family
• Canada’s first Industrial Revolution
The family was considered to be the essential institution and its foundation was widely
defended. It was also a survival strategy as well as a class issue, which included the
organization of domesticity, organization of childhood and the construction of gender roles.
Economic threats to the family often precipitated working class grievances and someti9mes
industrial action. Skilled workers especially cast their claims for better wages in terms of their
responsibility to their families. They also still had pride in their work and felt that they ere
guardians of the mysteries of the craft. They also argued for a ‘family wage’, the implication
being that the husbands were to look after their wives and children and the wives and children
of respectable families should not have to work for wages. In part such thinking benefited skilled
workers who were fearful of female workers undercutting their wages in general and in ‘stealing’
jobs in particular.
Industrialists however wanted to encourage female workers because they could pay them less.
The Family wage was more of an ideal than a historical reality as amid expanding plants sizes
mechanization and skill dilution women and children were still being readily hired.
The Middle Class
The middle class, bourgeois families were steadily growing smaller while working class families
grew larger. This was in part due to the employment opportunities that were becoming available
for teenagers and tweenies. Women it should be noted often moved out of then work force upon
marriage but continued to contribute to the family economy in important ways.
The family economy: where everyone participates in earning some form of income in order to
support the family. It should be noted that while the husband was often the main breadwinner, it
was the woman who was in charge of shopping paying the bills, taking care of the house and
often taking care of the garden and the few animals they might own. Unsafe Houses? Family Violence
The problem here is the lack of evidence and the idea of the private. Even though walls might
be paper thin, what happened within the family was still considered to be private.
There then came the implementation of welfare and police courts, where people might
complain in order to get the other members of their family to behave. It was during this period
that the temperance movement emerged. The temperance movement/reforms began to equate
alcohol with violence. It should be noted that this movement stemmed from the middles class
Protestants. It wasn’t however until 1909 that ‘wife-beating’ became a category in the Canadian
Criminal code. There were also methods of identifying men of ‘bad character’ in the courts.
Masculine identities and maintaining the