Common Labor: Workers And The Digging Of North American Canals, 1780-1860 by Peter WayCommon Labor: Workers And The Digging Of North American Canals, 1780-1860 by Peter Way

Common Labor: Workers And The Digging Of North American Canals, 1780-1860

byPeter Way

Paperback | January 2, 1997

Pricing and Purchase Info

$36.12 online 
$41.95 list price save 13%
Earn 181 plum® points
Quantity:

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

Canal construction played a significant role in the rise of industrial America opening up new markets, employing an army of workers, and initiating the ties between capital and government that remain important to this day. The work went forward using simple tools and the brute strength of men and animals, with diggers working twelve-hour days and suffering the ravages of disease and injury. In this highly acclaimed study, Peter Way challenges conventional views of the part these workers played in the early republic and of the culture they created.

Increasingly made up of Irish immigrants, Way explains, the work force was housed in shanty towns hastily thrown up along the path of canal construction. Unlike the vibrant, proud working-class communities so beloved in labor history, these towns were the scene of considerable off-hours vice and violence. As wages fell throughout the 1830s, workers' discontent mounted to the point where riots were frequent and militia units often descended on the towns to enforce order. Common Labour traces a dark picture of powerlessness, depravity, and rage in the lives of America's canal diggers.

Peter Way is Lecturer in American History, School of English and American Studies, University of Sussex.
Loading
Title:Common Labor: Workers And The Digging Of North American Canals, 1780-1860Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:January 2, 1997Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801855225

ISBN - 13:9780801855221

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

From Our Editors

Composed increasingly of Irish immigrants, Way explains, the work force was housed in hastily built shanty towns along the path of canal construction.

Editorial Reviews

A major addition to the study of North American canals, describing who dug them, how they were dug, and under what conditions of labor.