Overtime Episode 18 PREVIEW – US Textile Strikes – Pt 1

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The development of the industrial revolution in the United States begins with the textile industry. Centered in New England, the explosion of wealth from industrial manufacturing of cloth would form the foundation for the construction of the rest of the US industrial base. Along with that early capitalist development came the rise of the labor movement. In this two part series, we will discuss some of the earliest factory strikes in US history, and how they show in microcosm the development of the forms of capitalist oppression we still see today. We will discuss how class exploitation has always been bound up with oppression based on gender, race, age, and any other ways the capitalists could find to divide workers against each other. In the first episode we cover the very first factory strike in US history, at the Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI, as well as the rise of the Lowell Mill Girls Association in Massachusetts. In the second episode, we will move into the 20th century, discussing the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and the national textile strike of 1934.

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