Indenture Servants and Company Towns Research Paper

Total Length: 598 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 2

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environment strictly controlled by its owning company, woman often found difficulty obtaining any kind of role outside of domestic duties. Work in company towns was generally reserved for males, which granted them the responsibility of providing for their families while restricting their wives to the duties at home. Women's lives within company towns, aside from placing them in a position of dependence on their husbands, were quite dull. In addition to leaving their previous positions in a life that revolved around an active family unit, they had also left their social lives behind. Because of the lack of freedom experienced within company town limits, women often found difficulty creating any new relationships. According to Jenny Higgins, "Unlike men, women were largely confined to the domestic sphere and had no coworkers who could help ease their entry into the community." (Higgins, 1)

If employment was obtained, it was often low-end work. The company that owned the town also owned the locations in which some women were able to find jobs, which resulted in a very oppressive existence.
Employers were also landlords in most cases and controlled life inside and outside of the work place.

However, women's roles within company owned towns changed drastically as America entered the Second World War. Wives, secretaries, homemakers, and teachers were now needed to continue the factory work of their male counterparts, who were fighting overseas. These new positions granted women the ability to unionize within the workplace and provided them with the power to negotiate with their employers, something unheard of just a few years earlier.

Underprivileged life for women did not begin in company towns, however. As early as Europeans began colonizing America the population consisted of many indentured servants, many of them women. Indentured servants were people who, by choice….....

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