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Lesson Plans - Wealth in Transition: From Sail to Loom

NAME OF LESSON: Wealth in Transition: From Sail to Loom
GRADE(S) DESIGNED FOR: 9-12
TIME REQUIRED:

Two 55-minute class periods

NAME OF AUTHOR:

David J. Buckhoff                         
PRIMARY SALEM in History CORE THEME ADDRESSED:

An Industrious People: American Economic History

ADDITIONAL SALEM in History CORE THEME(S) ADDRESSED:

SALEM in History Topic Addressed:

From Ten Footers to Factories:  Industrial Growth in the Antebellum North.

Lesson Summary | Frameworks | Essential Question(s) | Lesson Objectives
Historical Background Essay | Materials List and Pre-Arrangements/Preparations Needed
Vocabulary | Lesson Activities | Student Product or Performance
Assessment Criteria | Possible Modifications | Possible Extension Activities
Cross Curricular/Interdisciplinary Links/Activities | Sources and Resources
Additional Resources for Students and Teachers


LESSON SUMMARY:

This two-day lesson examines the beginning of Salem’s transition from a merchant economy to one based on industry.  Through the analysis of the Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Practicability and Expediency of Establishing Manufactures in Salem, the students will explore the birth of industry in Essex County.  

This lesson builds upon a report by investors that details the process and the debates to build a proposed textile mill in Salem. Signed by many of Salem’s elite merchant families, this unit encourages and helps students examine how the wealthy shipping families of Salem and Essex County made the transition to an industrial economy.  In examining this report, students will enter into a discussion concerning the challenges that communities and companies face as they establish new construction for public or private use. 

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PRIMARY SOURCES USED in LESSON:

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ESSENTIAL QUESTION(S):

How did the wealthy merchant families of Salem begin to make the transition to an economy based on industrialization?

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LESSON OBJECTIVES

LEARNING/CONTENT OBJECTIVES:

Students will be able to identify the goals and challenges that investors faced as they sought to establish factories in antebellum Salem.

CONCEPT/SKILLS OBJECTIVES:

Students will be able to analyze and interpret segments from the Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Practicability and Expediency of Establishing Manufactures in Salem.   

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CORRELATION WITH HISTORY STANDARDS FROM the 2003 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK

MA FRAMEWORK STRAND:

US History I

MA FRAMEWORK UNIT/THEME ADDRESSED:

Economic Growth of the North and South

MA FRAMEWORK LEARNING STANDARD(S) ADDRESSED:

USII.28 - Explain the emergence and impact of the textile industry in New England and industrial growth generally throughout antebellum America.

MA FRAMEWORK CONCEPT AND SKILLS STANDARD(S) ADDRESSED

GRADE AND SUBJECT: Grade 8-12 History and Geography

NUMBER(S) AND DESCRIPTION(S): 

8.  Interpret the past within its historical context rather than in terms of present day norms and values.

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND/CONTEXT ESSAY: 

Throughout its history Salem has proven to be a city of industrious people.  In response to global and local conditions, Salemites have transformed their economy in order to survive and prosper.  In the wake of the English Civil War, which marks the end of the Great Migration, Salem went from an agrarian economy to one based on the coastal, European and Caribbean trade.  Taking advantage of political chaos back home, the colonies acted as a mercantilist state and began exporting their commerce to the Caribbean markets, generating great revenues.(1)

During and after the American Revolution, Salem was forced to reinvent its economy once more. Closed out of many European countries as well as much of the Caribbean trade, Salem engaged its ships and wealth in the China trade.  Reeling from Jefferson’s embargo, the War of 1812 and a consolidation in the ports of the United States in the 1820s, the port of Salem lost significance and revenue and was forced to reinvent itself once again. 

In 1813, the Boston Manufacturing Company was established with the goal of generating profits for its investors. In August of 1813, Lowell and Appleton gathered enough initial capital to construct a mill on the Charles River in Waltham.  This was the first factory in the world that integrated all of the processes of the manufacture of cotton cloth from opening the bales to finishing the fabric.  The investors of Waltham and later Lowell, would come to be known as the Boston Associates and they would be responsible for pioneering innovations such as the Cartwright power loom, reviving the corporation model, pioneering strategies of corporate finance, and innovating strategies for labor management.(2)

It is in this context that we must look at the investors from Salem and the Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Practicability and Expediency of Establishing Manufactures in Salem.  These investors were bred from the same mold as the Boston Associates.  These merchant families of Essex County could no longer depend upon the China trade to sustain and capitalize on their wealth.  Thus, in 1826, they joined together, in a joint stock relationship in order to maximize their profits and transformed Salem’s economy, geographic landscape, and social environment.

1 Margaret Ellen Newell, Engines of Enterprise, ed. Peter Temin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000) p.41.

2 Winifred Barr Rothenberg, Engines of Enterprise, p. 97.

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MATERIALS LIST AND PRE-ARRANGEMENTS/PREPARATION NEEDED

MATERIALS LIST:

PREPARATION:

Photocopy and check the packets

Create good working groups

Make sure that students have an assigned role

Monitor group discussions

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VOCABULARY:

  • The Boston Manufacturing Company                                                    
  • Francis Cabot Lowell
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Entrepreneur
  • Textiles
  • Naumkeag Steam Mill

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LESSON ACTIVITIES:

Day One

    • As a class we will discuss the possibility of building a new High School and what sort of technologies and other specifications might be included in a new and much needed high school. (10 minutes)
    • Students will work in groups of four and discuss four key questions in response to building a new school in Danvers.  (25 minutes)
    • Each group will present their responses to the class.  As they do this, assigned students will keep track of responses by writing key talking points on the board. To be used later. (20 minutes)
    • Homework – Read segments from the Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Practicability and Expediency of Establishing Manufactures in Salem and answer a set of guiding questions. 

Day Two

    • Using the large map of Salem in 1820 we will map out the location of the proposed mill outlined in the report and color the parcels of land that are already in the control of the investors. (15 minutes)
    • As a class we will examine the document by reviewing the answers to the guiding questions.  A reporter will keep track of key talking points on the board directly next to yesterday’s notes. (25 minutes)
    • As a class we will create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the challenges for those building a textile factory in Salem in 1820 and those building a future school in Danvers in 2005. (15 minutes)

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ASSESSMENT/STUDENT PRODUCT or PERFORMANCE:

  • In order to assess students’ mastery of the material they will write aReport of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Practicability and Expediency of Establishing a New High School in Danvers.
  • Students must demonstrate through classroom discussion a general understanding of the reasons for building a factory in Salem and the challenges that the Salem investors faced.
  • Students must provide thoughtful and meaningful responses when they read and interpret the document.
  • Students must do the following when they present within their small groups:
    • Identify relative and important background information on their primary source document
    • Identify how this piece relates to what they already know about the Industrial Revolution
    • Explain how this piece reflects the hopes and challenges associated with building a new high school.
  • Students must perform assigned tasks in a reflective and a participatory manner.
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ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:

Students will be assessed on their report to the Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Practicability and Expediency of Establishing a New High School in Danvers.

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POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS:

Teachers could alter the reading passages or rewrite the text for students with language based reading issues.

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POSSIBLE EXTENSION ACTIVITIES:

This lesson will be followed by a discussion of the Boston Manufacturing Company and the Lowell System. 

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CROSS CURRICULAR/INTERDISCIPLINARY LINKS/ACTIVITIES:

History teachers could very easily work with science teachers and have the students explore basic concepts of steam and water powered textile looms. 

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SOURCES AND RESOURCES

PRIMARY SOURCES USED TO CREATE LESSON:

Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Practicability and Expediency of Establishing Manufactures in Salem(1826) In Salem City Documents1846-1858. Salem, MA: The Register Press, 1840.

Seventy of Salem’s leading merchants met in order to examine the possibility of constructing a water powered cotton mill.  This document provides a look into the processes of deciding a location, obtaining private property, and fundraising.  In addition the document examines possible objections that some might have with the new mill.  This document seeks to mitigate these possible objections and provides/suggests positive effects that their enterprise might have on Salem. Speaks directly to the transition from a shipping to an industrial economy in Salem.

 

SECONDARY (PRINT) SOURCES USED TO CREATE LESSON:

Newell, Margaret, Ellen. “The Birth of New England in the Atlantic Economy.” In Peter Temin ed. Engines of Enterprise: An Economic History of New England.” Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2000. 

In this essay from Engines of Enterprise, Margaret Newell looks at the New England as a developing country in the Seventeenth Century. She looks at New England’s transition and those themes/factors that allowed it to prosper. These advantages include: culture, the shaped and cultivated environment, creativity, emulation of the mother country, and the evolutionary qualities of the New England economy.

Rothenberg, Winifred Barr. “The Invention of American Capitalism:  The Economy of New England in the Federal Period.” In Peter Temin ed. Engines of Enterprise: An Economic History of New England.  Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2000. 

In this essay from Engines of Enterprise, the author asserts that the Industrial Revolution took root in New England because the institutions of that culture were in place to allow for a smooth and profitable transition.  With a culture that saved and accumulated wealth and celebrated Liberty and individualism these people were ”chaffed” by the Revolution” and inspired to lead a capitalist charge towards industrialization. 

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS AND/OR STUDENTS:

--none suggested--

 
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