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In the Classroom > Course Overview > Unit Overview > Lesson 8

Lesson 8
Details of Change
by Susan Titus

Deerfield changed markedly because of national influences: the economy, immigration, migration to the West, the Civil War, and industrialization.

  1. Demographic changes
  2. Civil War casualties and increasing westward migration significantly reduced the number of working-age men in Deerfield.
    After the Civil War, this reduction, together with a lessoned interest in farming, paved the way for land ownership to be transferred to the recently arrived Eastern Europeans.
    Immigrants found employment opportunities in industry and agriculture.
    A greater number of women entered the workforce.

  3. Industry diversified because of the availability of resources, customer demand and an available source of labor.
    Local Industry:
  4. Communities that had access to waterpower and steam power became increasingly more industrialized.
    Initially, industry grew in the places where natural resources were available. Mills needed water to power machines, and access to convenient and reliable transportation to move raw materials and finished goods.
    Industries such as paper, cutlery, and textiles developed in the region.
    As the century moves on, changes in manufacturing technology and large-scale transportation allowed industry to move away from sources of waterpower and water transport.
    New technology made it possible to farm larger tracts, resulting in fewer, larger farms.

  5. In the United States, the Colonial Revival emerged as a response to industrialization, immigration, and mass manufacturing.
  6. The Colonial Revival was a national movement characterized by nostalgia for an earlier period in American history, which was perceived to be simpler, healthier, and truer to the ideals of the nation. The growth of historic preservation, the founding of historical societies, the revival of "ancient" or "traditional" crafts, the re-creation of moments in history via historical pageantry, and an increase in writing about the past were all expressions of this trend.
    Some Deerfield residents embraced the Colonial Revival. At the end of the 19th century, immigration and industrialization had changed the town's demographics. Facing a loss of economic and cultural control, residents on the Deerfield "Street" turned to history and tourism to revive both their income and their esteem.
    Deerfield was a center of the Colonial Revival movement, as is evidenced by the following:

    - The founding of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in 1870;
    - The development, promotion, and presentation of three historical pageants after the turn of the century;
    - The creation of Deerfield Industries, a collaborative group of artisans who embraced the arts and crafts ideals;
    - The creation of the Deerfield Blue and White Society;
    - The historical allegories and nostalgic themes in the Allen sisters' photographs;
    - The origin of the Summer Institutes of Language and Romance;

    Deerfield marketed its history to thousands of visitors. Many tourist services emerged such as the trolley, mountain houses, teahouses, and inns.
    Throughout this period of rapid social and economic change the Deerfield Street changed comparatively little. Deerfield became a shrine to its 18th-century past.

  7. Reform movements around the issues of safety and health, and suffrage flourished.
  8. Leading up to 1880 -- A wide variety of reform movements flourished in the 19th century in the nation: temperance, educational reforms (Americanization), suffrage, and abolition. The nature of the reforms being advocated evolved and changed over the 19th century, but the impetus to reform stayed constant.

  9. During the Progressive Era there was growth in technology, industry, accessibility to information, the middle class, and an evolution of women's roles inside and outside the home.
  10. The 20th century began with women enmeshed in the 19th century concept of the "cult of domesticity," which dictated their appropriate roles and proper sphere, limiting her opportunities in life. In the early 19th century, wives and mothers were seen as protectors of democracy and perpetuators of the ideals of the new United States. By the turn of the 20th century, women were also responsible for preserving the family unit and protecting it from the potentially disruptive influences of an increasingly urban and industrial society. The role of women was slated to change.
    The availability of manufactured goods rapidly increased. The middle class grew, and consumer culture evolved as products became more affordable and available.
    Technology changed the home environment, the workplace, and the roles of men, women, and children. It also provided opportunities for leisure.
    There was an explosion of information. Newspapers and advertising grew and new communication mediums such as radio and the telegraph developed.
    World Fairs were held to demonstrate the positive advances in industry.
    Controversy occurred surrounding Deerfield's definition of itself and what it wished to become.


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