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Role of Women in the Social Transformation of England Essay

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Role of Women in the Social Transformation of England

The traditional idea of movement that changes the world is global movement: the explorers and adventurers that sailed around the world, the people who moved and colonized new lands. Michael Adas in Machines as the Measure of Men stated that the ideas that drove the European colonization were the "products of male ingenuity and male artifice" (14). Most of the exploration and first colonization was done by men. It would not have been socially correct for women. But women did have an integral role in other processes, mainly in the social transformation of countries. While men set up the first connections and created global trading, small changes were happening with in countries.
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Wool was not as comfortable as linen, which is made from flax. Also, flax could be grown in England, which kept the first step entirely contained within the country. The next step was to dye the flax, which could be done in the same location as the flax was grown. Then it had to be spun into thread and then woven into cloth which could be used for clothing.

This process had a bottle neck however: the step that took the most time was the spinning, directly in the center of the flow of production. It took eight spinners to keep one weaver in business, and therefore the English producers focused on making this one of the biggest sections of the industry. In order to do this, they found a new sector of the economy: the women and children. As women and children were two previously unexploited work forces, the shift towards using them as labor created a shift in the entire culture.

Factories were set up to provide a work space for the production of cloth. These mostly occurred as a place of child labor: many orphanages set themselves up as linen factories. Women also entered the work force in factories, but that was not the only way. In order for many women to get involved, it had to become acceptable within society. Because of this, women began to spin in their own homes and the homes of their neighbors as well. This was the beginning of the spinning bee: women were encouraged to visit each other, spinning and talking to each other. Working together was a
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