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Working Men’s Measures: Vermont Mechanics' Culture and the Constructions of Wage-Earning Masculinity in the Age of Jackson, 1815 – 1850

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Beginning in the late 1820s Working Men's Associations emerged in Vermont  as part of a larger national reform movement advocating changes to politics, law, and the market. Supported by newspapers, journals, lending libraries, and institutes this working men's culture (re)constructed an American masculinity. While many historians have studied this reform movement as precursors of modern labor unions, this research focuses on the ways in which Mechanics' Associations articulate and advance a new construct of American laboring manhood. Where Jeffersonian independent manhood once required property ownership as the ideal standard the Jacksonian era gives rise to standards of marketplace laboring masculinity.

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