The Harsh Welcome of an Industrial City: Immigrant Women in Montreal, 1880-1900

Type of resource
Authors/collaborators
Title
The Harsh Welcome of an Industrial City: Immigrant Women in Montreal, 1880-1900
Abstract
Between 1880 and 1900, Montreal became a city of newcomers, a majority of them women, and most of them arriving before age 30 from Britain, Europe, the United States or rural counties of Quebec and Ontario. Young people aged 15 to 29 accounted for a third of the population and half of the recorded labour force. According to the authors, a substantial increase in participation of young unmarried women in the waged labour force was made possible by shifts in the timing of "life transitions": the age at which girls left school, left home, entered the work force, and married. The authors study the city's three principal cultural communities -- French-speaking Catholic, English-speaking Catholic and English-speaking Protestant -- and conclude that French Canadian girls, having worked in a factory for a few years, moved rapidly into marriage often with the expectation of home-based entrepreneurship (e.g. sewing); Anglo-Protestant girls worked for a portion of their life cycle as servants or as teachers, nurses or stenographers and remained single into their late twenties; Irish Catholic young women maintained a more prolonged single status and wage work than the other two groups.
Publication
Histoire sociale/Social History
Volume
Vol. XL
Issue
no. 80
Pages
345-380
Date
November 2007
Language
en
Citation
Gauvreau, Danielle, Sherry Olson, and Patricia A. Thonton. “The Harsh Welcome of an Industrial City: Immigrant Women in Montreal, 1880-1900.” Histoire sociale/Social History Vol. XL, no. 80 (November 2007): 345–380.
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