1. Why were so many New England women eager to work in the new cotton mills?
2. What is the main difference between the lives of women in 1840 and the lives of women today?
3. Why did the manufacturers oppose the Ten Hour Movement?
4. Why were so many women reluctant to join the Ten Hour Movement?
5. Many of the Lowell mill women gave their wages to their brothers for college tuition. Why didn’t they use those wages for their own education?
6. Why were the manufacturers so eager to protect the good reputations of the young women who came to work in the cotton mills? Was their concern for the women altruistic or self-serving?
7. Why were the cotton manufacturers (the "Cotton Whigs") opposed to the antislavery movement?
8. What was the biggest obstacle to women's independence in the 1840's:
a. Lack of the vote
b. Lack of property rights
c. Lack of reproductive rights
d. Lack of access to higher education
(university degree, law school, medical school, etc.)
9. a. For you, who is the most interesting character in the book? Why?
b. What is the most interesting episode in the book? Why?
10. Why did the Yankee women eventually leave the mills?.