“Canaries in the Coal Mine”: The Deindustrialization of New England and the Rise of the Global Economy, 1923-1975


  • Maura Doherty Illinois State University


This essay discusses the process that led to the decline of New England’s traditional industries and to the creation of its depressed milltowns. It argues that the decline of the New England textile and shoe industries was part of the maturation of industrial capitalism. This deindustrialization had along-term structural impact on the local economies of many New England communities and would have implications for other industries and communities in the creation of the global economy. These depressed milltowns were the first casualties of a strategy of capital mobility that would become institutionalized in the multinational corporation and the global economy.