Document Type


Date of Award



College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLABS)

Degree Name

MA in History

First Advisor

Dr. Nupur Chaudhuri


During World War I, women were working in factory positions to assist in the war effort. They felt a sense of pride and responsibility and gained a sense of importance in their work. After World War I ended in 1919, female laborers were no longer needed in factories to produce weapons and various war supplies. However, men returning back to their respectable home fronts were being offered factory jobs as compensation for their war efforts and as an economic stimulus. Domestic work became the viable option for women based upon decreased job opportunities. This condition was not only contained to the United States but also persisted in Britain. Domestic work as a form of employment has been around since the genesis of civilization. Although there have been changes in household technologies, the characteristics of the work still remains the same. 1 2 As domestic work became a source of employment, the relationship between employer and employee was established. The relationship was always constructed based upon class with the employer in the higher position and the employee at the lower position. In England, lower middle class, upper middle class, and the nobility were the typical employers. In the United States, the relationship was constructed based upon class and race. {.- ; In this work, I compared and contrasted the household labor between England and those of the United States. In the introduction, I have shown the historical background of domestic labor in both countries based upon reviewing primary and secondary sources and scholarship. I showed the employer and employee relationships based upon class and ethnicity. I examined aspects such as the interview process, wages, uniform, and work schedule. These comparisons became much more complicated and multilayered in the United States context when race is introduced into the equation: The first section, chapters 1 and 2, will focus on Britain and the Irish and the second section, chapters 3 and 4, will focus upon Anglo and African Americans.