MANCHESTERcotton and the industrial revolution
world's marketplace for cotton goods
"shock city" of its age
Manchester is forever associated with the Industrial Revolution. From the late eighteenth century, the factory production of cotton goods made the Manchester region of northwestern England a center of sustained economic growth, the like of which the world had never seen before. Cotton was central to British industrialization. However, the importance of Manchester was not confined to the steam-powered mechanization of cotton production and the transport revolution that accompanied it. Manchester was the greatest of the trading cities to emerge from the Industrial Revolution, the center of the global market for cotton goods. It was also the political home of free trade and became associated across Europe with the British ideology of economic individualism. By 1850 the name of Manchester was known around the world and was synonymous with cotton, commerce, and industrial strength. The hundred years following 1850 was a period of gradual decline as other cities and other countries caught up with the pioneers of industrialization.
The transformation of Britain into the world's first industrial nation was centered in a small number of industries: coal, iron, and cotton. Of these it was cotton that was to have the most profound effect and make the most important contribution to the process of industrialization. Cotton was central to British industrialization, and cotton meant Manchester and its region. Even before the end of the eighteenth century Manchester had emerged as the foremost urban center of the first power-driven factory industry. Britain's cotton industry was centralized in one region of the country. As early as the 1790s, 70 percent of the British cotton industry was concentrated in the district of southeast Lancashire and northeast Cheshire; by 1835 the figure had risen even further to 90 percent. For more than a century, the cotton industry of this region was the world's premier example of mechanized factory production. Raw cotton, which had been imported in insignificant quantities before the 1770s, became one of Britain's principal imports, increasing from 1,900 metric tons in the period from 1772 to 1774 to 205,000 metric tons in 1839 to 1841. Manchester played a central role in this revolution. Although the factory production of textiles and the industrial use of steam power first occurred elsewhere, the application of steam power to cotton spinning in Manchester in the 1780s and 1790s enabled factories to become urban based and secured the role of the factory in industrialization.
To the nineteenth-century mind Manchester was "Cottonopolis," the very essence of industrialism, the archetypal manufacturing town, and the model of all the other Lancashire mill towns, themselves sometimes referred to as "Little Manchesters." But research since the 1980s (especially by Roger Lloyd-Jones and M. J. Lewis) suggests that this impression is misleading, for Manchester was never merely a mill town. For centuries it had offered marketing facilities for linens and woolens, and during the eighteenth century had become the regional market center for cotton mixtures. Thus, before the first factory was erected in the 1780s, Manchester was already the commercial hub of its region. Transport developments during the canal era and later the railway age strengthened its position. Beginning with the Duke of Bridgewater's canal in 1762, Manchester soon became the focus of a complex of canals that greatly aided its trade, and in 1830 the Liverpool to Manchester Railway provided the first passenger rail service in the world.
The commercial warehouse continued to play a vital role in Manchester's economic life. But the importance of the warehouse to the local economy is most tellingly revealed by the striking imbalance of investment between the town's warehouse and factory sectors. Total capital investment in factories was considerably less than in warehouses. Warehouses absorbed over 48 percent of property asset investment by 1815, as opposed to a mere 6 percent in factories. Even public houses and inns attracted a larger proportion at almost 9 percent. This does not allow for machinery or the power to drive it. But even assuming a doubling of the value of the fixed assets of factory plant and buildings, the dominance of warehouse investment remains clear. Investment in cotton mills increased, especially as weaving was mechanized in the 1820s, but Manchester's business structure still leaned heavily toward its commercial sector. While the proportion of all capital tied up in cotton factories had increased to some 12 percent by 1825, that invested in warehouses remained much higher at nearly 43 percent.
Indeed, Manchester's symbolic role as the focus of the factory system may be best understood in terms of labor rather than capital. Workers flocked to the mills. In 1815 Manchester's cotton factories employed approximately 11,500 men, women, and children. By the time of the 1841 census, there were 19,561 working in all branches of cotton manufacture in Manchester. This was a huge workforce. In size it approached the total for the combined cotton workforces of Oldham, Blackburn, and Ashton-under-Lyne (21,615). But these figures can be misleading. Although cotton manufacture was a major source of work in Manchester, it did not dominate the local labor market, as was the case in the surrounding cotton towns. As a proportion of total occupied persons in 1841, cotton employed 18 percent of Manchester's labor force, compared with the respective figures of 50 percent in Ashton, 40 percent in Oldham, and 40 percent in Blackburn. These were the mill towns proper.
Manchester's historical significance owes as much to its role in the development of world trade as it does to its place in the history of the factory system. The mechanization of cotton spinning transformed world trade. It enabled British producers to undercut competitors producing by traditional handicraft manufacture. Thus it was as early as the 1790s that India was overtaken by Britain as the leading exporter of cotton goods, and in the process the sheer scale of production by this new low-cost producer created the first truly global market of the modern industrial era. Manchester's nineteenth-century commercial preeminence depended upon the phenomenal growth in the production of cotton cloth. As early as the first decade of the nineteenth century cotton goods constituted half of total British exports (by value), and this level of contribution was maintained for much of the nineteenth century. Thus cotton was the main contributor to the export trade at the height of Britain's economic power and global influence. Manchester was the commercial lynchpin of this trade: the world's central market for the sale of cotton goods. The Royal Cotton Exchange was the venue for the myriad commercial transactions involved, and the city center streets were lined with warehouses for the display as well as storage of goods.
The name Manchester became symbolically linked with cotton and commerce. Manchester goods became
a synonym for all textiles, not just cotton. But equally important, it was linked in the mind of the world with the political ideology of free trade. By the mid-nineteenth century, in part through the efforts of the Manchester-based Anti–Corn Law League, the principles of free trade had become national policy of the leading industrial nation. This achievement was symbolized in Manchester in the naming of the city's premier public building not after a saint, a national hero, or a monarch but after an idea: the Free Trade Hall. As the first industrial city and the home of the Anti–Corn Law League, Manchester was characterized by nineteenth-century German critics in the abstract noun das Manchestertum to represent the British ideology of economic individualism. Thus Manchester itself became abstracted as the symbol both of Britain's economic power and of the industrial middle class.
By the 1840s more than half a century of revolutionary change had made Manchester the "shock city" of its age. Manchester symbolized more than an economic revolution. A major reason for Manchester's prominence was the enormous urban growth revealed by the national census in 1831 and 1841, which made contemporaries accept that theirs was the "age of great cities." It was not just the rising national population figures that impressed contemporaries but the concentration in large towns, especially certain provincial centers, which were growing at an unprecedented rate. While between 1801 and 1841 the population of London had doubled, that of Manchester had more than trebled and by 1851 was more than four times larger than fifty years before. Manchester was not alone in this; among the larger English towns Liverpool had also multiplied fourfold, and Bradford's population was eight times greater than in 1801. But there was a difference of scale: Manchester and Liverpool were three times the size of Bradford; outside London they were the biggest towns in England. The environmental and social problems created by rapid urban growth were most marked in the biggest centers and, for a while, Manchester became a symbol for the nation of twin developments. It combined massive urban growth with factory production and acquired almost mythical status as the emblem of a new order of things.
To contemporaries, Manchester represented new social classes and unleashed political forces: trade unionism, Chartism, and socialism. Working-class politics demanded democracy and appeared to threaten property. If it was to be contained, it had to be understood, and Manchester seemed to hold the key to this knowledge. Moreover, if urban industrial living was the pattern of the future, then Manchester seemed to be its herald. Manchester's economic miracle, which made it seem heroic to some, was overlaid by living conditions that offered instead the prospect of social catastrophe. While the future prime minister Benjamin Disraeli felt able to make comparisons with the classical world, claiming that industrial Manchester was "as great a human exploit as Athens" (in his novel Coningsby, or, the New Generation; 1844), such optimism was more qualified in the observations of other contemporaries. Manchester generated great wealth but also great squalor. Massive urban growth brought enormous problems of organization, provision of amenities, and maintenance of public order. The environmental consequences of dramatic and continuous growth for more than fifty years were on the debit side of the balance sheet of industrialization. During the first half of the nineteenth century Manchester was one of the most overcrowded and unhealthy places in Europe. Moreover, the modern urban pattern of residential zoning by function and by social class, including the gulf between the suburb and the slum, found its early expression in Manchester. Such a degree of social segregation made Manchester central to Friedrich Engel's analysis of conditions under industrial capitalism in Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England (1945; The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844), a book that had a great influence on Karl Marx. The town also provided much of the context for many of the social-problem novels of the 1840s and 1850s, most notably Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life (1848) by Elizabeth Gaskell.
The overworked sobriquet "Cottonopolis" masks Manchester's more complex industrial character. Manchester was also an important center of engineering. Scientific engineering developed out of the work begun by its millwrights and mechanics in the early part of the Industrial Revolution. Manchester engineers placed the town at the cutting edge of one of the defining sectors of the modern industrial economy: the manufacture of machine tools. This was epitomized by James Nasmyth, whose steam hammer (1839) was one of the principal engineering inventions of the nineteenth century, and Joseph Whitworth, whose name was synonymous with precision engineering and standardization around the world. Underpinning this was the city's cultural climate of inquiry and practical learning, a prime example of the city as "innovative milieu" (Hall) exemplified by the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, the oldest enduring English institution, apart from the Royal Society, devoted to scientific discourse and publication. From its foundation in 1781 an impressive sequence of major scientific figures passed through its portals, including John Dalton, William Henry, William Sturgeon, and James Prescott Joule, together with "practical scientists": engineers and inventors such as Richard Roberts and William Fairbairn.
The Industrial Revolution had made Manchester one of the world's most famous cities. Apart from London, it was the foremost commercial, banking, and transport center in what was the most economically advanced country in the world. If Manchester's comparative importance was to decline during the second half of the nineteenth century, as other cities and other industries caught up, it nonetheless remained one of the great trading cities of the world. It certainly dominated the commercial life of the cotton district of Lancashire and Cheshire. The challenge to Lancashire's domination of the cotton trade in the decades following the "cotton famine" caused by the loss of raw cotton imports during the American Civil War of 1861–1865 was met in characteristic fashion by the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal (1894), which turned a city thirty miles from the sea into an international port with extensive docks. By 1914 Manchester was ranked as one of Britain's leading commercial ports, with the world's first industrial estate at Trafford Park. The twentieth century was to be a story of steady and relentless industrial decline. Finally, after 1950, the decline of the cotton industry turned into a collapse, and subsequently, like many former industrial giants, Manchester's fortunes have depended upon other industries and upon the nonindustrial sectors of the local economy.
Engels, Friedrich. The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. Edited by David McLellan. Oxford, U.K., 1993.
Gaskell, Elizabeth. Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life. Edited by Stephen Gill. Harmondsworth, U.K., 1985.
Briggs, Asa. Victorian Cities. London, 1963. See chapter 3, "Manchester: The Symbol of an Age."
Farnie, D. A. The English Cotton Industry and the World Market, 1815–1896. Oxford, U.K., 1979.
Fishman, Robert. Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia. New York, 1987. See chapter 3, "The Suburb and the Industrial City: Manchester."
Hall, Peter. Cities in Civilization: Culture, Innovation, and Urban Order. London, 1998. See chapter 10, "The First Industrial City: Manchester, 1760–1830."
Kidd, Alan J. Manchester. 3rd ed. Edinburgh, 2002.
Kidd, Alan J., and K. W. Roberts, eds. City, Class, and Culture: Studies of Social Policy and Cultural Production in Victorian Manchester. Manchester, 1985. Contains an extensive bibliography.
Lloyd-Jones, Roger, and M. J. Lewis. Manchester and the Age of the Factory. London, 1988.
Manchester Region History Review (1987–). Publishes an annual bibliography.
Alan J. Kidd
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Once a single-industry town dependent on the textile industry, Manchester has diversified its economy to include manufacturing (more than 200 manufacturing firms are located there), wholesale and retail trade, information processing, and the service industry. More than 85 percent of the work-force is involved in sales, finance, and service companies. Manchester is considered the major insurance and financial center north of Boston, housing the area's largest savings and commercial institutions. The city is also the northeastern states' principal distribution center.
The City of Manchester provides assistance to businesses interested in locating or expanding in the area through the Manchester Economic Development Office (MEDO).
Items and goods produced: knitting and textile machinery, leather goods, electrical and electronic components, automobile accessories, and plastic, lumber, metal and wood products
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
The State of New Hampshire, which levies no state sales or income tax, is considered one of the most favorable climates for doing business in the nation. Because so much is provided at the state level, few incentives are offered at the city-town level. In fact, by state law, New Hampshire cities are prohibited from offering tax breaks to private industry. However, cities such as Manchester do aid businesses indirectly by helping to market and develop industrial sites. In addition, Manchester's banks are willing to supply financing to all deserving enterprises. The non-profit Manchester Development Corporation may make loans to promote the economic development of the city. The city has designated the Economic Development Office as administrator of a revolving loan fund to provide "gap" or secondary financing for businesses locating within Manchester.
The state's incentives include no general sales or use tax, no general personal income tax, no capital gains tax, no inventory tax, no property tax on machinery or equipment, one of the lowest unemployment insurance rates in the country, investment tax incentives, job tax credits, and research & development tax incentives. In 2004, the State of New Hampshire instituted the Community Reinvestment Opportunity Program (CROP), which offers tax credits that may be used against business profit taxes and business enterprise taxes. Qualifying CROP projects must create new jobs as well as expand the state economic base.
Job training programs
The Small Business Development Center, which is funded by the Small Business Association, the State of New Hampshire, and the University of New Hampshire, offers management counseling, training, and resource information to the state's small business community through six sub-centers. The New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP) aids individuals in obtaining financial aid to prepare for and find employment. The NHEP On-The-Job Training Program offers employers incentives to hire and train eligible applicants.
The Granite Street widening project is a $19 million joint effort between the City of Manchester and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. When complete in 2007, downtown Manchester will see improvements to traffic flow as well as access and safety improvements. In 2005 the city broke ground for the development of the Northwest Business Park. The development of 140 acres on Northwest Drive off of Hackett Hill Road will provide for increased business facilities, increased tax revenues, and new jobs. The estimated $20 million development is scheduled for completion in 2017. Construction is also underway on Manchester Place Apartments—a $40 million high-end residential apartment complex that will include 204 residential units, a 300-car parking facility, and 5,200 square feet of retail space. Recently completed projects include the $24.3 million Riverfront Stadium, home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats AA baseball team; an upgraded water treatment facility; and $2.725 million worth of upgrades to the McQuade building, an historic downtown landmark.
Economic Development Information: Manchester Economic Development Office, One City Hall Plaza, Room 110, Manchester, NH 03101; telephone (603)624-6505. New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, 33 Commercial Street, Manchester, NH 03101-1796; telephone (603)624-2000
Manchester, located on the main line of the Guilford Rail Systems, maintains excellent freight service south to Boston and north to Montreal and connecting lines. A large fleet of commercial trucks is also available for shipping goods to all parts of the country. Air freight service is offered at Manchester Airport, the state's major airport. Air freight lines and U.S. Customs service are also available; the industrial area surrounding the airport has been designated a Foreign Trade Zone. Daily delivery service includes Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and DHL. Since the Merrimack River is not navigable, Manchester is not a port city; however, the Port of New Hampshire in Portsmouth is located 45 minutes east of Manchester.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Manchester's computer and other high-tech industries and its financial and professional services have contributed to the growth of Manchester's economy since the late 1980s. Manchester's labor force is described as industrious and the city boasts one of the best records in the nation in terms of hours lost through strikes. In 2005, Inc. Magazine ranked Manchester the 21st best city (out of 274 cities ranked) in which to do business.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Manchester metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 99,300
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 5,300
trade, transportation and utilities: 20,800
financial activities: 8,800
professional and business services: 12,000
educational and health services: 16,000
leisure and hospitality: 8,300
other services: 4,100
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $17.38
Unemployment rate: 4.2% (February 2005)
|Largest employers (2004)||Number of employees|
|Catholic Medical Center||1,700|
|Public Service of New Hampshire||1,250|
|Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield||940|
|Southern NH University||700|
|Associated Grocers of NE, Inc.||608|
Cost of Living
The cost of living is reasonable in New Hampshire. The lack of a sales tax stretches residents' purchasing dollars. Having one of the lowest crime rates in the country, as well as one of the lowest auto theft rates, keeps insurance rates affordable.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Manchester area.
2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported
2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported
State income tax rate: None (business profits tax is 8.5%)
State sales tax rate: None on salaries and wages of residents; limited tax upon interest and dividends received by individuals, trusts, estates and partners in excess of $2,400. There is a $10.00 "Resident Tax" on all persons between 18 and 60 years of age with some exceptions. Concord has passed an ordinance eliminating this tax for residents of the city.
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: None
Property tax rate: $27.92 per $1,000 of assessed valuation (2005)
Economic Information: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, 889 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101; telephone (603)666-6600
The remnants of the Amoskeag Millyards along the Merrimack River still attract visitors. Many of the 139 red brick buildings, which once lined the river banks for more than a mile, have been remodeled into office, retail, and manufacturing space, as well as residential townhouses. Manchester's west side still echoes with the French spoken in this predominantly French-Canadian neighborhood. On Elm Street, the home of General John Stark—hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill in the Revolutionary War—has been preserved. The Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center, located on the Merrimack River, is an environmental education center.
Arts and Culture
As the cultural hub of the state, Manchester offers an artistic calendar that incorporates everything from performances and exhibits by famous artists to student shows at coffee houses.
The jewel in Manchester's performing arts crown is the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, which performs a series of classical concerts yearly and features international guest artists. Opera New Hampshire, based in Manchester, stages grand opera throughout the year. The New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, Opera New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Philharmonic, and the Granite State Orchestra perform at the Palace Theatre, a refurbished 1915 vaudeville and opera house. The Manchester Community Music School sponsors the Greater Manchester Youth Symphony Orchestra and offers classes and programs for all ages taught by some of New Hampshire's finest music educators. The Dana Center at Saint Anselm College offers classical theatre performances, contemporary dance concerts, and film showings. Stage One Productions stages dinner theater performances at the Chateau Restaurant. The New Thalian Players, produce professional community theatre productions.
Among New England's finest museums is the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. Its permanent and revolving collections include paintings, glassware, silver, and pewter items dating from the thirteenth through the twentieth centuries. The Currier owns and offers public tours of the Zimmerman House, designed in 1950 by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Franco-American Centre terms itself the leading source of information about French culture, heritage, and history in North America. The Centre boasts a library and a museum, and offers classes, films, and Bastille Day activities. Science Enrichment Encounters (SEE) Science Center, an interactive learning center, provides hands-on exhibits to help children explore all areas of science. The Manchester Historic Association maintains displays of Native American artifacts, furniture from colonial times, and other local memorabilia. Galleries are clustered downtown and in other areas.
Festivals and Holidays
Manchester hosts a variety of ethnic and cultural festivals throughout the year, especially during the summer months. In June, the Talarico Dealerships Jazz and Blues Festival is held at the Palace Theatre, and the Strawberry Shortcake Festival is held in Valley Cemetery. Both the African-Caribbean Celebration and the Latino Festival are held in Veterans Park during the month of August. Also in August is Greekfest, a two-day festival hosted by the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. The Mill City Festival, held in September, celebrates the local ethnicity of Manchester with live music, local food, kayak demonstrations, and a general store featuring items made in New Hampshire. Glendi, an annual celebration of Greek culture and heritage, is held at St. George Orthodox Cathedral in September. Other annual events include the Greater Manchester Horse Show at the Deerfield Fairgrounds in May, and the New Year's Eve First Night Celebration.
Sports for the Spectator
Three professional sports teams call Manchester home. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are the AA baseball affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. They play their home games at the new Riverfront Stadium, located along the banks of the Merrimack River. The Manchester Wolves, an arena football team, play at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Manchester Monarchs play professional ice hockey in the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League. Saint Anselm College fields 10 men's and 10 women's teams in 13 different sports, including basketball, lacrosse, and football.
Sports for the Participant
Manchester's two noteworthy recreational attractions are its in-town ski area and its boat launches. The 53-acre McIntyre Ski Area, located within the city limits and operated by the city, provides snow skiing, snowboarding, and a tubing park. The facility is equipped with snow-making equipment, two double chairlifts, a tow rope, and lighting. Within the city, boats can be launched onto the Piscatoquog River on the west side and onto the Merrimack River from ramps at three eastside sites. The city's 55 parks, encompassing 900 acres, feature swimming pools, baseball diamonds, ice rinks, tracks, tennis courts, and a beach. Skateboarders gather at the Adam D. Curtis Skateboard Park. The Derryfield Country Club is an 18-hole municipal golf course. Within an hour's drive of Manchester are some of the state's best skiing, rock climbing, hiking, camping, boating, swimming, and fishing.
Shopping and Dining
Manchester's tax-free shopping draws shoppers from throughout the region. Downtown Manchester boasts more than 60 locally owned stores that feature clothing, furniture, books, antiques, and locally made products. The Mall of New Hampshire is anchored by Filene's, Best Buy, JCPenney, and Sears. The mall's offerings include more than 120 retail stores and a food court. The Tanger Outlet Center, in nearby Tilton, has more than 50 brand name and designer outlet stores.
Cuisine in Manchester reflects the city's ethnic diversity. Brazilian, French-Canadian, Irish, Spanish, Korean, Mexican, and Vietnamese cuisine are among the ethnic flavors found in Manchester's restaurants. They coexist with local favorites such as New England-style seafood, steak, and home-style cooking.
Visitor Information: Manchester Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 889 Elm Street, 3rd Floor, Manchester, NH 03101; telephone (603)666-6600
MANCHESTER , city in northern England. Its Jewish community, the second largest in Britain, dates from about 1780, the first synagogue being founded by two brothers, Lemon and Jacob Nathan, formerly of Liverpool. A cemetery was acquired in 1794 and the first local charity was the Manchester Jewish Philanthropic Society (1804) which provided winter relief for poor resident Jews. After a temporary schism in the congregation in 1840, a more serious split followed during the rabbinate of S. *Schiller-Szinessy and led to the establishment of a Reform synagogue in 1856. Two years later, the original community moved to its new synagogue ("the Great") on Cheetham Hill still in use in the 1970s. The early settlers and community leaders came mainly from Liverpool and included a tailor, a pencutter, and an optician. Nathan Meyer *Rothschild's first residence in England was in Manchester, from where he exported cotton goods from 1798 to 1805. The second half of the 19th century brought to the city substantial merchants from Central Europe, some political refugees from the 1848 liberal risings in Europe, Romanian Jews fleeing from the 1869 persecutions, and in the 1870s young men escaping service in the Russian army. In 1871, small groups arrived from North Africa and the Levant, areas connected with the Manchester cotton industry, forming the nucleus of the flourishing 20th-century Sephardi congregations of south Manchester. The most significant influx, however, resulted from the great Russo-Polish immigration of 1881–1914. The Jews of Manchester spread northward, settling in the adjacent city of Salford and in the suburban districts of Prestwich and Whitefield. In the 20th century, the south Manchester Jews spread into the suburban areas of Cheshire.
Some of the earlier immigrants became waterproof-garment manufacturers, an industry developed by Jews which flourished until it was superseded by the technologically superior "rainproof," in the manufacture of which Jews were not prominent. The Russo-Polish immigrants followed the usual immigrant trades of tailoring and capmaking. There were also large numbers of jewelry travelers, hawkers, and street-traders. Communal institutions proliferated. The first Jewish school was founded in 1842, and by 1904, 2,300 pupils were being educated in Jewish schools. A Board of Guardians on the London pattern was founded in 1867. Many small ḥevrot were opened by immigrants. A weekly journal, the Jewish Telegraph, is published there. In the 20th century, Manchester had its own bet din and sheḥitah board and a Jewish hospital. The representative body, the Council of Manchester and Salford Jews, had 68 synagogues and organizations affiliated to it. At its peak around 1910, Manchester's Jewish population was estimated at 35,000. It probably remained at just under this figure until about the 1970s, when a decline was obvious.
As Manchester was the home of Chaim *Weizmann from 1904 to 1916, the city became the training ground of some of the outstanding British Zionists, personalities prominent also in British life: Lord Simon *Marks, Harry *Sacher, Leon *Simon, *Rebecca and Israel *Sieff. In civic life, too, Jews played an increasingly important role. Nathan and Sarah *Laski were followed by a large number of Jewish lord mayors of both Manchester and Salford. Several Jews were Labor members of parliament for Manchester constituencies, especially after 1945, including Leslie and Harold *Lever and Frank Allaun. The novelist Louis *Golding lived in Manchester and set several of his novels in the city. Even in the very recent past Manchester produced a number of communal leaders with a power base separate from London Jewry, such as Sir Sidney *Hamburger.
In the mid-1990s, the Jewish population numbered approximately 27,000. According to the 2001 British census, the first to include an optional religious question, Manchester's Jewish population totaled 21,733. It still contained more communal institutions than any British city apart from London. The community was headed by a Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region. There were about 32 synagogues, all but three of which were Orthodox. The Orthodox community, which included a highly visible Strictly Orthodox community, maintained a local Council of Synagogues, a Beth Din, and a range of institutions. Remarkably, Manchester also had no fewer than 16 Jewish day schools, ranging from Strictly Orthodox to Liberal. There was also a well-presented Manchester Jewish Museum on Cheetham Hill Road. The history of the community down to recent times has been fairly well chronicled by historians such as Bill *Williams.
C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 83–84; JYB; V.D. Lipman, Social History of the Jews in England, 1850–1950 (1954), index; L.P. Gartner, The Jewish Immigrant in England, 1870–1894 (1960), index; Ch. Weizmann, Trial and Error (1949), index. add. bibliography: B. Williams, The Making of Manchester Jewry, 1740–1875 (1976); idem., Manchester Jewry: A Pictorial History (1988). M. Dobkin, Tales of Manchester Jewry and Manchester Jewry in the Thirties (1986); M. Levine, Cheetham to Cordova: A Manchester Man of the Thirties (1984); R. Liedtke, Jewish Welfare in Hamburgand Manchester, c. 1850–1914 (1998); Z.Y. Wise, A Brief History of the Jewish Community in Prestwich, Whitefield and Bury (2003).
[Vivian David Lipman /
William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]
Manchester: Education and Research
Manchester: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Manchester School District is the state of New Hampshire's oldest and largest public school system. The district's special services include a comprehensive special education program for students from pre-school through high school, as well as programs for the gifted, handicapped, and adults. An English as a Second Language program serves students with limited English proficiency. Music and arts programs, athletics, and community service opportunities are available at the middle and high school levels. Manchester also benefits from a $7 million state-funded vocational center that trains high school students from Manchester and two neighboring towns. The Manchester School of Technology provides vocational training to high school students.
The following is a summary of data regarding the city of Manchester School District as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 17,655
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 15
junior high/middle schools: 4
senior high schools: 3
Student/teacher ratio: 14.9:1
Teacher salaries average: $44,814
Funding per pupil: $6,943
The city's private schools include the Derryfield School, a private co-educational school that enrolls more than 350 students in grades 6 through 12. Schools with a religious affiliation include the Manchester Jewish Community School, Trinity High School, and schools affiliated with the Diocese of Manchester.
Public Schools Information: City of Manchester School District, 196 Bridge Street, Manchester, NH 03104-4985; telephone (603)624-6300
Colleges and Universities
Manchester's institutions of higher learning offer a mix of liberal arts education and technical training. Four-year liberal arts schools include Saint Anselm College and the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, which opened its downtown campus in a renovated mill building in 1986. Hesser College is a two-year technical college that offers more than 25 certificate, diploma, associate, or bachelor degree options. The New Hampshire Technical College provides associate degree programs as well as diploma and certificate programs. The New Hampshire Institute of Art offers a four-year bachelor of fine arts program.
Libraries and Research Centers
Manchester's public library numbers more than 350,000 volumes among its holdings of books, periodicals, recordings, prints, software, and state and U.S. government publications. The main library on Pine Street is supplemented by a branch on North Main Street. Attractions include a children's room, books for hearing- and sight-impaired patrons, and computers and fax machines for public use. The library's comprehensive website allows patrons access to the library's catalog, online articles and research databases, and a calendar of library events.
The Shapiro Library at New Hampshire College maintains a business and finance collection while St. Anselm's Geisel Library focuses on religious and philosophical holdings. The Manchester Historic Association Library preserves and promotes the history of the city and houses several textile design files. The Max I. Silber Scouting Library presents a wide selection of Boy Scout memorabilia, including original paintings of Boy's Life covers and the full collection of "Scouts on Stamps." Other genealogical, college, law, and medical libraries are located throughout the city.
Public Library Information: Manchester City Library, 405 Pine Street, Manchester, NH 03104; telephone (603)624-6550
Amoskeag Falls Support Industry
The abundant river fish and forest game in the Merrimack River Valley attracted the attention of the Native American Pennacooks long before the European traders and trappers arrived in the valley in the early 1700s. The Pennacooks called the river falls area "Namoskeag," meaning "place of much fish." A permanent white settlement was established in 1722 by Scots-Irish Presbyterians who saw the manufacturing potential of the falls, which came to be called the Amoskeag Falls. Until their factories were built, they subsisted on fishing and logging. They later used the 85-foot drop of the Amoskeag Falls to power their textile mills. First known as Old Harry's Town, the settlement changed names when it changed hands, becoming Tyngstown in 1735 when it was absorbed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The town was rechristened Derryfield in 1751.
Benjamin Prichard selected the area for the construction of the new nation's first textile mills on the banks of the Merrimack River in 1805. Derryfield changed its name again in 1810, taking the name of Manchester, after England's industrial giant. The proponent of this final name change was Samuel Blodgett, who visited England and later engineered the building of a canal around the Amoskeag Falls. The canal linked Manchester with Boston, opening the way for great industrial expansion.
In 1831, a group of merchants purchased the failing Amos-keag Cotton and Woolen Factory and reopened as the Amos-keag Manufacturing Company. At its height, the company operated 700,000 spindles and 23,000 looms, shipping nearly five million yards of cloth each week. The millyard occupied more than eight million square feet of floor space and employed 17,000 people. Amoskeag's operating philosophy was one of benevolent paternalism as the company built homes, schools, and hospitals for its employees. The company also radically altered the makeup of Manchester's population when it invited thousands of French-Canadians to work in its mills. While best known for its textiles, the Amoskeag yards did produce other products, including locomotives. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Amos-keag and Manchester's other mills wove enough cloth each year to encircle the world twice.
Mills Decline, Economy Diversifies
Prosperity continued until the Great Depression of the 1930s. National financial woes, labor unrest, aging machinery, and competition from less expensive southern labor combined to bring about Amoskeag Manufacturing Company's demise. In 1935 it declared bankruptcy. However, the operation was saved. This time, a group of businessmen raised $5 million, purchased the yards, renamed the concern Amoskeag Industries, and developed a plan to diversify Manchester's economy.
By the 1980s Manchester had grown into New Hampshire's largest city. New industries led to new building, including the renovation of the millyard into smaller manufacturing units. Following an economic slowdown during the early 1990s, the rest of the decade saw Manchester's economy turn around dramatically. Recent years have seen the continued development of the downtown area, with the building of the Verizon Wireless Arena, Riverfront Stadium, and new shops and restaurants.
Historical Information: Manchester Historic Association, 129 Amherst Street, Manchester, NH 03101-1809; telephone (603) 622-7531
A. S. Hargreaves
Manchester: Geography and Climate
Manchester: Population Profile
Manchester: Municipal Government
Manchester: Education and Research
Manchester: Health Care
Manchester: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1722 (incorporated, 1846)
Head Official: Mayor Robert A. Baines (since 2000)
2003 estimate: 108,871
Percent change, 1990–2000: 7.5%
U.S. rank in 1980: 192nd
U.S. rank in 1990: 199th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 239th (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population (PMSA)
Percent change, 1990–2000: 14.2%
U.S. rank in 1990: 5th (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 2000: 7th (CMSA)
Area: 33 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 346 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 45.5° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 39.87 inches of rain; 64 inches of snow
Major Economic Sectors: Manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, services
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (February 2005)
Per Capita Income: $21,244 (1999)
2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported
2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 3,545
Major Colleges and Universities: St. Anselm College; University of New Hampshire at Manchester
Daily Newspaper: New Hampshire Union Leader
Newspapers and Magazines
The Union Leader Corporation publishes the New Hampshire Union Leader each morning, Monday through Saturday, and the New Hampshire Sunday News. The newspaper's Internet website publishes new content daily and maintains a searchable archive of past articles. A weekly New Hampshire edition of the Boston Globe is published in Manchester. The Hippo is a free entertainment and features newspaper published every Thursday. The Registry Review is a statewide real estate and financial newspaper. Magazines include the monthly Business NH as well as the New Hampshire Business Review, New Hampshire Magazine, and The Red Brick Review, a literary magazine.
Television and Radio
A national affiliate television station and an independent station are located in Manchester. The city receives Boston television programming as well. Cable television is provided locally. Five AM and FM commercial radio stations broadcast from Manchester.
Media Information: Union Leader, Union Leader Corporation, 100 William Loeb Drive, PO Box 9555, Manchester, NH 03108-9555; telephone (603)668-4321; fax (603)668-0382
City of Manchester. Available www.manchesternh.gov
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Available www.manchester-chamber.org
Manchester City Library. Available www.manchester.lib.nh.us
Manchester School District. Available www.mansd.org
Manchester Union Leader. Available www.theunionleader.com
New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development. Available www.visitnh.gov
Manchester Historic Association, Manchester, New Hampshire, Centennial Celebration of Manchester, N.H., June 13, 1810–1910 (Manchester, NH: Published by authority of the city government, 1910)