Social classification is a way of grouping people in different ranks according to many factors. In North America, social classes developed depending on how powerful people were, the amount of wealth, jobs they had, the land they owned, and the clothes worn. This essay looks forward to discussing the difference between upper and working class in North America in the 18th century.
There were three social classes in North America; the upper (gentry) class, working class and the poor with a clear distinction between upper and working class. The upper class owned large tracts of land, and they had many slaves and employed servants who provided labor in the farms (Michael 212). They were the wealthy and financed the society something that gave them an opportunity to control societal affairs. They believed it was their duty and right to govern. Most public offices were held by the members of the upper class. This class served as vestrymen, council members, and magistrates. They were the elites of the society, well-educated, and well-bred. Additionally, they had the privilege above the rest in that they could vote and also could hold a public office (Michael 215). Therefore, they were the most powerful and highest class in the society.
Conversely, the working class which was called the proletariat or the laboring class comprised of people who ate from the sweat of their labor. This population served as the servants or laborers for the upper class who provided manual labor for the rich (LaRosa and Mejía 134). They lacked an opportunity to acquire leadership positions because of their abject poverty. They earned little and were uneducated, living in unhealthy conditions. Most of them were enslaved by the rich.
In conclusion, the differences were based on the wealth, land owned, public offices held, and how one was born and bred. Every society develops social classes to enable ranking and grouping.