This volume focuses on labour history in Britain, but brings in comparative material on the Continent, in particular inter-war Germany. Special attention is given to wages and living and working conditions in the 19th century, to Robert Owen and Co-operation, and to the modern trade union movement and its attempts to keep up the interests of its members in the fluctuating conditions of the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries. The author defends the notion that wage-earners have common interests and frequently share common experiences, and that their organisations have both a strictly economic aspect (trade unions) and a wider political dimension. The profound changes which the labour organisations underwent in the 19th and 20th centuries are a major concern of these essays.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Wages and Working Conditions: Management and labour in Britain during the period of industrialisation; Labour; The ethics of the Sheffield outrages; Wages and earnings in the Sheffield trades, 1851-1914; Real earnings in Sheffield; Robert Owen and the Co-operative Movement: Robert Owen and the reduction in working hours: some considerations in the light of recent research; Dr William King of Ipswich: a Co-operative pioneer; Nineteenth-century co-operation: from community building to shopkeeping; The foundation of the Co-operative Party; Modern Trade Unions and the Labour Party: The new unionism in Britain: its economic background; Trade unions and the labour market, 1876-1914; Trade union reactions to the economic crisis; The trade unions and the depression of 1929-1933; German trade union policy 1929-1933 in the light of the British experience; The nationalisation of the banks: the chequered history of a socialist proposal; Index.
’This is a valuable collection of papers that teachers would gain much from reading with care.’ Teaching History ’...fifteen important essays...all written with clarity and scholarship.’ Northern History, Vol. XXXVI 'A distinguished labor and economic historian... Anyone interested in British Labor history will want to look at this volume.' Victorian Studies '... all (15 essays) demonstrate their author's deep knowledge and understanding of his subject.' Labour History Review