A200 Block 5 Unit 19 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in A200 Block 5 Unit 19 Deck (11):

The Revolt of the Silesian Weavers June 1844

Rose 1844, Silesia a Provence of Prussia, Wolff a radical activist, caused by general distress and low wages, weavers attack manufacturers' houses and demand better pay and 'presents', riot and eleven deaths ensue

Causes - changing structure of economy. Silesia a centre of linen production protected since 18th Century, productivity high, good quality, sold well. Industry begins to suffer in early 19th C due to hand loomed linen from Belgium, Ireland, machine-loomed linen from England and growth of cotton manufacture and 1842 very poor potato harvest - malnutrition, disease, starvation


Karl Marx - Rheinland, son of a Jewish lawyer, converted to Christianity in 1824, moved. To Paris then London and buried there

Frederich Engels,


Marx thinks Silesian workers beginning to understand their identity as proletarians (working class that earns by labour alone)

England, end of Napoleonic era, Luddites, protests vary from pay rates, work regimes and patterns of payment anti new shearing gear, power looms, cheap female labour, plus high prices and food shortages and French like political radicalism

Bread expensive, poor 1812 harvest, grain artificially high due to corn law


Wave of protests in England, combination 1824, 1831', 1839

1824 parliament repeals the Combination Act that restricted union activity

1831 Merthyr Tydfil (iron) workers rise in revolt put down by military

1839 Newport Monmouth, Battle of the Westgate Hotel, Chartist miners v 45th Foot, twenty miners killed

1842 Chartism activities and protests over wage cuts, 'plug plots' against boilers


Lyon silk wavers revolt 1830, 45,000 employed in silk weaving industry, rise up in armed insurrection 1831 and 1834 (banner to live working or to die fighting)

Masters and journeyman weavers. Masters becoming more apart in their own cabarets (pubs). Merchants however blamed for low prices for woven silk and employing part-time cheaper rural weavers.

Marx - 'the soldiers of socialism', others - proud workers driven to desperation

Agricultural Workers - Still largest work force until First World War


Work Environments- industrialisation, but improvements in farming also

British merchant and naval and colonial success opens up markets for imperial growth

Industrially Britain fortunate in water power near cotton ports, coal and iron in country, railways emerge 1830s, industrial towns coal powered,

Enclosure begins to affect common land, landless labourers move to the cities

Emancipation moves across Europe and Russia 1771 a 1861


Work environments the tours/apprenticeship by artisans in Europe

France - workers association contacts at cabarets 'compagnonnage' negotiate rates with masters, find them work as the go through the country honing their skills and techniques

Germany - Das Wanderjahre

England - going on the tramp


Standards of living pessimists v optimists

Pessimists say - grim picture of work, unhealthy living, class slums 'hard times', mortality rates, unemployment, food and drink consumption

Optimists say - more regular employment, home market robust due to proper wages

Germany - unskilled workers drink Branntwein and schnapps for energy ergo alcoholism

Skilled workers did see improvements metal workers and engineers, unskilled proletariat urban and rural suffered real hardship


Harvests and costs of food important

Poor French harvest 1816 due to rain and snow

1846 Irish potato famine, farmers look for best corn price, rioters will pay but do not want grain moved out of their area, the rioting Cornish thinners paid for the corn they seized


Politics and workers - Chartists

Chartists - want annual parliaments, universal male suffrage, equal electoral districts, vote by ballot, abolition of of property qualifications for MPs, payment for MPs

Because - high taxes, starving and distressed workers, traders on the brink of bankruptcy after nearly a quarter a century of peace, why? - factions out for themselves, trousering

Chartists- working class, uniquely British, craft skills dominant,


Factory work

Society became 'aware that children and women suffered in factories' the concept of childhood destroyed 1840s Factory acts for children's protection the beginnings of 'The Regulatory State' attempting to prevent abuse by law and government inspectors

Problems as women work (cheaper)men are made jobless, increase in domestic violence and alcoholism, increase in divorce (Abrams 1996)

England- folkloric shaming or prosecution of males for assault, domestic murder increases



Mercantilism is economic nationalism for the purpose of building a wealthy and powerful state. Adam Smith coined the term “mercantile system” to describe the system of political economy that sought to enrich the country by restraining imports and encouraging exports. This system dominated Western European economic thought and policies from the sixteenth to the late eighteenth centuries. The goal of these policies was, supposedly, to achieve a “favorable” balance of trade that would bring gold and silver into the country and also to maintain domestic employment. In contrast to the agricultural system of the physiocrats or the laissez-faire of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the mercantile system served the interests of merchants and producers such as the British East India Company, whose activities were protected or encouraged by the state.