1st Edition

Labor Before the Industrial Revolution Work, Technology and their Ecologies in an Age of Early Capitalism

Edited By Thomas Max Safley Copyright 2019
    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    One cannot conceive of capitalism without labor. Yet many of the current debates about economic development leading to industrialization fail to directly engage with labor at all. This collection of essays strives to correct this oversight and to reintroduce labor into the great debates about capitalist development and economic growth before the Industrial Revolution. By attending to the effects of specific regulatory, technological, social and physical environments on producers and production in a set of specific industries, these essays use an “ecological” approach that demonstrates how productivity, knowledge and regime changed between 1400 and 1800.

    This book will be of interest to researchers in history, especially labor history, and European economic development.

    1. Introduction by Thomas Max Safley & Leonard N. Rosenband 2. Practice and Vision: The Depiction of Paper-making in 18th-Century Encyclopedias by Leonard N. Rosenband 3. Fashion, Capitalism and Ribbon-Making in Early Modern Europe by Andrea Caracausi 4. The Commodity Form ofl Labor: Discursive and Cultural Transitions to Capitalism(s) and Labor in the Low Countries’ Ceramic Industries (1500-1900) by Jelle Versieren & Bert de Munck 5. Quality Disputes among the London Leather Trades in the 18th Century by Philippe Minard 6. Harvest Work and Labor Market Regulation in Old Regime Northern France by Thijs Lambrecht 7. “Quand le bâtiment va, tout va.” The Building Trade in the Latine West in the Middle Ages by Sandrine Victor 8. On Land and at Sea: Maritime Work and Maritime Workers in Medieval Catalonia by Roser Salicrú i Lluch 9. Glass-making and Glass-makers from the 16th to the 18th Century by Corine Maitte 10. Mercury Mining and Miners: The Transition from Boutique Metal to Strategic Commodity in the 16th Century by Thomas Max Safley 11. Labour and the Alternative Economy in Britain, 1660 to 1842 by William J. Ashworth


    Thomas Max Safley is Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.