Labour History and the Labour Movement in Britain: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Labour History and the Labour Movement in Britain

1st Edition

By Sidney Pollard


336 pages

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Hardback: 9780860787938
pub: 1999-04-22
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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.


’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

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.

About the Author

Sidney Pollard was formerly at University of Bielefeld, Germany, and University of Sheffield, UK

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General