Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

All days
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Wednesday 12 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
G-1 LAB09 Labour, Capital, and Class: Comparative Perspectives from the Atlantic Fringe, 19th and 20th Centuries
B24
Network: Labour Chair: Stephan Curtis
Organizer: Stewart Lawrence Discussant: Stephan Curtis
Moderators: -
Michael Kirkpatrick : The Abolition of Forced Labour in Nineteenth Century Guatemala
As countless scholars over the past couple of centuries have stressed, an essential feature of capitalism is free labour, in which labourers are obliged to work for wages by market mechanisms (the need of cash for the necessities of life) rather than being compelled to work by extra-economic means, i.e. ... (Show more)
As countless scholars over the past couple of centuries have stressed, an essential feature of capitalism is free labour, in which labourers are obliged to work for wages by market mechanisms (the need of cash for the necessities of life) rather than being compelled to work by extra-economic means, i.e. forcefully coerced. In Guatemala, the shift away from forced labour was convoluted and took place over several decades until it was eradicated in 1920. Proponents of forced labour in the 19 th century argued that it was a necessary evil to coerce Guatemala’s largest Indigenous group, the Maya, to provide labour for the export economy. A dominant form of forced labour was mandamientos, whereby Maya communities were compelled to meet labour quotas for large-scale coffee estates during the harvest. In the mandamiento system, coffee planters submitted labour requests to regional governors who then requisitioned labour from
municipal officials in Indigenous communities, employing militias and the military as guarantors. In 1893, the government abolished mandamientos in what contemporaries hailed as a victory for liberal values; however, in 1897 a crisis crippled the coffee economy and mandamientos were unofficially reintroduced that year. While the state never officially acknowledged the resumption of forced labour, regional governors once again fulfilled the
labour requests of coffee planters.

This paper will investigate the reasons for the abolition and reintroduction of mandamientos in Guatemala by taking into consideration the motivations of key decision makers and planters, while observing how race operated in postcolonial contexts amidst an economic crisis. In examining the politics of forced labour during a tumultuous period of social change, the transition to capitalism in one locale of the Global South will be better comprehended. (Show less)

Kurt Korneski : Class, Place, and Diplomacy in the Gulf of St. Lawrence Fisheries, 1815-54.
Historians have long tuned to nineteenth century debates and controversies over the fisheries of the northwest Atlantic. Some historians have provided important insights into the complexities of formal treaty negotiations and diplomatic maneuvering between the British government, colonial officials, rival imperial powers, and a diverse selection of fishers and merchants. ... (Show more)
Historians have long tuned to nineteenth century debates and controversies over the fisheries of the northwest Atlantic. Some historians have provided important insights into the complexities of formal treaty negotiations and diplomatic maneuvering between the British government, colonial officials, rival imperial powers, and a diverse selection of fishers and merchants. Others have examined aspects of the social and cultural history of coastal communities, with particular attention to exploitation, resistance, and struggle central to merchant capitalist relations. Building from recent scholarship on the transnational/global history of capitalism, this paper casts the realm of formal politics and high diplomacy and the history of social life, struggle, and resistance as intertwined and mutually structuring. It is particularly attentive to how place and class distinctions within the Maritime colonies and Newfoundland shaped, and at times led to the subversion of, programs of bordering and administering the spaces and resources of the Gulf region. (Show less)

Stewart Lawrence : “It Was Their El Dorado”: the Stratification of Stockholm’s Working Class and Drinking as a Form of Resistance at the End of the Nineteenth Century
Stockholm’s urban working class transformed with the capital’s economic development in the latter half of the nineteenth century and as Stockholm became Sweden’s centre of engineering, more workers joined the upper echelons of the city’s working-class elite, or labour aristocracy. This upper stratum began to display common cultural tendencies such ... (Show more)
Stockholm’s urban working class transformed with the capital’s economic development in the latter half of the nineteenth century and as Stockholm became Sweden’s centre of engineering, more workers joined the upper echelons of the city’s working-class elite, or labour aristocracy. This upper stratum began to display common cultural tendencies such as temperance while the lower strata practiced drinking on and off the job as a form of popular resistance to their employers and those above them in the social order. This paper employs Hobsbawm’s method for distinguishing a labour aristocracy among a working-class population to discuss intraclass differences in the standard of living and the stratification of culture at the end of the nineteenth century in Sweden’s capital. After discussing the differences between the higher and lower echelons of the working class, the paper uses interrogation minutes (förhörsprotokoller) which captured men and women accused of vagrancy to discuss commonalities which defined the experience of the Stockholm’s poorer population including the tactics they used to resist their authoritarian employers and the police as they cobbled together a living. The purpose of this paper is to explore the growing cultural and economic divide before the labour union movement began in Sweden in the twentieth century and the establishment of a social welfare state which radically changed the lives of many of Stockholm’s citizens. (Show less)

Lachlan MacKinnon : Industrial Policy in Transnational Perspective: the Development Ethos in Deindustrializing Nova Scotia, 1956-1963
Between 1956 and 1963, provincial governments across Canada experimented with various strategies of “regional economic development.” In Nova Scotia, this coincided with the emergence of structural crises in the traditional steel and coal industries. After 1956, the Progressive Conservative government of Robert Stanfield enacted a concerted programme of industrial and ... (Show more)
Between 1956 and 1963, provincial governments across Canada experimented with various strategies of “regional economic development.” In Nova Scotia, this coincided with the emergence of structural crises in the traditional steel and coal industries. After 1956, the Progressive Conservative government of Robert Stanfield enacted a concerted programme of industrial and economic development based around several strategies being enacted contemporaneously in Europe. Stanfield’s vision for industrial development in Nova Scotia emerged as the proposed collaboration of capital, the state, and the provincial labour movement. Although many of the key policy aspects of this programme matched the traditional demands of the labour-left, including some aspects of voluntary planning and industrial nationalizations, these were instead implemented in technocratic fashion through the direct participation of regional capitalists.

In this presentation, Stanfield’s programme of economic development in Nova Scotia is positioned within a trans-Atlantic framework of initiatives spanning from the Swedish industrial relations model to French voluntary economic planning and industrial estates developments in the United Kingdom. Through correspondence and in-person visits, planners from each country exchanged ideas and notions about the role of the state in national and regional economies. Interrogating such exchanges will broaden our historical understanding of the trans-national nature of development planning – especially in relation to deindustrializing areas experiencing systemic decline – and the influence of these efforts on working-class communities and their organizations. (Show less)



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