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An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England


[Illustration: New Sixteenth Century Manor House with Fields still
Open, Gidea Hall, Essex. Nichols: _Progresses of Queen Elizabeth_.]


AN INTRODUCTION TO THE INDUSTRIAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND

by

EDWARD P. CHEYNEY

Professor of European History in the University of Pennsylvania







New York
The MacMillan Company
London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd.
1916
All rights reserved
Copyright, 1901,
By The MacMillan Company.

Set up and electrotyped. Published April, 1901. Reprinted January,
October, 1905; November, 1906; October, 1907; July, 1908; February,
1909; January, 1910; April, December, 1910; January, August, December,
1911; July, 1912; January, 1913; February, August, 1914; January,
November, 1915; April, 1916.




PREFACE


This text-book is intended for college and high-school classes. Most
of the facts stated in it have become, through the researches and
publications of recent years, such commonplace knowledge that a
reference to authority in each case has not seemed necessary.
Statements on more doubtful points, and such personal opinions as I
have had occasion to express, although not supported by references,
are based on a somewhat careful study of the sources. To each chapter
is subjoined a bibliographical paragraph with the titles of the most
important secondary authorities. These works will furnish a fuller
account of the matters that have been treated in outline in this book,
indicate the original sources, and give opportunity and suggestions
for further study. An introductory chapter and a series of narrative
paragraphs prefixed to other chapters are given with the object of
correlating matters of economic and social history with other aspects
of the life of the nation.

My obligation and gratitude are due, as are those of all later
students, to the group of scholars who have within our own time laid
the foundations of the study of economic history, and whose names and
books will be found referred to in the bibliographical paragraphs.

EDWARD P. CHEYNEY.

University of Pennsylvania,
January, 1901.




CONTENTS


CHAPTER I

Growth Of The Nation To The Middle Of The
Fourteenth Century Page

1. The Geography of England................................. 1

2. Prehistoric Britain...................................... 4

3. Roman Britain............................................ 5

4. Early Saxon England...................................... 8

5. Danish and Late Saxon England........................... 12

6. The Period following the Norman Conquest................ 15

7. The Period of the Early Angevin Kings, 1154-1338........ 22


CHAPTER II

Rural Life and Organization

8. The Mediæval Village.................................... 31

9. The Vill as an Agricultural System...................... 33

10. Classes of People on the Manor.......................... 39

11. The Manor Courts........................................ 45

12. The Manor as an Estate of a Lord........................ 49

13. Bibliography............................................ 52


CHAPTER III

Town Life And Organization

14. The Town Government..................................... 57

15. The Gild Merchant....................................... 59

16. The Craft Gilds......................................... 64

17. Non-industrial Gilds.................................... 71

18. Bibliography............................................ 73


CHAPTER IV

Mediæval Trade And Commerce

19. Markets and Fairs....................................... 75

20. Trade Relations between Towns........................... 79

21. Foreign Trading Relations............................... 81

22. The Italian and Eastern Trade........................... 84

23. The Flanders Trade and the Staple....................... 87

24. The Hanse Trade......................................... 89

25. Foreigners settled in England........................... 90

26. Bibliography............................................ 94


CHAPTER V

The Black Death And The Peasants' Rebellion

_Economic Changes of the Later Fourteenth and Early Fifteenth
Centuries_

27. National Affairs from 1338 to 1461...................... 96

28. The Black Death and its Effects......................... 99

29. The Statutes of Laborers............................... 106

30. The Peasants' Rebellion of 1381........................ 111

31. Commutation of Services................................ 125

32. The Abandonment of Demesne Farming..................... 128

33. The Decay of Serfdom................................... 129

34. Changes in Town Life and Foreign Trade................. 133

35. Bibliography........................................... 134


CHAPTER VI

The Breaking Up Of The Mediæval System

_Economic Changes of the Later Fifteenth and the Sixteenth
Centuries_

36. National Affairs from 1461 to 1603..................... 136

37. Enclosures............................................. 141

38. Internal Divisions in the Craft Gilds.................. 147

39. Change of Location of Industries....................... 151

40. The Influence of the Government on the Gilds........... 154

41. General Causes and Evidences of the Decay of the Gilds. 159

42. The Growth of Native Commerce.......................... 161

43. The Merchants Adventurers.............................. 164

44. Government Encouragement of Commerce................... 167

45. The Currency........................................... 169

46. Interest............................................... 171

47. Paternal Government.................................... 173

48. Bibliography........................................... 176


CHAPTER VII

The Expansion Of England

_Economic Changes of the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth
Centuries_

49. National Affairs from 1603 to 1760..................... 177

50. The Extension of Agriculture........................... 183

51. The Domestic System of Manufactures.................... 185

52. Commerce under the Navigation Acts..................... 189

53. Finance................................................ 193

54. Bibliography........................................... 198


CHAPTER VIII

The Period Of The Industrial Revolution

_Economic Changes of the Later Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth
Centuries_

55. National Affairs from 1760 to 1830..................... 199

56. The Great Mechanical Inventions........................ 203

57. The Factory System..................................... 212

58. Iron, Coal, and Transportation......................... 214

59. The Revival of Enclosures.............................. 216

60. Decay of Domestic Manufacture.......................... 220

61. The _Laissez-faire_ Theory............................. 224

62. Cessation of Government Regulation..................... 228

63. Individualism.......................................... 232

64. Social Conditions at the Beginning of the Nineteenth
Century................................................ 235

65. Bibliography........................................... 239


CHAPTER IX

The Extension Of Government Control

_Factory Laws, the Modification of Land Ownership, Sanitary
Regulations, and New Public Services_

66. National Affairs from 1830 to 1900..................... 240

67. The Beginning of Factory Legislation................... 244

68. Arguments for and against Factory Legislation.......... 249

69. Factory Legislation to 1847............................ 254

70. The Extension of Factory Legislation................... 256

71. Employers' Liability Acts.............................. 260

72. Preservation of Remaining Open Lands................... 262

73. Allotments............................................. 267

74. Small Holdings......................................... 269

75. Government Sanitary Control............................ 271

76. Industries Carried on by Government.................... 273

77. Bibliography........................................... 276


CHAPTER X

The Extension Of Voluntary Association

_Trade Unions, Trusts, and Coöperation_

78. The Rise of Trade Unions............................... 277

79. Opposition of the Law and of Public Opinion. The
Combination Acts....................................... 279

80. Legalization and Popular Acceptance of Trade Unions.... 281

81. The Growth of Trade Unions............................. 288

82. Federation of Trade Unions............................. 289

83. Employers' Organizations............................... 293

84. Trusts and Trade Combinations.......................... 294

85. Coöperation in Distribution............................ 295

86. Coöperation in Production.............................. 300

87. Coöperation in Farming................................. 302

88. Coöperation in Credit.................................. 306

89. Profit Sharing......................................... 307

90. Socialism.............................................. 310

91. Bibliography........................................... 311




An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of
England




INDUSTRIAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND




CHAPTER I

GROWTH OF THE NATION

To The Middle Of The Fourteenth Century


*1. The Geography of England.* - The British Isles lie northwest of the
Continent of Europe. They are separated from it by the Channel and the
North Sea, at the narrowest only twenty miles wide, and at the
broadest not more than three hundred.

The greatest length of England from north to south is three hundred
and sixty-five miles, and its greatest breadth some two hundred and
eighty miles. Its area, with Wales, is 58,320 square miles, being
somewhat more than one-quarter the size of France or of Germany, just
one-half the size of Italy, and somewhat larger than either
Pennsylvania or New York.

The backbone of the island is near the western coast, and consists of
a body of hard granitic and volcanic rock rising into mountains of two
or three thousand feet in height. These do not form one continuous
chain but are in several detached groups. On the eastern flank of
these mountains and underlying all the rest of the island is a series
of stratified rocks. The harder portions of these strata still stand
up as long ridges, - the "wolds," "wealds," "moors," and "downs" of the
more eastern and south-eastern parts of England. The softer strata
have been worn away into great broad valleys, furnishing the central
and eastern plains or lowlands of the country.

The rivers of the south and of the far north run for the most part by
short and direct courses to the sea. The rivers of the midlands are
much longer and larger. As a result of the gradual sinking of the
island, in recent geological periods the sea has extended some
distance up the course of these rivers, making an almost unbroken
series of estuaries along the whole coast.

The climate of England is milder and more equable than is indicated by
the latitude, which is that of Labrador in the western hemisphere and
of Prussia and central Russia on the Continent of Europe. This is due
to the fact that the Gulf Stream flows around its southern and western
shores, bringing warmth and a superabundance of moisture from the
southern Atlantic.

These physical characteristics have been of immense influence on the
destinies of England. Her position was far on the outskirts of the
world as it was known to ancient and mediæval times, and England
played a correspondingly inconspicuous part during those periods. In
the habitable world as it has been known since the fifteenth century,
on the other hand, that position is a distinctly central one, open
alike to the eastern and the western hemisphere, to northern and
southern lands.

[Illustration: Physiographic Map of *England And Wales*. Engraved by
Bormay & Co., N.Y.]

Her situation of insularity and at the same time of proximity to the
Continent laid her open to frequent invasion in early times, but after
she secured a navy made her singularly safe from subjugation. It made
the development of many of her institutions tardy, yet at the same
time gave her the opportunity to borrow and assimilate what she would
from the customs of foreign nations. Her separation by water from
the Continent favored a distinct and continuous national life, while
her nearness to it allowed her to participate in all the more
important influences which affected the nations of central Europe.

Within the mountainous or elevated regions a variety of mineral
resources, especially iron, copper, lead, and tin, exist in great
abundance, and have been worked from the earliest ages. Potter's clay
and salt also exist, the former furnishing the basis of industry for
an extensive section of the midlands. By far the most important
mineral possession of England, however, is her coal. This exists in
the greatest abundance and in a number of sections of the north and
west of the country. Practically unknown in the Middle Ages, and only
slightly utilized in early modern times, within the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries her coal supply has come to be the principal
foundation of England's great manufacturing and commercial
development.

The lowlands, which make up far the larger part of the country, are
covered with soil which furnishes rich farming areas, though in many
places this soil is a heavy and impervious clay, expensive to drain
and cultivate. The hard ridges are covered with thin soil only. Many
of them therefore remained for a long time covered with forest, and
they are devoted even yet to grazing or to occasional cultivation
only.

The abundance of harbors and rivers, navigable at least to the small
vessels of the Middle Ages, has made a seafaring life natural to a
large number of the people, and commercial intercourse comparatively
easy with all parts of the country bordering on the coast or on these
rivers.

Thus, to sum up these geographical characteristics, the insular
situation of England, her location on the earth's surface, and the
variety of her material endowments gave her a tolerably well-balanced
if somewhat backward economic position during the Middle Ages, and
have enabled her since the fifteenth century to pass through a
continuous and rapid development, until she has obtained within the
nineteenth century, for the time at least, a distinct economic
precedency among the nations of the world.


*2. Prehistoric Britain.* - The materials from which to construct a
knowledge of the history of mankind before the time of written records
are few and unsatisfactory. They consist for the most part of the
remains of dwelling-places, fortifications, and roadways; of weapons,
implements, and ornaments lost or abandoned at the time; of burial
places and their contents; and of such physical characteristics of
later populations as have survived from an early period. Centuries of
human habitation of Britain passed away, leaving only such scanty
remains and the obscure and doubtful knowledge that can be drawn from
them. Through this period, however, successive races seem to have
invaded and settled the country, combining with their predecessors, or
living alongside of them, or in some cases, perhaps, exterminating
them.

When contemporary written records begin, just before the beginning of
the Christian era, one race, the Britons, was dominant, and into it
had merged to all appearances all others. The Britons were a Celtic
people related to the inhabitants of that part of the Continent of
Europe which lies nearest to Britain. They were divided into a dozen
or more separate tribes, each occupying a distinct part of the
country. They lived partly by the pasturing of sheep and cattle,
partly by a crude agriculture. They possessed most of the familiar
grains and domestic animals, and could weave and dye cloth, make
pottery, build boats, forge iron, and work other metals, including
tin. They had, however, no cities, no manufactures beyond the most
primitive, and but little foreign trade to connect them with the
Continent. At the head of each tribe was a reigning chieftain of
limited powers, surrounded by lesser chiefs. The tribes were in a
state of incessant warfare one with the other.


*3. Roman Britain.* - This condition of insular isolation and barbarism
was brought to a close in the year 55 B.C. by the invasion of the
Roman army. Julius Cæsar, the Roman general who was engaged in the
conquest and government of Gaul, or modern France, feared that the
Britons might bring aid to certain newly subjected and still restless
Gallic tribes. He therefore transported a body of troops across the
Channel and fought two campaigns against the tribes in the southeast
of Britain. His success in the second campaign was, however, not
followed up, and he retired without leaving any permanent garrison in
the country. The Britons were then left alone, so far as military
invasion was concerned, for almost a century, though in the meantime
trade with the adjacent parts of the Continent became more common, and
Roman influence showed itself in the manners and customs of the
people. In the year 44 A.D., just ninety years after Cæsar's
campaigns, the conquest of Britain was resumed by the Roman armies and
completed within the next thirty years. Britain now became an integral
part of the great, well-ordered, civilized, and wealthy Roman Empire.
During the greater part of that long period, Britain enjoyed profound
peace, internal and external trade were safe, and much of the culture
and refinement of Italy and Gaul must have made their way even to this
distant province. A part of the inhabitants adopted the Roman
language, dress, customs, and manner of life. Discharged veterans from
the Roman legions, wealthy civil officials and merchants, settled
permanently in Britain. Several bodies of turbulent tribesmen who had
been defeated on the German frontier were transported by the
government into Britain. The population must, therefore, have become
very mixed, containing representatives of most of the races which had
been conquered by the Roman armies. A permanent military force was
maintained in Britain with fortified stations along the eastern and
southern coast, on the Welsh frontier, and along a series of walls or
dikes running across the island from the Tyne to Solway Firth.
Excellent roads were constructed through the length and breadth of the
land for the use of this military body and to connect the scattered
stations. Along these highways population spread and the remains of
spacious villas still exist to attest the magnificence of the wealthy
provincials. The roads served also as channels of trade by which goods
could readily be carried from one part of the country to another.
Foreign as well as internal trade became extensive, although exports
were mostly of crude natural products, such as hides, skins, and furs,
cattle and sheep, grain, pig-iron, lead and tin, hunting-dogs and
slaves. The rapid development of towns and cities was a marked
characteristic of Roman Britain. Fifty-nine towns or cities of various
grades of self-government are named in the Roman survey, and many of
these must have been populous, wealthy, and active, judging from the
extensive ruins that remain, and the enormous number of Roman coins
that have since been found. Christianity was adopted here as in other
parts of the Roman Empire, though the extent of its influence is
unknown.

During the Roman occupation much waste land was reclaimed. Most of the
great valley regions and many of the hillsides had been originally
covered with dense forests, swamps spread along the rivers and
extended far inland from the coast; so that almost the only parts
capable of tillage were the high treeless plains, the hill tops, and
certain favored stretches of open country. The reduction of these
waste lands to human habitation has been an age-long task. It was
begun in prehistoric times, it has been carried further by each
successive race, and brought to final completion only within our own
century. A share in this work and the great roads were the most
permanent results of the Roman period of occupation and government.
Throughout the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era the
Roman administration and society in Britain were evidently
disintegrating. Several successive generals of the Roman troops
stationed in Britain rose in revolt with their soldiers, declared
their independence of Rome, or passed over to the Continent to enter
into a struggle for the control of the whole Empire. In 383 and 407
the military forces were suddenly depleted in this way and the
provincial government disorganized, while the central government of
the Empire was so weak that it was unable to reëstablish a firm
administration. During the same period barbarian invaders were making
frequent inroads into Britain. The Picts and Scots from modern
Scotland, Saxon pirates, and, later, ever increasing swarms of Angles,
Jutes, and Frisians from across the North Sea ravaged and ultimately
occupied parts of the borders and the coasts. The surviving records of
this period of disintegration and reorganization are so few that we
are left in all but total ignorance as to what actually occurred. For
more than two hundred years we can only guess at the course of events,
or infer it from its probable analogy to what we know was occurring in
the other parts of the Empire, or from the conditions we find to have
been in existence as knowledge of succeeding times becomes somewhat
more full. It seems evident that the government of the province of
Britain gradually went to pieces, and that that of the different
cities or districts followed. Internal dissensions and the lack of
military organization and training of the mass of the population
probably added to the difficulty of resisting marauding bands of
barbarian invaders. These invading bands became larger, and their
inroads more frequent and extended, until finally they abandoned their
home lands entirely and settled permanently in those districts in
which they had broken the resistance of the Roman-British natives.
Even while the Empire had been strong the heavy burden of taxation and
the severe pressure of administrative regulations had caused a decline
in wealth and population. Now disorder, incessant ravages of the
barbarians, isolation from other lands, probably famine and
pestilence, brought rapid decay to the prosperity and civilization of
the country. Cities lost their trade, wealth, and population, and many
of them ceased altogether for a time to exist. Britain was rapidly
sinking again into a land of barbarism.


*4. Early Saxon England.* - An increasing number of contemporary records
give a somewhat clearer view of the condition of England toward the
close of the sixth century. The old Roman organization and
civilization had disappeared entirely, and a new race, with a new
language, a different religion, another form of government, changed
institutions and customs, had taken its place. A number of petty
kingdoms had been formed during the fifth and early sixth centuries,


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Online LibraryEdward Potts CheyneyAn Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England → online text (page 1 of 23)