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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES

SCHOOL OF LAW




AN INTRODUCTION

TO THE

INDUSTRIAL HISTORY
OF ENGLAND



BY



ABBOTT PAYSON USHER, PH.D.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS
HARVARD UNIVERSITY




HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO DALLAS SAN FRANCISCO

tKjefctberfitbe $ress Cambridge



COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY ABBOTT PAYSON USHER



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



T



CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.



TO THE MEMORY

OF
MY BROTHER

ALBERT MORSE USHER, 107th U.S. INFANTRY

WOUNDED, OCTOBER 17, 1918

IN THE BATTLES FOR THE HINDENBURG LINE

DIED AT CAMIERS, OCTOBER 28, 1918



734173



PREFACE

THE present volume has been planned and written with a
view to the needs of college classes beginning work in eco-
nomic history. For this reason matters have been included
that do not lie strictly within the field of industrial history,
notably the chapters dealing with agrarian questions. These
problems could hardly be deemed essential to the under-
standing of the development of industry hi the literal sense,
but such material is ordinarily included in the introductory
courses in economic history even if the course is described as
" industrial history." This slight inconsistency in nomen-
clature tends to create some confusion between the scope of
the term "industrial history" and "economic history" in
general. It is not, of course, serious, but it is perhaps better
that these terms should be used with some care hi the titles
of books. Strictly speaking, industrial history is of no more
than coordinate importance with agrarian history and com-
mercial history, though the problems of these phases of
economic history are relatively more difficult and ill-suited
to the capacities of an elementary class. The emphasis
currently laid upon industrial history is thus thoroughly
justified upon pedagogical grounds, but it would be un-
fortunate to allow the expediency of this course to obscure
the just proportions between the different phases of the
general field.

The space devoted to the first three chapters may seem
disproportionate to some, but it is believed that the text of
the chapters will sufficiently explain their place in the book.
If it should be desired to confine attention more exclusively
to England, it would not be necessary for a class to read the
first two chapters, though the characterization of the forms
of industrial organization (pp. 4-17) should in that case be
presented by the teacher. It is believed that these chapters
will prove particularly useful in courses given with especial
reference to work in sociology and economics as distinct



vi PREFACE

from purely descriptive history. The slight departure from
the narrowly nationalistic point of view that usually dom-
inates the writing of economic history makes the present
volume a comprehensive survey of the general problems of
industrial history.

The references for reading hi connection with the text
represent personal experience with classes, and it is believed
that no books are recommended for use with classes that are
not within the compass of ordinary students. An attempt
has been made to suggest reading along the line of all the
varied interests presented by the subject, so that each stu-
dent may have opportunity to give expression to his per-
sonal tastes. It is hoped that the critical references will be
especially useful to graduate students: pains have been
taken to make the lists sufficiently inclusive to bring the
student hi touch with all the critical studies of primary im-
portance, and, as most of the works contain bibliographies,
it would not be difficult to get in touch with the literature on
each subject.

In addition to the obligations to writers which are ac-
knowledged hi the text or in the notes, the author is greatly
indebted to his colleagues at Cornell University, most espe-
cially to Professor A. A. Young, without whose encourage-
ment and advice this book would not have been written.
Professor W. F. Willcox, Professor C. H. Hull, and Mr. R. A.
Campbell have given me the benefit of their advice on many
points which involved some departure from conventional
views. I wish also to express my obligations to Professor
E. F. Gay, whose teaching was instrumental in the formula-
tion of the problems that have since then claimed my best
attention. While it is not my intention to imply that he is
in any way responsible for views expressed hi the present
volume, my work has been a direct outcome of the stim-
ulus of his teaching. I am also indebted to Miss Louise L.
Lamphier for stenographic assistance in the preparation of
the manuscript of several chapters.

ABBOTT PAYSON USHER

Cornell University

September 5, 1919



CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
FORMS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION

I. Socialists and industrial history: Concentration of attention on the
forms of industrial organization The socialistic characterization
of typical forms: household industry, craft industry, the factory
system Criticism of the interpretation of the history of antiquity
by historians 1

II. Typical forms of industrial organization! Undiversified household
industry distinguished by the absence of specialized skill Prob-
ably a more primitive form than is usually assumed Artificiality
of the classification of industry in the patriarchal household with
slaves as " household " industry Craft industry distinguished by
specialized skill, its presence indicated most clearly by the exist-
ence of distinguishable crafts in a given locality Wage-work
and craft- work not distinct stages in evolution Disintegration
of the process of manufacture by the development of crafts The
"putting-out system" a means of integration Various terms used
to describe this form of organization The essence of the system
lay in the ownership of materials by capitalists: in early forms, raw
materials only; in later forms, all the instruments of production
Work was done in the home subject to no supervision The fac-
tory distinguished by disciplined coordination Concentration of
operatives was a means to this end rather than an end in itself
The factory, as a form, antedates the Industrial Revolution Ad-
ministrative definitions of "factories" have been artificial Diffi-
culty of classifying the "sweat-shop" 3

III. Commerce and industry: The degree of industrial specialization is
determined by the extent of the market The market is subject to
social as well as to territorial limitations; social limitations especially
important in the early period Industrial specialization concerned
in large measure with the wants of the wealthy The Industrial
Revolution resulted in the breaking-down of the social limitations of
the market and the standardization of both production and con-
sumption The expansion of the market in the earlier periods was
primarily territorial; best indicated by the growth of geographical
knowledge ..18

CHAPTER II
THE RISE OF THE CRAFTS IN ANTIQUITY

I. The dawn of history not to be identified with the beginnings of social
organization: early life dominated by the city The beginnings of



viii CONTENTS

industrial history not coincident with the first stages of any schematic
or logical arrangement of forms of industrial organization The city
life of antiquity: its social elements; the mass of urban population
Distinctive features of city life in the middle ages and in modern
times Similarities in industrial organization in antiquity and the
middle ages 24

II. Egypt: Ambiguity of pictorial evidence A list of crafts from the
Twelfth Dynasty Other indications of the number of crafts
Status of artisans 30

III. Mesopotamia: Economic conditions in the early period References
to artisans in the Code of Hammurabi The temples as business
houses Difficulty of classifying their industrial operations Ap-
prenticeship and craft organization Distinctions necessary be-
tween forms of organization and the scale of industrial life . . 34

IV. Greece: Various interpretations of the economic development of the
Greeks in the semi-historic period Commerce usually the basis
of highly specialized industry Leaf's conception of the Trojan
War Correlation of the view with the industrial history of Greece

Economic mechanism not a measure of artistic accomplishment

Comparison of economic conditions in antiquity with eighteenth-
century Prussia The degree of industrial specialization in the
sixth century B.C. Rapid growth hi the fifth and fourth centuries

The "factory system" Socialistic interpretations Slavery in
antiquity 38

V. Rome and Constantinople: Roman collegia The list of crafts
Crafts at Constantinople Evidences of craft gilds .... 47



CHAPTER III
CRAFTS AND CRAFT GILDS IN MEDIEVAL FRANCE

I. Roman influences hi Gaul Probable degree of survivals in the
' organization of industry Basic crafts persisted Conditions on
the great estates, the "gyneceum" Lists of the craftsmen gathered
around monastic establishments: Saint Riquier, in the ninth century;
Saint Vincent at Le Mans, in the eleventh century Difficulties of
classifying industrial aggregations of partially unfree artisans . . 52

II. The rise of the "Third Estate": its importance hi social and eco-
nomic history The prosperity of France indicated by the growth of
population: estimates for Paris, 1292 and 1328; France in 1328 Na-
ture of the evidence of industrial specialization Three groups of
crafts: merchandizing crafts; crafts occupied with purely local con-
cerns; crafts concerned with export industry List of crafts at Paris
late in the eleventh century Numbers hi the different occupational
groups at Paris in 1292 and 1300 Classification of crafts according
to the numbers of craftsmen registered on the tax-rolls The dis-



CONTENTS ix

integration of industry Relations between producers and con-
sumers: not happily described as direct contact Necessity of rec-
ognizing the social stratification of the market Beginnings of
capitalistic control of the industrial process Wage-earners, but no
wage-earning class Crafts whose members were regularly em-
ployed by other crafts 57

HI. Members of the specialized industrial household Apprentices and
apprenticeship Journeymen and masters Conditions of becom-
ing a master in the early period The free craft: a purely sponta-
neous growth The sworn craft or gild, a privileged body created
by authority The transition from the free craft to the gild at Paris
The wardens of the gild Essentially administrative functions
of the gilds at Paris Special conditions affecting the growth of
crafts closely associated with the Royal Household History of the
carpenters Craft statutes as evidence The more usual regula-
tions Early Parisian regulations of apprenticeship Position of
the journeyman Ease of becoming a master The master-piece
not required in the early period Inspection of goods and processes
of production 72

CHAPTER IV
THE POPULATION OF ENGLAND: 1086-1700

I. Early estimates of population based upon numbers of families, or
property-holders Uncertainty as to the proportion of the total
population to those enumerated Omissions Importance of as-
certaining the general movement of population Estimates for Eng-
land and for France One hundred persons per square mile probably
normal density of population for Europe prior to the Industrial Rev-
olution England relatively under-populated Relativity of the
conception of normal density: influence of rice culture in India, of the
Industrial Revolution in Europe 87

II. Estimates of Seebohm and Gasquet for the population of England
prior to the Black Death The subsidy rolls Figures for five coun-
ties compared with the figures for 1377 Changes in the relative den-
sity of population The westward movement Its significance . 92

III. Size of villages in Derby and Essex in 1086 Population of towns
in 1377 Essentially rural population indicated by the evidence
from the Subsidy Rolls The growth of London 102

CHAPTER V
VILLAGE AND MANOR

I. Persistence of superficial aspects of village life Aristocracy and
the village Primitive land tenures an expression of economic
needs . 109



x CONTENTS

II. Scattered farms and villages: Modes of settlement: scattered farms;
the enclosed village; the open-field village Field arrangements of
a typical open-field village Methods of agriculture Divisions of
the fields into strips Village organization Racial explanations
of these three modes of settlement Economic interpretations sug-
gested by Siberian conditions The economic factors underlying
a transition from individual farms to the open-field village Com-
plexity of conditions in Europe before and during the great migra-
tions 112

HI. The common people and the magnates: Aristocracy ultimately the
predominant force in medieval rural organization Relation of a
landed aristocracy to the village Possibility of a survival of the
rural organization of the Roman period Factors in the natural
growth of an aristocracy Influence of the Norman Conquest
Proportions of the different classes as shown by Domesday Book
The manor as an administrative and legal conception Divergent
types revealed by the Domesday Survey 120

IV. The organization of the manor hi the thirteenth and fourteenth cen-
turies: The general aspect of a manor Week works and boon days

Services rendered by crofters The officers of the manor Vil-
lage officials Destruction of the economic independence of the
manor by the development of local markets Stages in this proc-
ess 127

V. The end of villeinage in England: The influence of commutation of
labor'services upon tenure Complexity of motives underlying com-
mutation Chronology of the movement The new yeomanry of
England 131

CHAPTER VI
THE TRADERS AND THE TOWNS

I. Schmoller's conception of the "town economy" An unduly lit-
eral interpretation of the sources Formalism and legal fictions
Enfranchisement of trade by means of special privileges Medieval
trade territorially extensive but of relatively small volume Its
needs not inadequately met by the complex legal status of trade and
traders . ..-:'.' 134

II. Fairs and the Law Merchant: Fairs and markets Some fairs es-
pecially important for wholesale and for foreign trade European
cycles of f airs Possible fair cycle in England Essential and an-
cillary business at the fairs Tariffs, tolls, and " free trade " En-
franchisement conferred by the charters was legal rather than fiscal

Pie-powder courts: their procedure and the Law Merchant
Special franchises of continental merchants in England .... 137

III. Associations of merchants: Organization of resident alien merchants

Origins of the Teutonic Hanse Activities of the Hansards



CONTENTS a

The Steelyard Privileges of the Hanse TheCarta Mercatoria
Purveyance, or prise Struggle to maintain the privileges granted
by the Carta Mercatoria Decline of the Hansards Merchants
of the Staple Purpose of the Staple Its location Origin of the
company Control of the trade in wool Rise of the Merchant
Adventurers The cloth trade Struggle with the Hansards . . 146

IV. Township and borough: Distinction between the legal and the eco-
nomic aspects of urban life Differentiation between urban and
rural life Military factors in the growth of boroughs Adminis-
trative factors Economic and legal developments in the thirteenth
century Significance of the late emergence of incorporated towns
in connection with Schmoller's theory The Gild Merchant Po-
litical decentralization and cosmopolitanism ...... 158

CHAPTER VII
THE DEVELOPMENT OF GILDS IN ENGLAND

I. The word "gild" Three types of gild French terminology
Brentano's theory Probably no fraternal element in the craft gild,
no direct connection with the modern trade union 165

II. Religious gilds: References to religious gilds at an early date; little
information until 1389 Functions and membership of religious
gilds Officers, rules, and customs 168

III. The Gild Merchant: Religious elements in the'gild merchant Re-
lations with the crafts; craft gilds Gild merchant and municipal-
ity Essential privileges Non-resident membership The shar-
ing of purchases Officers and meetings 171

IV. The Craft gilds : Religious gilds composed of members of a single craft

Crafts chartered by the King Crafts deriving their authority
from the municipality Crafts at Norwich in 1415 .... 176

V. Relation of different types of gild to each other: The gild merchant
most powerful when the other types were relatively less prominent

Religious gilds developed contemporaneously with other craft
organizations Confusion of functions and aims Associations of
crafts for ceremonial observances Occupational statistics Pre-
dominance of small crafts Craft gilds probably a less conspicuous
feature of social life than religious gilds 181

VI. The religious gilds and the crown : The gilds and the Statute of Mort-
main Acquisition of charters from the King The grant to the
Tailors of Salisbury Confiscation of gild property in 1547 Not
directly a cause of the decline of the craft gilds Wage-earners and
employers Companies formed by the employing classes . . . 187

VII. The Statute of Apprentices: Purposes of the statute Distinctions
between the various crafts Obligation to follow some calling
The wage-fixing clauses , . 191



xii CONTENTS

CHAPTER VIII
THE WOOLEN INDUSTRIES: 1450-1750

I. Development of technique in the woolen industry Types of wool
and of woolen fabrics Fundamental processes of the woolen and
worsted industries Characteristic features of woolens and worsteds
Growth of the worsted industry in England 195

II. The division of labor in the woolen industry Growth of specializa-
tion of tasks Subordination of dyeing and f ulling Proportions of
workers in the worsted industry Acquisition of capitalistic control
by the mercantile class Spinning not a specialized occupation in
the modern sense Relation of industry to agriculture . . . 201

[ill. Geography of the woolen industries Effect of the diffusion of in-
dustry upon the towns The Weaver's Act Anti-capitalistic pur-
pose of the statute Importance of the exemptions Changes in
the industries after 1550 209

[IV. The scale of manufacture: 1395-96 The putting-out system at
Colchester The larger and the smaller masters Importance of the
putting-out system about 1450 Descriptions of the system in the
late sixteenth century Divergent forms Persistence of these
conditions until the early nineteenth century Sporadic tendencies
toward the factory system 215



L The meaning of "enclosure" Its effect upon agricultural methods

The Midland system Change in the characteristic size of farms

Social consequences of the change Sequence of these changes
Continuity of the enclosure movement Uncertainty of purpose in
the early stages 225

II. Enclosure of waste Legal problems involved in enclosure of the
open fields Rights of common pasture Enclosure by agree-
ment The duty of a steward Early enclosures partial Crea-
tion of precedents for enclosure by act of Parliament Theory of
the Enclosure Acts Dangers to small proprietors Lord Thur-
low's criticism of Parliamentary procedure Essential difficulties in
determining questions of right and title The problem of common
pastures Social consequences of enclosing them Protests at the
close of the eighteenth century 232

HI. Early attempts to correct the mistakes of the Enclosure Acts
Allotments and small holdings Experiments of landowners with
allotments Early legislation The Act of 1882 Need of com-
pulsion The Act of 1887 The small-holdings movement
Peasant proprietorship Defects of the Act of 1892 The Act of
1907 . 240



CONTENTS riii

1

CHAPTER X
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Origin of the phrase "Industrial Revolution" Social importance
of the period compared with other transition periods Early con-
sciousness of the social transformation among English writers Diffi-
culty of characterizing the movement Identification of the move-
ment with the great inventions an error Toynbee's emphasis upon
the rise of the laissez-faire policy Socialistic emphasis upon capital-
ism and the rise of the factory system Inadequacy of any single
formula Relative independence of the causative factors underly-
ing the changes in the textile and in the metal trades Genesis of
the new cotton industry The fuel problem and the metal trades
Probable rank of various industrial groups in 1700 Effect of the
Industrial Revolution upon the rank of different groups . . . 247

Statistics of industrial groupings : England in 1851 ; Prussia in 1855;
British India in 1901 These figures probably indicative of condi-
tions that had long prevailed Statistics for the early twentieth cen-
tury reveal the full influence of the Industrial Revolution Change
in the relative importance in industry and agriculture Tables for
British India in 1901; France in 1866; the German Empire in 1895
and 1907; France, in 1901 and 1906; England and Wales hi 1811,
1821, 1891, and 1901 Primary factors in industrial location in the
old and in the new order Humidity and cotton spuming Min-
eral deposits Problems of commercial availability Influence of
the Industrial Revolution upon population Gregory King's fore-
cast, 1693 Actual growth of population in England . . . 257

Chronology of the Industrial Revolution: Stages in the develop-
ment of inventions Significance to the individual inventor of the
technical equipment of society Invention in the larger sense a
social accomplishment 271

CHAPTER XI
THE EAST INDIA COMPANY AND THE VESTED INTERESTS

The English and Dutch Companies for trade with the East Indies
The novelty of Indian cottons Development of the trade
Limitation of the expansion of English trade in the Spice Islands
Establishments on the continent of India Distress in the woolen
and silk industries Agitation for protection The Act of 1696-97,
to prohibit the wearing of East Indian goods Contrast between
the French and English policies of protection Relation of the com-
mercial issue to party politics in England The East India Com-
pany the focus of discussions of commercial policy throughout the
seventeenth century Thomas Mun's defense of the Company
The place of the balance-of -trade doctrine in the controversy Ne-



xiv CONTENTS

gotiations of 1713 with France Complexity of the political issue
The Calico Act of 1721 Exceptions made in favor of the existing
cotton industry Discrepancy between the expectations of the
woolen manufacturers and the results of the protective legisla-
tion 276

CHAPTER XII
THE NEW COTTON INDUSTRY

I. The relation of invention to the rise of the cotton industry The
process of spinning Carding machines Continuous and inter-
mittent processes of spinning The throstle, its limitations Grades
of yarn Wyatt's claims as an inventor Probable relations be-
tween Wyatt and Paul Paul's spinning patent of 1758 Com-
mercial ventures of Wyatt and Paul Generality of interest in the
problem of mechanical spinning Arkwright's early career Work
on the spinning machine The patent suits The jenny Cromp-
ton's mule; its accomplishments, immediately and ultimately; its in-
fluence upon the industry Development of the power-loom . . 287

II. The expansion of the cotton industry: Statistics of consumption of
raw cotton Values of merchandise exported Values of goods
consumed at home and of exports compared with similar statistics
of woolens and linens Relative importance of the different branches
of the textile manufacture The influence of the spinning inven-
tions upon the costs of yarn, 1779-1882 Comparison of labor costs
of mule spinning with labor costs in India 302

CHAPTER XIII
THE REORGANIZATION OF THE METAL TRADES

I. A new fuel and a new furnace : The change of fuel not an adequate in-
dex of the character of the transformation of the metal trades Sub-
stitution of the indirect for the direct process Malleable iron, cast
iron, steel Persistence of the direct process due to mechanical
limitations Unsatisfactory results of the direct process Types
of furnace Transformation of the high bloomery furnace into the
modern blast furnace Dudley's experiments The Darbys at
Colebrookdale Perfection of a coke-burning furnace Need of
blast Smeaton's blast pump 314

II. James Watt and the steam engine: The Newcomen engine Watt's
training and profession Scientific study of heat and the Newcomen
engine His inspiration Change in the character of the engine
as result of Watt's condensing chamber Mechanical difficulties en-
countered in building engines Causes of these difficulties Im-
portance of the development of the lathe The slide rest . . 324

III. The metallurgical problems of the iron industry: Difficulty of elimi-



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