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Title: Honourable men and degraded slaves : a social history of trade unionism in the Lanarkshire coalfield, 1775-1874, with particular reference to the Coatbridge and Larkhall districts
Author: Campbell, Alan B.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1976
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This thesis examines the development of trade unionism in the Lanarkshire coalfield in the century after the emancipation of the colliers from a state of serfdom. Part One provides an account of the colliers' combinations in the years up to the strikes of 1837. It is suggested that the inheritance of emancipation and the nature of the labour process in the mines produced a distinctive work culture, that of the independent collier. This was in some ways analogous to the values of the skilled artisans. The policies and tactics of the colliers' unions are analysed by reference to this culture. The increasingly powerful new iron companies figured prominently in the strikes of 1837. Part Two of the thesis considers the effects of the rapid expansion of the iron industry upon the working, social and cultural life of the Lanarkshire mining communities between the 1830s and the 1870s. In particular, the interacting effects of the ironmasters' industrial discipline and the growing number of Irish immigrants within the mining population upon trade unionism are examined by a detailed comparative study of two districts, Coatbridge and Larkhall. The weakness of unionism among the 'degraded slaves' in the former district was a result of the cumulative obstacles to organisation there. The labour force, fragmented by occupation, religion and ethnicity were confronted by a powerful industrial elite. Trade unionism among the 'honourablemen' of Larkhall was sustained by the longer survival of the Scots colliers' traditional culture in a more stable and homogeneous community. These two districts reflected the complex divisions within the coalfield as a whole. Part Three analyses the history of the Lanarkshire miners' unions between 1837 and 1874 within the context of these divisions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor