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Title: Nineteenth-century trade union sponsored migration to and from North America, c.1850-1885, with special reference to the activities of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, a selection of other 'new model' trade unions, emigration schemes and return migration
Author: Murray, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 1611
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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The thesis examines labourers’ assisted migration to and from North America during 1850-1885, the dates of societies’ emigration schemes. The dissertation focuses on ‘New Model’ unions: the Engineers, Carpenters, Steam Engine Makers and Iron Founders. Three of these unions had overseas branches; one did not. The dissertation explores the significance of the introduction, development, use and eventual termination of these schemes for labour history. Emigration scheme research is limited, with little recent work published since 1955. The dissertation offers solutions to conflicting views on the exact duration of the Founders’ scheme and supplies evidence that the Engineers continued to fund members even after their scheme officially ended. Furthermore, it argues that scheme-termination was led more by external factors (notably via Contract Labor Acts) than internal factors, and that the duration of the Founders’ scheme related more to overseas branch absence than to fund shortage or ethos. Additionally, the view is challenged that schemes purely supported labour supply regulation and/or escape avenues for agitators and black listed unionists. Unions had different motives, different periods defined those motives, and executives operated in members’ best interests. The research provides new and supporting evidence of inter-society and government emigration co-operation. It focuses on the under-studied topic of return migration, specifically union-funded return, with empirical evidence provided of union funded and non-funded emigrants and returnees. It adopts a range of socio-economic variables. Finally, adding to scant knowledge of internal migration or emigration alternatives, empirical evidence is provided of preemigration and post-return movement of unionists. Correspondence, particularly between overseas branches and union executives, is used throughout. Finally, a major component involves a project at Fall River, which explores the extent that emigrants’ descendants have assimilated in probably the most important receiving area for nineteenth-century skilled Lancastrian workmen.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor