Socio-Economic History

Vol. 63, No. 4

Toshihiko IWAMA
The urban elite in Leeds during the Industrial Revolution, 1780-1820: from notables to middle class

Although the development of the British middle class from early modern times to the nineteenth century has been much studied, not enough is known about its transformation during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The object of this paper is to examine the change from domination by the notables to domination by the middle class in Leeds, a northern industrial and commercial town.

In eighteenth-century Leeds, the urban elite, who controlled the Leeds Corporation and monopolised the post of Justice of the Peace, maintained the structure of social control in local areas through paternalism. In this paper this structure is called 'domination by the notables'.

Through social and economic change in Leeds from the end of the eighteenth century, the urban elite merchants and manufacturers with a laissez-faire spirit, and professionals who valued respectability were at the centre of a middle class economic relationship. After 1810, the domination by notables started to change as a result of both conflicts among sects and parties, and opposition to paternalistic policies which occurred in the Improvement Commission, the vestry and the workhouse. In response, the urban elite began to support an equilibrium between the old policy of paternalism and laissez-faire.

From the 1820s, the urban elite began to form middle class social relationships, including shared experiences and consciousness in a top-down manner, through activities in voluntary societies. The urban elite who had been dominated by the notables underwent a change and started to rebuild the structure of social control, based on these new middle class social relationships. Domination by the middle class appeared as an alternative to paternalistic domination by the notables.

Power-looms and the factory system: the relation between production systems and technology choice in the silk textile industry in Kiryu in the 1910s

Recent studies have clarified some special features regarding the introduction of power-looms, especially in pre-war Japan. One of the more important findings was the close relationship between particular production systems and technologies, for example the factory system and power-looms and the putting-out system and hand-looms.

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the above relationship in the silk textile industry on the basis of the hypothesis that the factors leading to the introduction of power-looms are independent from those leading to the introduction of the factory system. Kiryu is one of the oldest silk textile industry districts in Japan. In the early Meiji period (1870s-80s) it showed a positive response to the introduction of new foreign technology, such as the batten and the Jacquard machine, and helped to spread them to other areas. But Kiryu was slower than other areas in introducing power- looms. The putting-out system was widely adopted in Kiryu and had a long history. It has been assumed that this acted as an obstacle to the introduction of power-looms.

In the 1910s, there were four types of factory in Kiryu: factories with power-looms only, factories with hand-looms only, those with both, and those with none, which were often called orimoto (clothiers). Neither the production systems nor the technology dramatically changed in Kiryu in the 1910s; however, some factories began to introduce power-looms.

There were some reasons that promoted the adoption of the factory system. OJT (on-the-job-training), which played a role in maintaining the quality of goods, was an important reason in Kiryu in the 1910s. As past studies point out, institutional, technological and market factors were other reasons that promoted the introduction of power-looms there. While both electrification and the establishment of domestic and local power-loom suppliers were very important, it appears that the change in raw material from raw silk to rayon in the 1920s was the decisive factor in accelerating mechanization. The fact that hand-loom factories have often been categorized as "manufacture" has been a controversial issue among historians. But we must recognize the significance of their role in controlling workers and turning them into a skilled labor force.

The overland trade route between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea during the golden era of the German Hansa: Lubeck - Oldesloe - Hamburg

In the sixteenth century, the Sound Waterway became the prime trade route connecting the Baltic Sea and the North Sea; before that however, an overland route between Lubeck and Hamburg served as the main link between the two Seas. This overland route included a river route connecting Lubeck and Oldesloe, a small city situated between the two Hansa cities. It has been said that it was this overland route that sustained the east-west trade of the Hanseatic League before the sixteenth century. The purpose of this article is to outline the scale and structure of the trade carried out over this route.

An analysis of the Lubeck Customs (Pfundzoll) Register of 1368 shows that Oldesloe was its main trading partner both for exports and imports, the volume far exceeding trade with major Baltic cities such as Danzig, Riga, or Stockholm. Imports via Oldesloe came mainly from the North Sea and cloth was easily the major item. Lubeck's exports to Oldesloe consisted chiefly of goods such as butter, wax, herring, copper and flax, all of which were important items in the Hanseatic trade area. Most of these goods were transported by skippers of small boats who plied back and forth between Lubeck and Oldesloe.

From an analysis of the Pfundzoll Register of 1368, we can confirm that the overland route connecting Lubeck and Hamburg via Oldesloe transported many, if not most, of the goods traded between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Before the sixteenth century, this route played an essential role in linking the two Seas, in terms of both the volume, and the contents, of trade.

Compulsory contributions and urban control in Tianjin in the late Qing period (1858-1911)

It has often been pointed out that levies of many kinds of compulsory contribution began in the era of the New Policy of the late Qing period. Most scholars have concluded that such contributions were collected in order to raise funds for the New Policy and pay the indemnities to the foreign countries. On the other hand, some scholars think that the imposition of these contributions signified a fiscal shift from taxes on agricultural surpluses to taxes on commercial profits. But if these interpretations are correct, why were contributions also imposed on the lower classes in urban society, who had little ability to pay?

This paper tries to answer this question by inquiring into several categories of urban resident in Tianjin: stall keepers, rickshaws pullers, and prostitutes. They paid compulsory contributions in order to gain permission to engage in their particular trades, which were regarded as a cause of disorder and crime in urban society. Meanwhile, by levying contributions, the police were able to keep a watch on these people and to preserve social order.

The compulsory contributions imposed on ordinary houses and shops can be understood in the same way. To pay contributions was to gain the sanction of the police. This was a way of constructing social order in the absence of any concept of the freedom of residence or business. In the late Qing period, people poured into the open port cities in search of work and the influx of population upset the balance of urban society. Social control by levying compulsory contributions was introduced to deal this situation.