English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Diverse Paths to Factory Production, 1780s-1840s: the Woollen Cloth Industry in the West Riding of Yorkshire and in the West of the Rhineland (Prussian Rhineprovince) Alfred Reckendrees

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Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Diverse Paths to Factory Production, 1780s-1840s: the Woollen Cloth Industry in the West Riding of Yorkshire and in the West of the Rhineland (Prussian Rhineprovince)
Author
  • Alfred Reckendrees
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • This paper compares the industrial development of the two leading British and German woollen cloth regions in the late 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. It focuses on the implementation of the industrial capitalism’s paradigmatic new system of production, the factory system. At the stage of the “Industrial Revolution” the West Riding of Yorkshire and the west of the Rhineland (Prussian Rhine-Province; an industrial district marked by the cities of Aix-la-Chapelle, Düren, Montjoie, and Eupen) had become the predominant industrial woollen cloth regions of their countries. The West Riding was much larger than its German counterpart and its figures of production were, of course, much higher. Both regions pioneered however the mechanisation of the national cloth industries – considered that there was no German nation-state before 1871. The industrialists of the West Riding introduced spinning and carding machinery about 25 years earlier than the clothiers in the west of the Rhineland. However, about 1830 the scope of the typical factory had become comparable. The industry of the British region was much larger than the cloth industry of the Rhenish region, but the Rhenish factories acquired a comparable range of mechanical production and achieved even a higher degree of vertical integration. Large Rhenish clothiers producing in centralised factories increasingly exploited power machines that operated nearly all kinds of textile machines, nevertheless the looms were still operated by hand. The weavers were mostly centralised into factory workshops, but there was still a remarkable domestic production. Yet this domestic production as well as the artisan production was affiliated to the factory system. As a result of the rapid improvements in the west of the Rhineland, the two regional industries competed seriously on the cloth markets of the world. The implementation of the factory system in the two regions followed different lines that are analysed in this paper. The differences are explained by the structure of the respective traditional system of cloth production and by different types of products, the similarities are explained by production costs and changing market conditions.
  • Rhineland, Prussian Rhineprovince, West Riding, Yorkshire, Woollen Cloth Industry
  • RePEc:wso:wpaper:01-2006
Language
  • English
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