«Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades des Fachbereichs Wirtschaftswissenschaften der Johann-Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am ...»
trial labor force. Additionally, young people in particular moved wherever they could find work which caused them to be independent much earlier. Not restrained by tradition, they were able to marry earlier even without having accumulated savings as prerequisite for starting a family.853 The appearance of manufactures had made people increasingly mobile, but the cities were not yet prepared sufficiently for to the inrush of the crowds. Living conditions were due to lack of accommodation devastating. The urban population was not only faced with entirely different living conditions, but also with the risk of unemployment. This became more likely due to economic crisis which as a consequence made keeping a household more difficult and thus additionally destabilized family connections. Moreover, the demands of the labor market with the necessity to change jobs often made it hard for an individual to keep his ties to his family active.854 As a consequence, the head of the household lost his main function, to protect and to organize the work within the family household. In the course of that process, he also lost his power over family members who were not bound to the strict hierarchy anymore.855 Simultaneously, the status of the housewife was upgraded making her an increasingly equal part of domestic leadership.
Goode, 1970, p. 13.
Egner, 1985, p. 140f.
Weber - Kellermann, 1983, p. 162f. and 190.
Kaschuba and Gall, 1990, p. 86.
Wehler, 1987, p. 254ff. and Kaschuba and Gall, 1990, p. 86.
ty for the care for their family, for work, and for organizing all other matters of daily life.
Women benefited by becoming relatively independent, giving birth earlier and faster due to better medical conditions which also gave them more control and freedom over their body and their lives. Some authors argue that due to a lack of living space as mentioned above, more and more women worked to escape the misery of their apartments.859 Also, the street became a place of communication and living for adults and children alike.860 Wages in general were very low. One income was often not enough to guarantee the subsistence of a family. This forced women and even children to work – the children often from the age of six or eight. Children were also needed in the factory to fill the gaps the vanishing apprentices left. Their low wages made them an unproblematic hire, thus for them and also for women work was often easier to find. Also, both children and women were not used to negotiating their salary and not in the position to demand better payment and working conditions. Although children often had nearly as long working days as adults, the low wages forced them to work even longer hours so they could contribute to the livelihood of their families.861 Women were increasingly preferred as employees because ―their labor is cheaper, and they are more easily induced to undergo severe bodily fatigue than men, either from the praise-worthy motive of gaining additional support for their families, or from the folly of satisfying a love of dress‖.862 Hence, because of the work opportunities of the adult male being limited, he lost his status as chief breadwinner.
Child work also meant that the father had no chance to teach his children his own trade.863 The possibility to send children into factories where they could add to the family income was an additional incentive for agricultural workers to move into the industrial centers.864 Although working hours were not much longer than those on the farm, the work in the factories was much harder due to the dirty conditions, heat and ear-deafening noise. The simple, reduced tasks of working processes involved only monotonous routines at machines and thus were tiresome. People faced the constant risk of injury, health hazards and early invalidity connected with old-age poverty. This, together with the lack of sleep, made the workers aged at the relative early age of forty.865 To run a factory efficiently, a work discipline had to be established that was unfamiliar to the former farmers. Workers were required to work constantly and regularly to make the Collier, 1964, p. 53 and Weber - Kellermann, 1983, p. 188.
Wehler, 1987, p. 254f. and Kaschuba and Gall, 1990, p. 26.
Weber - Kellermann, 1983, p. 163 and 166.
Pinchbeck, 1985, p. 190.
Smelser, 1972, p. 188.
Smelser, 1972, p. 203.
Bergier, 1976, p. 283 and Wehler, 1987, p. 248f.
machines profitable. Even talking and walking around, let alone being drunk, which was not uncommon in that time, were not allowed. People were also not used to having up to several hundred co-workers, the impersonal and abstract organization of work was alien to them. The first generation of workers reacted hostile to those conditions and did not like the long shifts with their rigorous controls. To discipline the workers, company owners punished them with money penalties or physical chastisements, especially in the case of children.866 The regularity of working times meant that the starting and ending of a shift including the short breaks were exactly scheduled. Some entrepreneurs even confiscated watches from the worker so they would not notice when the clocks inside the factory were manipulated. It also meant that the notion of leisure time clearly separated from working hours was created.867 The repercussions were especially hard for the menial staff of the traditional rural household, because in an urban surrounding they were not needed anymore. They formed the main body of the propertyless labor force, the proletarians. Mostly, they had not learned a trade and thus were only hired as day-laborers who were at the low end of the working class, the ‗lumpenproletariat‘. Besides working in factories, in particular the maids often also worked as servants in bourgeois households. In contrast to their former involvement in a traditional household, domestic service was organized as wage earning relation to secure the independence of the individual worker from the householder. This freed the individual from any personal relationships to his employer. Hence, like everything else, also service became a commodity, like any other to be traded on a market. For the menial staff increasing independence was linked to the loss of the protection within the traditional household.868 All in all, the family as such became economically dependent. The father lost part of his authority, traditional values such as professional identity, striving for independence, pride in the exercise and quality of one‘s own work got lost.869 The education of the children, the subsistence of the family and the future in general became insecure and were questioned in the course of the industrial revolution. The only thing that mattered was monetary gain.870 Due to the small use of precautious saving and because of lacking opportunities for leading a proper household due to the cramped living conditions, people spend and consumed all their earning to ease the hardship of their daily working life. As was already said before, Fulcher, 2004, p. 14f. and Kaschuba and Gall, 1990, p. 20f.
Wehler, 1987, p. 249f and Fulcher, 2004, p. 16.
Weber - Kellermann, 1983, p. 126 and Wehler, 1987, p. 253f.
Smelser, 1972, p. 210f. and Polanyi, 1944, p. 74.
See Egner, 1985, p. 142-151 and p. 153-160.
many people spend most of their free time on the streets and in bars to substitute for a missing home, constituting a ―half-open family structure‖.871 Thus, the family as reference point was also missing in the leisure time, particularly for servants and former journeymen without any own family. Time after work had to be spend in new ways, which was mostly accommodated by the newly created infrastructure of restaurants, pubs and bowling alleys, but also gymnastic clubs and choirs. A whole new worker culture evolved.872 Those institutions, the friendly society in particular, had besides recreational functions also the task to save or withhold a part of the worker‘s income for inelastic expenditures such as funerals, sickness or old age. It served thus as savings bank and insurance company.873 In conclusion, Capitalism was able to produce more goods that could be afforded and consumed even by workers but at the same time it did not cause a better and more equal distribution of those commodities within society. Only a small fraction of the population gained of industrialization. The bigger part had to face the destruction of their traditions, habits and familiar surroundings. This further loss in social harmony between the classes later on resulted in uprisings, riots and in the end even revolutions in the 19th and 20th century. This demonstrates once more the character of Capitalism for conflict and constant struggle as Weber and also Sombart described it.
5.2.3. New institutions as precondition for economic development The emergence of Capitalism marked the end of an epoch where ‗nature-given‘ inequalities between humans were transferred into a system depending on one‘s social status. The social class an individual belonged to was no longer determined by birth but by the individual‘s performance in society. Social positions were defined by new hierarchies between worker and entrepreneur, therefore between propertied and propertyless class. Until the industrial revolution, life was relatively simple and clearly arranged, taking place mainly in small villages and shaped by the obligations of the feudal system. The main concern of the peasants was the maintenance of the status quo for families over generations, although of course regional differences in the details of daily life existed, sometimes already accompanied by proto-industrial structures.874 Wehler, 1987, p. 253.
Kaschuba and Gall, 1990, p. 16 and 22f.
Smelser, 1972, p. 181f.
Kaschuba and Gall, 1990, p. 5 and 14f.
This static system was disrupted in the 19th century by economic, technological, scientific, demographic, social and cultural developments leading to migration into the cities and ushering in the end of the pre-capitalistic era. The most obvious effect of the new institutional system was thus a process of proletarization, which together with the pauperization of the rural population and the emergence of wage labor relations in a market economy lead to the destruction of the traditional character of the settled population. They were transformed into a new type of individual, ―migratory, lacking in self-respect and discipline – crude, callous beings‖ 875 of whom on the lower end of society the laborer and at its upper end the capitalist were an example.876 Depending on the skill and the specific sector workers were employed in, they could be better off financially by working in a factory than by working in agriculture. Even then, Capitalism caused the destruction of the workers‘ social environment, e.g. their neighborhood and their standing in the community and thus of all social and cultural relationships they were formerly embedded in. Even more than the economic exploitation which already from feudal times was known, this was the main cause of the worker‘s degradation. The economic process merely contributes to the destruction of the cultural environment because ―the goals for which individuals will work are culturally determined‖.877 The disappearance of the traditional institutions, the individualization and the atomistic dislocation of the human being from its ‗natural being‘ of the pre-modern society of the past caused the loss of self-respect and standards.878 Capitalism separated labor from the household and thus made it a commodity to be traded on a market with its conditions negotiated by contracts. Contracts can be interpreted as a means of freedom, contrasting to the non-contractual institutions of kinship, neighborhood and religion. These forms of social environment claim the allegiance of individuals, restraining their freedom, e.g. within the traditional household. To destroy those relations permanently, the spontaneous reinvention of traditional institutions had to be prevented. It was feared that not to do so would harm the economic development of the country.879 The experience of riots and revolutions such as in England during the 18th century and also the memory on the French Revolution made entrepreneurs take precautions to prevent the organization of the workers. Especially the first generation of laborers despised the factory where they felt degraded and tortured. To prevent the association of workers with each Polanyi, 1944, p. 128.
Weber - Kellermann, 1988, p. 389.
Polanyi, 1944, p. 129 and 156ff.
Köster and Plumpe, 2007, p. 8.
Polanyi, 1944, p. 163.