Scottish handloom weavers, 1830-1850: Politics, economics, and identity

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Scott, John Jesse
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the political and economic history of Scotland's handloom weavers, during the years between 1830 and 1850. These years represent a period of severe economic distress for the weaving population, and the impact of this distress---as well as its political and cultural consequences---are studied in detail. Following a discussion of major historiographical trends, the thesis takes on two major themes. In the first section (Chapter Two), the specific economic situation facing Scotland's handloom weavers is investigated, with specific emphasis given to the variety of experiences within the workforce. The second section of this thesis provides a detailed assessment of the handloom weavers' contributions to major political campaigns during the 1830s and 1840s. Chapter Three investigates the petitioning efforts of the Scottish handloom weavers during the 1830s, while Chapter Four concludes the political discussion by analyzing the contributions of Scotland's handloom weavers to Chartism from 1838-1850.

Scotland, handloom weavers, politics, economics, identity