Land Reform and Working-Class Experience in Britain and the United States, 1800-1862

By Jamie L. Bronstein | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION
1.
"My Wants," by P.S.A., The Field, the Force and the Factory ( Ashtonunder-Lyne), vol. 2, no. 19, Oct. 20, 1849.
2.
The simultaneous land-reform movements have been mentioned in Kirk, Labour and Society, vol. 1; Zahler, Eastern Workingmen; Boston, British Chartists in America; Schlueter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery; and Wilentz, Chants Democratic.
3.
David Montgomery points out that the search for rural land was linked to rising urban rents and a housing shortage in American cities, and writes, "among working people, struggles over land, rent and housing--the physical domain of the reproduction of daily life--provided, as Powderly said, a keynote that did 'reach the human heart' every bit as powerfully as the more famous battles that arose directly out of working for wages." Citizen Worker, p. 114.
4.
The land-reform movements illustrate the way in which ideologies helped workers interpret different experiences in similar ways. On the role of language in the interpretation of experience, see Gray, Factory Question; Zonderman, Aspirations and Anxieties; Stedman Jones, "Rethinking Chartism"; Kirk, "In Defense of Class." But see also Scott, "On Language, Gender and Working Class History"; Epstein, "Constitutional Idiom."
5.
On the extent of producerism in Britain and America, see Hattam, Labor Visions, pp. 93-111. On the value of comparative studies of producerism, see Fredrickson, "From Exceptionalism to Variability."
6.
See Sellers, The Market Revolution; for an excellent corrective to some of the romanticism inherent in Sellers's narrative, see Stokes and Conway, eds., Market Revolution in America. A full bibliography of recent works on the emergence of capitalism in the United States appears in Gilje, "Rise of Capitalism in the Early Republic."
7.
Claeys, "Example of America a Warning to England?"
8.
For harsh judgments of the British land-reform movements as impractical distractions from unionism, see Burchill and Ross, History of the Potters' Union, p. 84. Burchill and Ross followed the judgments of two earlier writers on the emigration society; see Warburton, History of Trade Union Organization, and Owen, Staffordshire Potter. Malcolm Chase has discussed the generally negative representation of the Chartist Land Company

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