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MUNICIPAL ELECTION.

BURNING FATALITY AT LLANELLY.

:BOARD OF GUARDIANS I -

ALLEGED BREACH OF THE LICENSING…

THE HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE

TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.I

RAILWAY PLATFORM.

SANITARY COMMITTEE

HIGH W AY COMMITTEE •»I

I IN AID OF MR. BEN JENKINS.

PORTREEVE OF LAUGHARNE.I

LEAVING THE OLD COUNTRY.I

THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE COUNCIL.

WELSH CONGREGATIONAL COLLEGES.

A DANGEROUS PRACTICE. I

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION,…

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THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLU- TION, AND AFTER. I A SHORT STUDY OF ENGLAND'S INDUS- TRIAL CAREER. ARTICLE 1. I propose in these papers taking a short view of the greatest industrial career ever known to history. Many of us know England's commerce to be of great magnificence, and of comparatively recent growth WB know that by it we were able to keep ourselves fr, being subjected to the con- quering tyrant, Bounaparte we know that it has been the envy of nations that its usages have been the pattern of all succeeding it; but we do not knew very clearly what was before it and how it arose. We do not see that it has done its work and that a different sysem is already gaining vogue. To take cognizance of these things, and to state them in their just proportion, is the writer's purpose. The industrial revolution, as that change ia England's industrial system which broke up her cottage industries and introduced the era of collective industry, has been well called, took place about 140 years ago. To understand the signific- ance of this great event it is necessary to get a good idea of the condition of the country and its indus- tries over some time preceding it. To give the event its proper perspective I shall travel very quickiy over a rather long distance. Up to the Elizabethan em, Holland had been the great commercial nation of the world, with England coming second, or less still, in importance. Hampered by the fear of Spain, she had made very little effort at, gaining an industrial supremacy. Eventually, however, EngJishmeu of the Eliza- bethan era cast off their fear of Spain, entered into rivalry with Holland, and finally made England the supreme commercial power of the world. The history of the 17th and 18th centuries, is a continuous record of their struggles to attain this object. Cromwell carried on a war with Spain to get the West Indies. He also fought the Dutch. Later we had to struggle for India, and later still we fought France and eventually became possessed of the whole of the French possessions in America. These wars have an important bearing on England's industrial history. They were made to carry off her surplus production. Her chief articles of manufacture were woollen goods, iron goods, pottery she had also coal, iron and tin mining industries. There was a vast difference, however, in the methods of organization of industry in those days, as compared with the methods which now Obtain. The machinery was, to our modern ideas, paltry, and certainly not very efficient. The total production per head was small. The mines were very primitive, the approaches being made not by shafts, but by adits in the side of a convenient hill. Unaided manual labour was the rule; machinery of any sort was an exception. There were very few capitalists as we now know them. As a rule the industries were carried on by small capitalists who were also manual labourers. The defects of this system is seen in the fact that England actually i had to depend on other countries for her coal and salt&c. Existing analogy to the old domestic system is to be found in the case of the now nearly obsolete boot and shoe maker, who is not only able to make a boot throughout, but does it. These, however, are only to be found scattered here and there in towns, and sometimes in country villages. Tailors, again, with a number of regular customers who cut as well as make up materials and who employ no hands, save perhaps, an apprentice or so, bear a slight analogy to the old domestic system. But what of the labourer before the industrial revolution ? How was he faring ? It, is necessary to answer these questions, if we would gain a right understanding of the effects of the changes on the condition of the labourer. As I have said, before the coming of the capitalists, the domestic system held sway. The factoiysystem was not the direct outcome of the use of modern capitalism. There was an intermediate stage, during which the capitalists simply employed workmen in their own homes to work the materials served out to them and to return the finished goods, then receiving wages. This system was the product of its time, as were both the systems which preceded it. Under the early domestic system, pure ..and simple, the labourer's position was by no means a degraded one. In the rural districts, which were much more densely populated than the urban districts—as is shewn in tables I and 2, the labourer was nearly independent of any employer. He had, as a rule, a plot of land attached to his cottage large enough to grow the vegetable food for his family for a good length of time. Besides this advantage there were large common lands to which he in company with his fellow villagers, had free access. Here he kept and bred his stock, and here he oftentimes found his animal food free for the killing. His wages were about two-thirds of those of the urban skilled artizan, but the advantages he possessed over the artizan, were undoubtedly important enough to make up for the relative difference in their wages. The artizan was in no wise the factory drudge he now is, in many places. I do not think that we have improved the position of the artizan at all, relatively to his importance. If the agricultural labourer's position has retrograded, the position of the artizan had not advanced until within a very recent date, and the position of the un- skilled labourer has only about kept place with the agricultural labourer's position. Let me be well understood in this matter. I don't mean to say that the labourer of to-day has not more of the luxuries and necessaries of life now, than he possessed 150 years ago. He undoubtedly has But in relation to the labour-saving machinery introduced during that peiiod, his position has not advanced an iota. He has less opportunity of rising from his position as a labourer, into a higher social position now than ever. At the time I speak of, it was very often possible. Now it is rarely so, and is becoming less so than ever. With the aid of his bit of land he was relatively independent now he is alsolutely dependent on thecapitalist classfor "the right to live"—outside the workhonse. In the 15th century, according to Professor Tho rold Rogers, the English artizan was in a better position than he had been at any time since legislation, com- menced even so far back as Henry VIII, and carried on until 1825, made him a veritable slave. Wages were periodically fixed by law, and at so low an amount as to make living an impossiblity if the employer was not of more heart than the law. But the small-capitalist-artizan was exempt from these vexations. He employed himself and was, in a way dependent solely on himself for his living. His industry and natural acuteness usually determined what his earnings would be. Soon, however, this self-dependence was to be taken from him. The rise of the factory system was the signal for his almost total extinction; while he did exist, however, he was not badly situated. He had his guild, which jealously guarded for Lim his interests. His labour and skill were always to be depended upon, for had he not served a full seven years apprenticeship? His social worth was just as well guaranteed, for he must have been the son of a freeman, else he could not be apprenticed. With all his faults, only one class to-day can compare with him for fearlessness and truth, for intelligence and skill, and that is the better class Trade Union artizan of to-day-and he has his strict limitations. GEORGE H. WOOD. POPOULATION OF ENGLAND IN 1870. Paupers. 500,000 Military and oiffcial 500,000 Professional. 200,000 Manufacturing 3,000,000 Commercial 70J,000 Agriculture 3,600,000 ————— 8,500,000 INCOMES OF THE VARIOUS CLASSES, £ Paupers, &c. 500,000 Interest on Capital 5,000,000 Milit,afy -,tt)d offi3ial 5,000,000 Professional. 5,000,000 Commercial. 10,000,000 Manufacturing 27,000,000 Agricultural 66,000,000 X119,500,000

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