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Thursday 19 September 2019 15.45 - 17.15
D-6 MIN04 Forms of Labour and Living conditions in mining communities
Nikolaevsky
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Network: Labour in Mining Chair: Jose Joaquin Garcia Gomez
Organizers: Leda Papastefanaki, Miguel Perez Perceval Verde, Francesca Sanna Discussant: Christos Efstathiou
David Baillargeon : Mining the Town: Race, Labor Migration, and Sanitation in British Southeast Asia, 1910-1930
This paper examines the history of mining in British Burma and British Malaya between 1910 and 1930. In particular, the paper reveals how major mining firms in both Burma and Malaya – specifically the Burma Corporation in Burma’s Northern Shan States and a number of tin mining firms in Malaya’s ... (Show more)
This paper examines the history of mining in British Burma and British Malaya between 1910 and 1930. In particular, the paper reveals how major mining firms in both Burma and Malaya – specifically the Burma Corporation in Burma’s Northern Shan States and a number of tin mining firms in Malaya’s Perak region - utilized a racially encoded program of labor recruitment during the early twentieth century, and how this forced these companies to improve living conditions in the environs of their mines. In order to attract racial groups thought to be more “suited” to industrial work – such as Nepalese workers at Bawdwin in Burma or Tamil workers at the Malayan mines – mining companies actively built hospitals, schools, and better sanitation at their mines, creating “company towns” in the tropics that were modeled after other major mining sites elsewhere in the British and Anglo world. I argue that, instead of arising out of philanthropic motives, the amelioration of working conditions at mining sites in British Southeast Asia occurred because of financial, cultural, and ideological reasons, not only impacting how mining sites developed in Southeast Asia but also how migration proceeded in each colony. The decision to recruit specific types of workers would not only have an immense impact on the demographics of both Burma and Malaya, it also ultimately led to increased tensions and violence within the mining industry in each colony. (Show less)

Gabriele Marcon : Immigrant labour in two 16th century Italian mining districts
Between 1470s and 1540s extractive operations of non-ferrous metals consistently increased in Europe. Particularly in Austria, Bohemia, Saxony and Slovakia this trend can be seen in the rise of the number of immigrant workforce integrated by many means into extractive activities. This led to the creation and development of urban ... (Show more)
Between 1470s and 1540s extractive operations of non-ferrous metals consistently increased in Europe. Particularly in Austria, Bohemia, Saxony and Slovakia this trend can be seen in the rise of the number of immigrant workforce integrated by many means into extractive activities. This led to the creation and development of urban agglomerations that could reach up to 20.000 inhabitants by the beginning of the 16th century (Brandstätter 2013). In this sense, historians have observed that the immigrant workforce was an important feature in the urbanization process of mining towns. Between 15th and 16th centuries a conspicuous number of German–speaking miners and metalworkers reached Italian mining districts located particularly in the Veneto and Tuscany. This presence became of fundamental importance in the development of extractive economies ushered in early modern Italian states. In the Venetian mainland, in the districts of Agordo (Belluno) and Torrebelvicino (Vicenza), todeschi or alemanni (Italian words used to address to German speakers) fulfilled key roles in extractive and metalworking operations (Vergani 1985). In Pietrasanta (Tuscany), the Duke Cosimo I de Medici (1519-1574) explicitly asked the supervision of experienced German smelters capable of both reorganizing the workforce in the mines and extracting silver from mined ores. The Duke’s requests resulted in hiring operations in Nurnberg led by Florentine merchants who brought two groups of German–speaking miners to Pietrasanta in 1540s (Morelli 1976).
The aim of this paper is to analyse and compare the role of immigrant labour in two 16th– century Italian mining districts. Previous research has considered the German–speaking presence almost exclusively from an economic point of view arguing that technical knowledge and labour organization was transferred from central European mines to peripheral ones. However, the social dynamics at play within the mining district are poorly understood. For example, to what extent did the prominent role that the German expertise fulfilled in the first stages of mining and metalworking operations influence living conditions and the social environment in mining towns? In addition, institutions played a decisive role in fostering immigration and regulating foreigners’ presence in mining towns. Considering the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Florence in the first half of the 16th century, how did these policies differ from each other and which actors were involved in the welcoming/rejection process? I will draw on multiple local archival resources in order to give a comparative overview of living conditions of immigrant labour in early modern Italian mining towns.
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Hayri Göksin Özkoray : Living conditions and workforce at the copper mines of Küre in Ottoman Kastamonu (16th-18th c.)
The Ottoman state based its approach to mine extraction on the economical value and the strategic
importance of ores and implemented policies of fiscal incitement in order to attract voluntary and
free taxpaying subjects of the sultan. Copper was a crucial metal (despite being a less noble one
than silver) for the Ottoman ... (Show more)
The Ottoman state based its approach to mine extraction on the economical value and the strategic
importance of ores and implemented policies of fiscal incitement in order to attract voluntary and
free taxpaying subjects of the sultan. Copper was a crucial metal (despite being a less noble one
than silver) for the Ottoman state who established its monopoly on its extraction for the fabrication
of artillery and other military equipment. Furthermore, the exportation and trade of copper was
prohibited throughout the empire, a prohibition that was enforced particularly on the ores of Küre in
the Kastamonu province in northern Anatolia.
In this communication, I will elaborate on the living conditions in and around the mining town of
Küre with special reference to the workforce and the mines’ way of operating. If the state managed
to attract free and salaried miners to Küre from the 15th century onwards, corrupt local officials
prevented the systematic implementation of fiscal exemption that these miners were promised to
benefit from. In addition, the state’s demand of a constant output was regularly interrupted by
numerous instances of earthquakes, floods, epidemics (notably of plague). Natural catastrophes and
poor hygiene that decimated the miners of Küre made the Ottoman state rely steadily on servile
labour. Our archival material shows that the imperial bureaucracy treated this issue as something
merely budgetary, but also that the state was not the sole owner of slaves that excavated in Küre:
private investors and contractors were also involved. Fugitive slaves reveal indirectly the complex
network of property relations in the Kastamonu province, because their owners are obligated to
make individual claims about their human property in fugue.
State archives (internal correspondence, account books, fiscal records) and contemporary chronicles
(such as those of Evliya Çelebi and Katib Çelebi in the 17th century) provide us with very specific
and precious data about the population of Küre that was involved in mining and the bureaucratic
and business world that revolved around this mining town. In this paper, my focus will be on the
material conditions of work, revenues of miners and the state, urban life in Küre and all the human
lives that were affected by copper extraction throughout three centuries. (Show less)

Bozidar Zarkovic : Mining Market-places – Representatives of the Urban Development of the Medieval Serbia
Urban development of the medieval Serbia began more considerably in the middle of the 13thcentury when the miners Saxons arrived. Their settlement in Serbia is still unambiguous, thus there is a dilemma whether they came after being invited by the King Uroš I (from the family Nemanji?) or they found ... (Show more)
Urban development of the medieval Serbia began more considerably in the middle of the 13thcentury when the miners Saxons arrived. Their settlement in Serbia is still unambiguous, thus there is a dilemma whether they came after being invited by the King Uroš I (from the family Nemanji?) or they found the sanctuary in Serbia after the Mongols penetration in 1241/1242. Due to their skills in ore exploitation, they were privileged by Serbian rulers who enabled them to live freely, profess their religion, have the legal immunity in mutual conflicts and have their own organization in the places they settled. The arrival of Saxons corresponds to mentioning of the first miners in Serbia. The number of mines soon rised, while the economy in Serbia was advanced. There was a significant rise during the rule of the King Milutin (1282-1321) which constantly progressed until the fall of Serbian countries under the Turkish authority in the middle of the 15th century.
After the arrival of Saxons in Serbia they collectively settled near the existing settlements and traces of the old mining industry. The ore was exploited in Serbia before and after the arrival of Saxons, but it was done by means of primitive methods. The contribution of Saxons was that they presented advanced methods of ore exploitation and that they directed mining industry toward precious metals. Intensive ore exploitation resulted in opening new mines and mine settlements, as well as in expanding the existing ones. That process required the inclusion of new workers who came from the local Serbian population. After some time, the term Saxon lost its ethnic meaning and referred to everyone who was included in the ore exploitation. In the same way, the settlements, where at the beginning mostly Saxons lived, and later also the miners of other nationalities, were called Saxon settlements. These settlments firstly differed from the neighbouring villages, but there are documents in which they are noted as Saxon towns, although they did not look like urban settlements of the Western Europe or Byzantium. This term stands for mining settlements which are known as towns since they differ from those in the surroundings. The difference in regard to the other settlements referred to the fact that they had a different administrative government and the direction of economy in comparison with the agrarian surroundings. These settlements experienced the fastest development in the medieaval Serbia. Beside miners of different specialities, more and more people of the other, accompanying professions, first of all craftsmen, but the workers of service and various subsidiary activities as well, settledtoo. They all lived by a rule of their trade, which should have been coordinated due to better functioning of the settlement. This paper considers the structure and functioning of the mining settlements, as well as their contribution to the urban development of the medieval Serbia.
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