The anatomy of a changing consciousness: the miners of Northumberland, 1898-1914

Hall, Valeri Gordon
June 2001
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Summer2001, Vol. 66 Issue 2, p165
Academic Journal
The article analyzes the political consciousness of the Northumberland, England miners before World War I. Industrial relations in mining in Northumberland in the last two decades of the nineteenth century were characterised by relative peace. Important elements in this relative peace included strong organisation on both sides. The owners had been united in the Northumberland Coal Owners Association since the 1870s and the miners had been united in the Northumberland Miners Mutual Confident Association from 1864 and also the owners' willingness by the late nineteenth century to engage in collective bargaining. In Northumberland, as in Durham, additional mechanisms existed for dealing with points of conflict. Miners and coal owners had long had a system of allocating workplaces, a point of considerable conflict in other districts. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Northumberland miners were firmly ensconced in the Lib/Lab alliance, an arrangement based upon the notion of balancing the interests of capital and labour.


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