Master and Servant Law: Chartists, Trade Unions, Radical by Christopher Frank

By Christopher Frank

lately, social and felony historians have known as into query the measure to which the labour that fuelled and sustained industrialization in England used to be truly ’free’. The corpus of statutes referred to as grasp and servant legislations has been a focus of curiosity: in the course of the eighteenth and 19th centuries, on the behest of employers, mine proprietors, and brands, Parliament on a regular basis supplemented and up to date the provisions of those statutes with new laws which contained more and more harsh sanctions for staff who left paintings, played it poorly, or dedicated acts of misbehaviour. The statutes have been characterised via a double common of sanctions, which taken care of employees’ breach of agreement as a felony offence, yet provided in basic terms civil treatments for the damaged provides of employers. unusually little scholarship has appeared into resistance to the grasp and Servant legislation. This booklet examines the strategies, rhetoric and results of a sustained criminal and political crusade via English and Welsh alternate unions, Chartists, and some radical solicitors opposed to the penal sanctions of employment legislation through the mid-nineteenth century. via bringing jointly old narratives which are all too usually tested in isolation, Christopher Frank is ready to draw new conclusions concerning the improvement of the English felony procedure, exchange unionism and well known politics of the interval. the writer demonstrates how using imprisonment for breach of a labour agreement less than grasp and servant legislation, and its enforcement by means of neighborhood magistrates, performed an important position in shaping labour markets, disciplining staff and battling commercial motion in lots of areas of britain and Wales, and additional into the British Empire. by means of combining social and criminal historical past the ebook unearths the advanced courting among parliamentary laws, its interpretation by means of the excessive courts, and its enforcement by way of neighborhood officers. This paintings marks an enormous contribution to legal

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