It is often said that children have always been working. With the onset of the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century, however, children became to be exploited under miserable circumstances in factories. That was the beginning of the movement against child labour. A worldwide awareness campaign has brought international organizations and governments to the position that child labour should urgently be replaced by child education. The objectives seem simple and laudable but the issues involved are very complex. What actually is child labour, and what is childhood? How many child labourers are there in the world? Is child labour restricted to developing countries or is it frequently used in order to stigmatize the non-Western world? Is regulation of labour conditions the solution or should governments and civil society one opt for a radical ban? Is there a role for corporate social responsibility? These questions have been addressed in the professorial address on Child Labour Studies. It is argued that much more research is needed and that particular care should be taken to learn from children on how they view the world and what they think of work, labour and education.
Not only the Jews but Dutch society at large was caught up in a cultural maelstrom between 1880 and 1940. In failing to form a separate pillar in a period when various population groups were doing just that, the Jews were certainly unlike contemporary Catholics or Protestants. In fact, the Jews were not trying to gain entrance in a pre-existing culture but were involved with non-Jews in constructing a new culture. The complexity of Dutch Jewish history once again becomes evident if not new.
Lard, Lice and Longevity reconstructs economic policies implemented in Denmark and the Netherlands during the German occupation. It clearly shows that the experiences of both these countries during World War I, and during the 1930s equipped them to introduce extensive and intrusive economic controls to ward off a subsistence crisis.
In spite of the strong similarities between the two countries in terms of policies and economic order, there remains a glaring difference between the two. Throughout the occupation years, the Netherlands suffered a markedly higher level of child mortality than before or after the war, caused by an upsurge of infectious diseases. Child health in Denmark, on the other hand, declined during the occupation years, and infectious diseases rose only marginally there. In spite of similar policies, hence, the outcome in terms of the biological standard of living was dissimilar.
By closely investigating the impact of various policies on everyday life, and the amounts of goods available to different groups of consumers, this study identifies the causes of this remarkable divergence.
This is a collection of soundings into various aspects of the history of maritime labor from the close of the Middle Ages to the present. The spatial emphasis of the essays is north European and Atlantic since they deal with the countries around the North Sea and Baltic with some coverage of North America. The phrase work at sea naturally makes one think of merchant seafaring and its ancillary trades but, again, several authors in this book deal with navies and naval personnel as important constituents of the seagoing workforce. Indeed, from time to time the authors leave the sea behind in order to examine broader issues such as labor markets, the regulation and institutions of seafaring, and industrial relations on the waterfront. But at all points there is a common theme of sea-related labor, and a common objective of better understanding what have often been perceived as difficult and elusive groups of people. Marcus Rediker was surely correct in a recent essay to stress the challenge of producing more inclusive maritime historical research: We need to get back to basics, to careful empirical reconstructions of the lifeways of peoples long rendered silent in the writing of history.
This study describes and analyses a wide array of initiatives leading to the hunt, by Dutch whalemen, of whales and seals in Arctic waters, the temperate zones of the South Pacific and the waters of the Dutch East Indies during the major part of the nineteenth century (1815-1885) an era neglected so far.
Historical processes are the result of the behavior of countless individual actors. In this book, therefore, the authors compare the demography of the Taiwanese town Lugang and the Dutch town Nijmegen using data on the lifes of thousands of their inhabitants. The period covered is approximately 1850 to 1945. First, the standard demographic rates on nuptiality, fertility and mortality are calculated to test the Malthusian predictions on a so called ‘positive’ and a ‘preventive’ demographic regime. Next, the authors try to disentangle the individual rationality behind aggregated measures in order to find out how the inhabitants of the two towns used the one life they had. Unaware of each others existence, the people living in Nijmegen and Lu-kang had more in common than one would expect given the huge cultural differences.
Two cities, one life is the third volume in the series Life at the Extremes: The Demography of Europe and China, edited by Chuang Ying-chang (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), Theo Engelen (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands), and Arthur P. Wolf (Stanford University, U.S.A.).