To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This text is the author’s reply to reactions to “Managing Communist Enterprises” from three colleagues, Lee Vinsel, Natalya Vinokurova, and Pál Germuska. It includes reflections on his work process in researching capitalist and noncapitalist firms and sectors and the practical and theoretical bases for that work. In the course of replying to particular suggestions and critiques, the rejoinder also offers some considerations about the current and future course of business history as a discipline.
Business history for three generations has focused almost exclusively on capitalist firms, their managers, and their relations with markets, states, and rivals. However, enterprises on all scales also operated within communist nations “building socialism” in the wake of World War II. This article represents a first-phase exploration of business practices in three Central European states as Stalinism gave way to cycles of reform and retrenchment in the 1960s. Focusing chiefly on industrial initiatives, the study asks: How did socialist enterprises work and change across the first postwar generation, given their distinctive principles and political/economic contexts, and implicitly, what contrasts with capitalist activities are worth considering.
Unlike several of my colleagues whose retrospective essays are included in this special section, I did not have a personal relationship with Alfred DuPont Chandler, though during the 1980s he did invite me to present a discussion of my first book Proprietary Capitalism at his Harvard business history seminar. I also met Dr. Chandler frequently at Business History Conference meetings, where I found him ever-gracious, indifferent to criticism, and supportive of diverse projects whether allied with or tangential to his own. Thus here I offer some reflections on our discipline and its current situation, taking Chandler's publications as a point of departure.
The Southern Historical Association's 1998 conference was held November 12–14 in Birmingham, Alabama. Consistent with long-established patterns, the conference featured panels chiefly focused on colonial-era issues: slavery, the Civil War, regional cultural and social history, and southern politics. Still, one session and several individual papers presented research in southern labor history. Reflecting the conference's location at the hub of Alabama's industrial heartland, the panel addressed coal miners' contests with organized operators, first in unionizing drives surrounding World War One and later during the long 1977–1978 United Mine Workers' strike.
In standard chronicles of American industrialization, the textile industry appears in two roles during widely separated epochs. In the early republic, c. 1790–1840, it serves as vehicle for discussion of technology transfer and the rise of the factory system. Samuel Slater's Rhode Island alliance with the Almy and Brown merchant house brings mechanized spinning to the new United States, setting the stage for Francis Lowell's copying of British power looms, the establishment of integrated, capital-intensive production at Waltham, Massachusetts, and with the addition of Paul Moody's inventiveness plus the marketing connections of Boston investors, the elaboration of staple cotton goods production at the falls of the Merrimack River. The political dimension of the account involves Alexander Hamilton's promotion of national economic independence through state policies fostering manufacturing, the stimulus that Jefferson's embargo and the War of 1812 provided to textile entrepreneurs, the protection tariff of 1816 which favored domestic cotton goods, widespread ruin in the late 1810s as foreign goods flooded markets, and the politics of incorporation (as legislative acts had to be passed to charter each of the first generation corporate enterprises). The faltering steps of early promoters and politicians lead toward an heroic climax in the erection of the Lowell System, a comprehensive net of interlocked corporations controlling water power, machinery building and fabric construction by the 1830s. Technologically and organizationally sophisticated for their time, the Lowell mills set out a template for others to adopt/adapt as the railroad phase of industrialization opened.