A Cultural History of Work in the Age of Empire

A Cultural History of Work in the Age of Empire, Volume 5

by Victoria E. Thompson

Victoria E. Thompson is Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University, USA. She is the author of The Virtuous Marketplace: Women and Men, Money and Politics in Paris, 1830-1870 (2000), Women in Nineteenth-Century Europe (2004), along with Rachel Fuchs, and Inventing Public Space: Paris, 1748-1790 (forthcoming). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2019
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-4493-0 (set)

    978-1-4742-4503-6 (hardback)

    978-1-3500-7832-1 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
A Cultural History of Work in the Age of Empire
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The period 1800–1920 was one in which work processes were dramatically transformed by mechanization, factory system, the abolition of the guilds, the integration of national markets and expansion into overseas colonies. While some continued to work in trades that were similar to those of their parents and grandparents, increasing numbers of workers found their workplace and work processes changed, often in ways that were beyond their control. Workers employed a variety of means to protest these changes, from machine-breaking to strikes to migration. This period saw the rise of the labor union and the working-class political party. It was also a time during which ideas about work changed dramatically. Work came to be seen as a source of pride, progress and even liberation, and workers garnered increased interest from writers and artists. This volume explores the multi-faceted experience of workers during the Age of Empire.