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By David Koistinen

“Koistinen places the ‘political’ again in political financial system during this interesting account of recent England’s twentieth-century business erosion. excellent examine and sound judgments make this examine crucial reading.”—Philip Scranton, Rutgers University–Camden


“Well-organized and obviously written, Confronting Decline seems at one group to appreciate a method that has develop into actually national.”—David Stebenne, Ohio kingdom University


“Koistinen’s very important e-book makes transparent that many business towns and areas started to decline as early because the 1920s.”—Alan Brinkley, Columbia University


“Sheds new mild on a posh procedure of firm that typically blurs, and sometimes overrides, the differences of personal and public, in addition to these of locality, nation, sector, and kingdom. In so doing, it extends and deepens the insights of earlier students of the yank political economy.”—Robert M. Collins, collage of Missouri


The upward push of the USA to a place of world management and tool rested in the beginning at the end result of the economic Revolution. but as early because the Nineteen Twenties, vital American industries have been in decline within the locations the place that they had initially flourished.

The decline of conventional manufacturing—deindustrialization—has been probably the most major points of the restructuring of the yankee financial system. during this quantity, David Koistinen examines the loss of life of the cloth in New England from the Twenties during the Nineteen Eighties to higher comprehend the impression of commercial decline. concentrating on coverage responses to deindustrialization on the nation, local, and federal degrees, he deals an in-depth examine the method of business decline over the years and indicates how this development repeats itself during the nation and the world.



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Additional info for Confronting Decline: The Political Economy of Deindustrialization in Twentieth-Century New England

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Most of these were large companies with significant financial capacity. Doing so as well were some smaller firms selling brand-name goods for which there was an established customer base. Most of the New England mills facing fierce market pressures after World War I did not have the wherewithal or competitive prospects for a move to the South. Their only alternative was to reduce capacity by partially or entirely closing plants. For the many companies with only one or two facilities, this frequently entailed “liquidation”—selling off machinery and property Deindustrialization in New England and dissolving the corporation.

In 1932 government investigators in New Bedford and Fall River found numerous establishments in the needle trades with pay levels below the state’s minimum wage guidelines. 17 Interviews with veteran textile operatives reveal the broad-ranging impact on working-class lives of the multiple plant shutdowns of this era. A number of themes recur in these accounts. Clearly evident are the difficult and sometimes desperate circumstances for workers who lost jobs when factories closed. Equally notable is the unreliable nature of employment for operatives who had positions, since so many mills operated sporadically or on reduced hours during this period.

27 Southern fabric producers initially concentrated on low value-added goods requiring limited worker skill, where their labor-cost advantage was decisive. Some mills only spun yarn, usually in the lower counts, selling it to northern firms for weaving. Fabrics woven in the South tended to be in the coarsest lines, such as denim and duck cloth. Piedmont managers often shipped goods that required finishing—dyeing, bleaching, and printing—to specialized plants in the North. As entrepreneurs and operatives gained experience and mills expanded, the southern product line filled out and improved in quality.

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