vorige Hefte

Jens Heckl:
Trade-Union Mining in the Principality of Minden and the County of Ravensberg 1740-1827, Part 1

The history of mining in the Principality of Minden and the County of Ravensberg was treated comprehensively for the first time by Gustav Griese in 1955. Building upon his research results, in subsequent decades studies repeatedly appeared dedicated either to the entire social relations of mining between the Weser and the Ems Rivers or to individual mining regions or individual mines in the areas mentioned. For all these contributions, in part, supplementary source material from various archives was evaluated and, in part, Griese's results were adopted uncritically. What has been missing to date is an overall account of trade-union mining in Minden-Ravensberg based on written documents which Griese could not take into consideration because numerous sources were not accessible to him.

Likewise, up until now, important historical facts - the significance of mining within the economic structure of the province of Minden-Ravensberg and the privileged trade union of Minden-Ravensberg founded in 1742, which was significant for the development of mining in the provinces mentioned, or even the trade unions existing alongside this trade union - were left out of account. The following contribution aims to investigate the formation and effects of trade unions both administratively and as enterprises in the period between 1741 and 1827, and to work out the significance of mining in Minden-Ravensberg within the economic structure of the province. After all, economic mining activity had the consequence that private mining, especially of hard coal, was able to be established for several decades, and was not short-lived as in the period before 1742. Trade-union mining, namely, developed into an economic factor of a province in the western part of the Prussian monarchy otherwise specialized in agriculture and linen production. In addition, the production of brandy and the sugar factory in Minden had local importance. Whether it be in regard to employment or its productive capacity, mining in Minden-Ravensberg was never to achieve the importance of Brandenburg's hard-coal mining, but nevertheless for a time held an important key-position in supplying the province with fuels.