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NATS 1760 (135)
Lecture 6

Lecture 6 Notes

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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1760
Darrin Durant

Coal, Democracy & Colonialism Representative Government - Early: oligarchic alternative to democracy (83) - Plebiscite limited to property owners - By 1870's: upheavals in Europe (e.g.: Italy/Germany unification, French 3rd Republic) - Legal order for unions and political parties to emerge - 1870-1915: age of empire and age of democracy - population concentration in cities The Rise of Coal (84) - Associated with democracy in some places Mitchell is adding the history of coal and oil to the history of democracy Wood vs Coal Wood - Lots of people - Handling small amounts of energy Coal - Few people - Handling large amounts of energy Coal and Political Force, pre-WWII (84-90) England, France, USA: industrial regions, water & rail networks, unions “Great volumes of energy now flowed along narrow…channels” (85) - Specialized bodies of workers could influence supply - USA: 1881 – 1905, coal-worker strikes (triple the national average) - Room-and-pillar method: worker autonomy Germany: 1889 strikes, reform of working conditions Mass strikes: Belgium (1902), Russia (1905), West Virginia (1919), Germany (1920), Britain (1926) Le Sabotage (1909): worker slow-downs, work-to-rule (French railwaymen) - A single worker could bring down a steam engine… “Force the powerful to listen” (86) Strikes effective, not because of isolation, but because of inter-connected dependencies of coal economy Democracy (see 93 and 98): - Industrial democracy (workers manage and share in profits), or - Welfare state (workers bargain over pay and conditions)? Coal & Political Force, post-WWII (90-93) - Sept 1945, USA: first oil strike - US Marshall Plan: - April 1948 – December 1951: “reorganize energy flows” - US model: a welfare state, not an industrial democracy - US helped by more coal and oil, so more electricity per worker - Integrate European coal: reduced competition, and worker numbers, and allowed cross-boreder coal import/export - Swapping Europe to oil weakened the coal miners - US companies supplied Middle East oil to Europe, using Marshal Plan money - Made US$ the global currency - Made US oil companies wealthy - Shifted Europe to oil; oil one-third of energy by 1960 Oil in the age of coal (93-96) Pre-1900’s - Oil not concentrated into vital inter-depend
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