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Sweating System Reports - JUDAICA PARLIAMENT - 1888. 
1888 - (PARLIAMENT). The Sweating System Reports. London: Henry Hansard and Son, 1888-1890. Together, eight volumes. Folio, original paper wrappers. Housed in three custom clamshell boxes. $4200.First printings of the complete parliamentary Sweating System Reports, with extensive information about Victorian Jewish London and urban labor conditions.Coming into prominence in the mid-19th century, "the sweating system" was the practice of subcontracting clothing manufacturing to individuals, largely women, children, the elderly, the infirm, and recent immigrants, in homes. Alternately referred to as "piecework", "the cottage industry," or "the contract system," such work involved the poorest members of society working 15-18 hours per day in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. It sometimes also involved payment through a large array of middlemen, with manufacturing taking place in a factory-like environment (sweatshop), also with unsafe, unsanitary conditions and exploitatively long hours.While troubling to labor activists throughout the 19th century, the issue came to particular prominence as large numbers of Jewish refugees arrived in England (as well as New York and Paris) following the Russian pogroms of the 1880s. In England, the sudden mass immigration caused consternation to the long-established and largely Sephardic Jewish community, as well as calls for a new immigration policy, ultimately resulting in the Aliens Act of 1905, and the Factory and Workshop Act and the Public Health Act. "In 1888 a select committee of the House of Lords was appointed to inquire into the subject; and after a lengthy investigation-in the course of which evidence was given by 291 witnesses in relation to tailoring, boot-making, furriery, shirt-making, mantle-making, cabinet-making and upholstery, cutlery and hardware manufacture, chain and nail-making, military accoutrements, saddlery and harness-making, and dock labor-this committee presented its final report in April 1890" (Encyclopedia Britannica). These eight volumes represent a major contribution to the social history of the nineteenth century, to the history of the industrial revolution, labor history, and Jewish history. It draws on extensive witness statements, dealing with the economic and social conditions relating to Jewish immigrants who both worked in and ran sweatshops, largely in London's East End. The Rev. Dr. Hermann Adler (then delegate Chief Rabbi) provides first-hand accounts of Jewish life in London of the time, answering questions about Jewish prostitution, the Factory and Public Health Acts, and organizations directing Jews to immigrate to England. Jewish community leaders from such organizations as the Jewish Board of Guardians and the Mutual Tailor's Association were interviewed, as was Arnold White, author of The Modern Jew. With discussion of the early stirrings of Zionism. The Index entry on Jews and Jewish Immigration is divided into 34 separate subdivisions, and in Part One is 17 pages. Complete with all five reports and three indexes. Ex-libris, with unobtrusive library stamp from Oxford.Minor soiling to fragile original wrappers, with expert repair to rear wrapper of First Report. A rare and valuable primary source of Jewish immigrant life in Victorian London. [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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