Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenal: Workers and Workplace in the Preindustrial City, Part 1

Front Cover
John Hopkins University Press, 1991 - History - 270 pages
0 Reviews
The master ship builders of seventeenth-century Venice formed part of what was arguably the greatest manufacturing complex in early modern Europe. As many as three thousand masters, apprentices, and laborers regularly worked in the city's enormous shipyards. This is the social history of the men and women who helped maintain not only the city's dominion over the sea but also its stability and peace.

Drawing on a variety of documents that include nearly a thousand petitions from the shipbuilders to the Venetian governments as well as on parish records, inventories, and wills, Robert C. Davis offers a vivid and compelling account of these early modern workers. He explores their mentality and describes their private and public worlds (which in some ways, he argues, prefigured the factories and company towns of a later era). He uncovers the far-reaching social and cultural role played by women in this industrial community. He shows how the Venetian government formed its shipbuilders into a militia to maintain public order. And he describes the often colorful ways in which Venetians dealt with the tensions that role provoked -- including officially sanctioned community fistfights on the city's bridges.

The recent decision by the Italian government to return the Venetian Arsenal to civilian control has sparked renewed interest in the subject among historians. Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenal offers new evidence on the ways in which large, state-run manufacturing operations furthered the industrialization process, as well as on the extent of workers' influence on the social dynamics of the early modern European city.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Related books

Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables vii
The Arsenal Worker Managers 47
The Community of the Arsenalotti 83
Copyright

6 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1991)

Robert C. Davis is Assistant Professor of Renaissance Italian History at Ohio State University and the editor of News on the Rialto, a newsletter for Venetian historical studies.

Bibliographic information