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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3MG7G38X

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The Moral Economy of the 1719-20 Calico Riots Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
calico
thompson
moral economy
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Harris, Mark C
Supervisor and department
Lemire, Beverly (History)
Examining committee member and department
Rogers, Nicholas (History, York University)
Langdon, John (History)
Muir, James (History & Law)
Caradonna, Jeremy (History)
Department
Department of History and Classics
Specialization
History
Date accepted
2015-06-23T08:52:19Z
Graduation date
2015-11
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
This thesis examines narratives created by middle rank writers during the English Calico riots of 1719-1720 and contrasts these legitimizing notions with those investigated by E. P. Thompson in his discussion of the moral economy of the English crowd. During the Calico riots, women who went abroad in urban areas in East India Company printed Indian calico cotton gowns risked being attacked by angry weavers who blamed cotton imports for the recent precipitant decline in demand for English wool and silk products. Building upon popular notions of female pride and moral corruptibility, including witchcraft imagery, anti-calico propagandists effectively legitimized violence against calico-clad women. Thompson identified legitimizing notions as being essential to the functioning of the moral economy of the English crowd, However, Thompson also argued that moral economy protesters normally avoided violence in order to ensure popular support for their actions. Using popular media from the time including plays, poems, songs, broadsides, newspapers, magazines and pamphlets, this thesis demonstrates that the anti-calico propaganda generated by the wool and silk industries was so effective in vilifying calico-clad women that protesters felt little need to moderate their behaviour to placate the sentiments of the wider public.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3MG7G38X
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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