The Political Economy of Shopkeeping in Milan, 1886-1922

The Political Economy of Shopkeeping in Milan, 1886-1922

by Jonathan Morris
     
 

This is the first monograph dealing with any aspect of the experience of the Italian petite bourgeoisie. From the mid-1880s a shopkeeper movement developed in Milan, centred around a shopkeeper newspaper, a federation of shopkeeper trade associations and a shopkeeper bank. Initially the movement aligned itself with the Radicals in city politics, but in 1904 it was… See more details below

Overview

This is the first monograph dealing with any aspect of the experience of the Italian petite bourgeoisie. From the mid-1880s a shopkeeper movement developed in Milan, centred around a shopkeeper newspaper, a federation of shopkeeper trade associations and a shopkeeper bank. Initially the movement aligned itself with the Radicals in city politics, but in 1904 it was shopkeeper representatives who set in chain the sequence of events that led to the fall of the first Radical-Socialist administration within the city. The author explains these events with reference to the business of shopkeeping itself. He analyses the trades, techniques, tax structure and topography of the Milanese retail sector. The study traces the history of the contest between shops and cooperatives, and the changing nature of the shopkeeper's relationship with his employees, and with his clientele. Considerable emphasis is placed upon the politics of the shopkeeper movement. These are analysed in the context both of Italian history and of the debates over petit-bourgeois identity and autonomy which have become essential for our understanding of modern European history. In his final chapters the author confronts the crucial question of why it was the Milanese shopkeepers were to be found on the right in the years that led up to the Fascist takeover in Italy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521391191
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
03/25/1993
Series:
Past and Present Publications Series
Pages:
332
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Acknowledgements
Introduction: shopkeeping as a historical problem1
1The business of shopkeeping in Milan, 1859-191512
2The context of shopkeeping: trades and techniques36
3The economic geography of shopkeeping: the role of the dazio consumo64
4The esercenti enter the political arena89
5Constructing the esercenti movement, 1886-1890103
6The esercenti and the depression, 1890-1897121
7Shopkeepers, cooperatives and the politics of privilege140
8Milan and the national small-business movement, 1886-1898165
9The allargamento debate, 1895-1897176
10The end-of-century crisis and the enlargement of the dazio belt192
11Shopkeeping in the new century207
12Labour relations and class politics225
13The esercenti and the centre-left administration, 1900-1905238
14Shopkeepers and Socialists 1905-1922265
Conclusion: identity and autonomy285
Bibliography293
Index304

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