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State Reforms in Early Modern Mining: Røros Copperworks and the Role of Workers, Managers, Investors and the State in Business Development

Kristin Ranestad ()
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Kristin Ranestad: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

No 214, Lund Papers in Economic History from Lund University, Department of Economic History

Abstract: State reforms adopted in the 1680s prevented the largest copperworksin the Oldenburg Monarchy, Røros, from shutdown. They appear to be a forerunner in Europe. The changes ensured supply deliveries and regular wage payments through spread of ownership, delegating more responsibilities to the Director and managers and introducing complex control mechanisms and state monitoring of the accounts and daily tasks. Why were the changes adopted, and why were the regulations formed this way? The answer partly lies in that miners, smelters and farmers organised themselves in an earlyform of work unionand demanded regular wage payments and better work terms. The Crown established two Commissions consisting of state officials who meticulously went through systems and accounts and largely considered the employees’ demands. The increased state involvement was related to the Kings Frederick III and Christian V’s economic interests in Røros who were inspired by mercantilist thoughts of the time.

Keywords: Norwegian copper mining; early modern period; stakeholders; management; joint-stock companies; state reforms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N13 N33 N44 N54 N84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
Date: 2020-05-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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