Critcal Review: What Contribution Do the Papers by Peter Earle and Elise Van Nederveen Meerkerk Make to the Historical Debate About Women’s Role in the Pre-Industrial European Labour Market?

1140 words 5 pages
In this critical review I will compare the two texts by Peter Earle and Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk. The articles are about woman’s work in the 17th and early 18th century respectively about women’s work in the Dutch textile industry and female labour marked in London. The article by Earle (in 1989) is released before Meerkerk’s article (2006) and there are in Meerkerk analysis some pointing to Earle’s article.

I will start with a short presentation of each of the two articles, how and from what time data is collected, some of the findings and conclusion. And then what contribution their papers have made to the historical debate about women’s role in the pre-industrial labour market.

Both Earle and Meerkerk refer to Alice
…show more content…

Other than showing women in the textile industry in Holland, she are showing the percentage of married women who are in work, men and women in different industries, different jobs, heads of family per industrial sector and heads of family in textile industry. She also looks at women and men’s income. Meerkerk also has an analyse of guilds in the textile industry[11]. What is worth mentioning is that Tilburg and Leiden who are the main places in Holland she is looking at was wealthy places economically mainly because of the textile industry.

Even though they goes with their work in a different way, they both come up with similar conclusions. None of them believes it was a ‘golden-age’ for women. Meerkerk said women where restricted to peripheral and low paid jobs but it was changeable, depending upon industry and it as is peak when women occasionally gets better paid jobs, but as soon the industry starts to decline women where the first to loose their job. The fine jobs women’s ones had, where then given to men. It’s easy to see there where gender discrimination.

As mentioned, Earle has a kind of similar conclusion; He means that women where expected to work at that time to support their family. Women got