Dynamics of overlapping clusters

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Dynamics of overlapping clusters

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Titel: Dynamics of overlapping clusters
Industrial and institutional revolution in the district of Aachen (Aix‐la‐Chapelle), 1800‐1860
Forfatter: Reckendrees, Alfred
Resume: In the first half of the 19th century, the industrial district of Aachen was a small dynamic economic region in the West of the Prussian Rhineland. It was a leading industrial region in terms of production and a region in which modern economic institutions advanced modern industrial organizations. The regional institutional arrangements were partly based on the French law:1 During the French Revolutionary Wars, the West of the Rhineland had been a part of France with the region of Aachen (see maps 1 and 2) forming the Département de la Roer. After the French defeat in 1814, the Rhineland was integrated as the Rhineprovince into the Prussian State, but with very few exceptions the French legal system continued. The French code de commerce rather than the Prussian civil law constructed the norms of business and commercial activities2 and institutional arrangements that had emerged in the ‘French period’ continued to influence regional economic development. Not only property rights and civil rights, also other institutions of French origin like chambers of trade and commerce, commercial courts, or collective institutions for the settlement of work related conflicts shaped economic behaviour. 3 New Prussian laws did not dramatically influence regional economic development; only the Railroad Law (1838) and the Prussian Joint Stock Companies Law (Preußisches Aktiengesetz) of 1843 had a certain impact. Just like the General German Trade Law (Allgemeines deutsches Handelsgesetzbuch) of 1861, the Joint Stock Company Law was based on French ideas and aimed at modernizing the Prussian economy. It perhaps helped developing the eastern parts of Prussia towards a more capitalistic economy; for the region of Aachen it mainly introduced more oversight from the Prussian State. The Prussian integration of the Rhineland did, of course, also induce some economically relevant change; this regards e.g. the introduction of the Prussian currency or the Prussian trade union. These aspects will be discussed later.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8615
Dato: 2013-01-04
Note: Paper presented at “The rise and decline of industrial districts, 18th‐21st centuries“ World Economic History Congress, 9‐13. July 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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