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Historical Cycles in the Formation of the Condition of the Mining Working-Class in Bolivia (1825–1999)

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Chapter Summary

In general, the condition of the mineworker has gone through three major periods since the founding of the republic, corresponding to three main stages in the material and organisational development of mine-production. In the first period, from 1850 to 1900, the mining proletariat consisted primarily of artisan manufacturing labourers. The second phase of mineworker-status started at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, with the upturn in tin-mining and the appearance of the skilled worker in large companies. The end of the tin-based cycle in Bolivian mining has also been the end of state-run mining, of the major mineworkers' fortresses, of unions as mediators between state and society and as a mechanism for social mobility. It has also been the end of the industrial skilled worker and of the class-identity constructed around all these technical, political and cultural elements.

Keywords: artisan manufacturing labourer; Bolivia; companies; mineworker; skilled worker



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