Amount, Quality and Value of the Cotton Production in Sweden and Finland from 1800 to 1914

Jarmo Peltola, Dr, Senior researcher, Tampere University, Faculty of Social Sciences, History
Klas Nyberg, Stockholm University

This paper will be a comparative study of cotton production and markets in far Northern Europe. The proper Industrial cotton production started relatively early, during 1830s, in both countries. Sweden and Finland had until 1860s quite high custom tariffs against to British cotton industry. Finland was autonomous part of Russia from 1809 and had own economic policy, although the Russian tariff-policy influenced a lot also to the Finnish solutions. Although the imported British products were more expensive than Swedish and the Finnish ones, the consumers in both countries bought also foreign products. The whole production of the Swedish cotton industry was consumed also in Sweden. In the 1830s, the entrepreneurs of the Finnish Cotton Industry had a plan to export most of products to Russia. However, in 1853 for first time, the Finnish cotton products were sold more in Finland as exported to Russia and until the First World War, the share of export was diminished to 10 % of whole production. The standard of living in Sweden was more or less 20 years ahead from Finland, so we assume that this was shown also people's ability to consume the cotton products. With this setting, we had a possibility to compare the amount, quality and value of cotton products at the Swedish home markets, Finnish home markets, the Finnish export to Russia and the British import to Finland and Sweden.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 110. Scandinavian Labor Markets