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Dundee and the Empire'Juteopolis' 1850-1939$
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Jim Tomlinson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748686148

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686148.001.0001

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The Rise of Juteopolis

The Rise of Juteopolis

(p.9) Chapter 1 The Rise of Juteopolis
Dundee and the Empire

Jim Tomlinson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the rise of Dundee as Juteopolis under the British Empire, with particular emphasis on how jute dominated the Scottish city's economy and the physical character, especially in the years up to World War II. Jute's extraordinary dominance in Dundee is reflected in employment patterns; in 1911, 40 per cent of the workforce were directly employed in the jute industry. Yet this 40-per cent figure, itself striking, significantly underestimates the role of jute in the city's economy. Dundee's political culture during the period was also fundamentally shaped by its status as Juteopolis. The chapter considers how this complex relationship between Dundee's economic life and politics developed from the mid-Victorian heyday to the disastrous years of the 1930s. It also discusses the prevalence of women in Dundee's jute industry, along with persistence of low wages, poverty, and overcrowded housing and high mortality in the city.

Keywords:   jute, Dundee, Juteopolis, British Empire, employment, jute industry, Dundee economy, political culture, Dundee politics, women

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