Aufsatz “Konkurrenz um Kalkstein” im Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte

Im Themenheft “Rohstoffräume” des aktuellen Bandes des Jahrbuchs für Wirtschaftsgeschichte ist auch mein Aufsatz über die verschiedenen räumlichen Relationen, die den Abbau von Kalkstein um 1900 prägten, erschienen:

Sebastian Haumann: Konkurrenz um Kalkstein. Rohstoffsicherung der Montanindustrie und die Dynamik räumlicher Relationen um 1900, in: Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte 57/1 (2016), S. 29-58.

“Limestone, a resource that was needed to smelt iron ore and to produce steel, became an object of competition between industrialists of the Ruhr around 1900. The making and transformation of spatial relations was crucial to the process of gaining exclusive access to the resource. First, images of the underground terrain, namely the identification and delineation of limestone deposits, were variable and subject to negotiation – albeit bound to physical space through procedures of surveying and chemical analysis. Second, the changing structure of real-estate property constituted new spatial relations. As limestone companies bought up property from local farmers, the social implications of land ownership slowly eroded. Instead, the spatial structure of property was reorganized around safeguarding an exclusive and unrestricted access to limestone deposits. Third, the companies’ interventions transformed spatial relations by realigning infrastructures and restricting potentially conflicting uses of land. In the end, they also transformed much of the physical space by expanding quarries in unprecedented dimensions. All these processes were driven and shaped in a highly competitive setting in which not only competing companies but also the local populace gained decisive influence. The aim of this case study is to show that space was not a fixed “container” in which companies and locals pursued their economic interests. Rather, spatial relations were brought about, and hence made, amid the competition for the resource as these relations became the precondition for resource extraction.”

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