In 12th century France the courretiers de change were concerned with managing and regulating the debts of agricultural communities on behalf of the banks. Because these men also traded with debts, they could be called the first brokers. A common misbelief is that in late 13th century Bruges commodity traders gathered inside the house of a man called Van der Beurze, and in 1409 they became the "Brugse Beurse", institutionalizing what had been, until then, an informal meeting, but actually, the family Van der Beurze had a building in Antwerp where those gatherings occurred; the Van der Beurze had Antwerp, as most of the merchants of that period, as their primary place for trading. The idea quickly spread around Flanders and neighboring counties and "Beurzen" soon opened in Ghent and Rotterdam.
In the middle of the 13th century, Venetian bankers began to trade in government securities. In 1351 the Venetian government outlawed spreading rumors intended to lower the price of government funds. Bankers in Pisa, Verona, Genoa and Florence also began trading in government securities during the 14th century. This was only possible because these were independent city states not ruled by a duke but a council of influential citizens. Italian companies were also the first to issue shares. Companies in England and the Low Countries followed in the 16th century.
The Dutch East India Company (founded in 1602) was the first joint-stock company to get a fixed capital stock and as a result, continuous trade in company stock occurred on the Amsterdam Exchange. Soon thereafter, a lively trade in various derivatives, among which options and repos, emerged on the Amsterdam market. Dutch traders also pioneered short selling â€“ a practice which was banned by the Dutch authorities as early as 1610.
There are now stock markets in virtually every developed and most developing economies, with the world's largest markets being in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, India, China,Canada, Germany (Frankfurt Stock Exchange), France, South Korea and the Netherlands.
wikipedia - More about stocks.
Let's go back to pre 1905, before fighting for our rights without an union.
The Irish revenue for the year 1783 was, in round numbers, £900,000, which amounted to a tax of about six shillings per annum on each person. It was distributed thus:
For the interest of the National Debt, — £120,000
Army and Ordnance, Civil Government, and other funds, — 450,000
Pensions, grants, bounties, and aids to manufacturers, — 250,000
Surplus unappropriated, — 80,000
Total, — £900,000
More than £200,000 was spent during that year in erecting forts, batteries, and other public buildings, which gave employment to the people in certain districts. Large sums were granted to the poor of Cork and Dublin for coals; and large grants were made to encourage manufactures. I have observed, however, in carefully examining these grants, which are by far too numerous for insertion, that they were principally, and, indeed, I might say exclusively, made to persons in Dublin and its neighbourhood, in the north of Ireland, and in the cities of Cork and Limerick. Hence, the prosperity of Ireland was only partial, and was confined exclusively, though, probably, not intentionally, to certain districts. This will explain why the misery and starvation of the poor, in the less favored parts of the country, were a principal cause of the fearful insurrection which occurred within a few short years.
Lord Clare proclaimed, in the House of Parliament, that "no nation on the habitable globe had advanced in cultivation, commerce, and manufactures, with the same rapidity as Ireland, from 1782 to 1800." read more
Happened all over the world
From Ireland to England to Africa to here USA... what has happened to the unions of the world? (keep coming back for more thoughts between the Unions, Legions, mobs, and the Government)
The IWW was founded in Chicago in June 1905 at a convention of two hundred socialists, anarchists, and radical trade unionists from all over the United States (mainly the Western Federation of Miners) who were opposed to the policies of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
The convention, which took place on June 27, 1905, was then referred to as the "Industrial Congress" or the "Industrial Union Convention"—it would later be known as the First Annual Convention of the IWW. It is considered one of the most important events in the history of industrial unionism and of the American labor movement in general.
The IWW's first organizers included William D. ("Big Bill") Haywood, Daniel De Leon, Eugene V. Debs, Thomas J Hagerty, Lucy Parsons, "Mother" Mary Harris Jones, Frank Bohn, William Trautmann, Vincent Saint John, Ralph Chaplin, and many others.
The IWW's goal was to promote worker solidarity in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the employing class; its motto was "an injury to one is an injury to all", which improved upon the 19th century Knights of Labor's creed, "an injury to one is the concern of all." In particular, the IWW was organized because of the belief among many unionists, socialists, anarchists and radicals that the AFL not only had failed to effectively organize the U.S. working class, as only about 5% of all workers belonged to unions in 1905, but also was organizing according to narrow craft principles which divided groups of workers. The Wobblies believed that all workers should organize as a class, a philosophy which is still reflected in the Preamble to the current IWW Constitution: read more
The Lumber Trust we may consider as the One Big Union of the bosses in the timber industry. We find the lumber companies closely and efficiently organized, with tremendous power and fabulous wealth; while among the workers in the lumber industry there was until lately an almost complete lack of organization. As a class they were lacking in power and reduced to a state of economic dependence and servitude.
In the lumber industry there are two classes of workers, those who work in the woods and those who work in the saw mills. In a typical saw mill town, industrial feudalism exists in it's worst form. The lumber company by reason of it's economic control, is the one supreme power. Usually the local political office holders are either employee of the company, or are economically dependent on it in some way, and thus completely under it's control. The entire life of the community revolves around the saw mill. The workers in the saw mill live in company owned houses, or board at the company boarding house. They trade at the company store; their children go to a company controlled school; when they are sick they go to the company hospital, or are treated by the company doctor. When they are dead they are buried in the company cemetery, and their souls are saved by a company preacher.