Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > "Better the Firing Squad than the Mine Shaft": The Rise and Fall of Militarized Labor Discipline in a Moravian Mining District, 1914-1916
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This essay argues that a system of militarized labor discipline meant to mobilize the economic potential of the Habsburg state during wartime broke down in the Ostrava-Karviná district in the spring of 1916, and that this breakdown was one facet of the failure of Habsburg attempts to construct a managerial state during the First World War. Labor mobilization was undermined by privation, and thus after 1916 militarized labor discipline began to reduce the state's capacity to mobilize labor. The increasing tension between unbearable wartime conditions and untenable military demands, in the Ostrava-Karviná district as in the Monarchy as a whole, drove the population to act against the state.The mining population's alienation from the state as well as from the war effort also challenged the legitimacy of the state's power to direct and mobilize its citizenry, and thus influenced the Monarchy's collapse.