[Journal:] The Journal of European Economic History [ISSN:] 2499-8281 [Volume:] 49 [Year:] 2020 [Issue:] 2 [Pages:] 127-174
In the nineteenth century, the production of small arms underwent significant technological change. Faced with new needs, both qualitative and quantitative, governments began to pursue the modernization of production processes through mechanization and vertical integration. These technological advances, chief of which was the American System of Manufacturing developed in US arsenals, had a significant impact on the long-established European gun-making districts, where craft producers had to deal with disturbances and crises. The study focuses on the Italian district and the key factors in its resilience, with a contextual, comparative analysis within a broader framework comprising the UK and Spain. The research demonstrates that public authorities and factories can play a crucial role in determining change and resilience in industrial districts.