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Industrial Revolution and Society to 1848

I. The Industrial Revolution

A. England
i. changes in politics led to representation in government based on property owners and
their interests
ii. property rights were seen as central to human rights (from Enlightenment thinking)
iii. advances in agricultural development led to surplus food and greater profits
a) this was a cause/result of capitalism, where property owners expanded their
production based solely on earning profits
iv. increased infrastructure
a) better roads, canal systems, expanded ports, better ships
• all of these helped increase the rate of trade, leading to greater profits
B. First Stage of Revolution: consumable goods production
i. manufacturing to factory
a) the factory system was designed to reduce costs while increasing control over the
labor process and work time in order to increase profits
• easier work meant less people could produce more, which reduces the amount
you have to pay while increasing the amount you can sell
ii. profit, rationalization, and machines
a) as profits continued to rise, business owners looked to new ways to expand profits
• machines were created to do more so they didn't have to pay skilled workers
• hired women and children instead of men, because the labor was cheaper
C. Second Stage: capital goods production
i. Investment
a) those who had money, but not enough to create their own business, could invest in a
promising idea to make profits without as much risk
• the idea was 100 people could invest a small amount of money into a company-
if successful, they made profit, if not, they didn't lose everything
b) if people don't invest, though, the economy can slump and people lose jobs
ii. raw materials and steam power
a) some people specialized in providing raw materials rather than goods
• these then were sold to businesses, who then used the materials to create the
goods sold to regular people
b) steam power allowed those working metals and trading over long distances to do so
more quickly, which increased profits
iii. economic multipliers
a) the creation of railroads helped spread industrialization to harder to reach areas
D. Organization and Rationalization: standardization, productivity, and skills
i. the change in industry was driven by a search for increasing profits in any way
a) this drive led to new production techniques, the introduction of new machines, and
development of new business practices (like marketing)
b) also led to new ways of organizing, like corporations
ii. the main result of the process was the creation of standardized parts
a) manufacturing had been subject to skilled labor, which costs more
• as a result, machines were created to make parts all the same, like nails, bolts,
screws, etc
• this allowed even unskilled labor to make things using these parts that were
all the same
iii. human beings were now seen as capital
a) training was given, and workers were expected to remain loyal
E. Spread of Industrialization
i. examples from Britain spread to other countries
a) Belgium late 1700s-1820s
b) France, USA, Germany 1830s-1870s
• slowed in France by the Revolution
• USA didn't fully take advantage until after the Civil War
• German states came together with what was left of Prussia after Napoleon's
conquests, finally becoming the German Empire in 1871
c) Russia 1870s-1900
ii. each added their own twist, but overall the process was the same: earn profits
F. Technology
i. early on, technology was simple, and the real focus was on new organization
ii. in the second stage, technology became much more complex
a) steel industry, chemical industries, and later electronics
• each new industry added more workers and became larger
iii. eventually became focused on commercial goods
a) phones, cars, electricity, etc
G. Industrialization, World Markets, and Imperialism
i. industrializing countries needed raw materials from the non-European world, which
made them look to other areas to dominate
a) also wanted to expand markets (for more profit) and look for new investors
• this would lead to an interconnected world like what we see today
II. Society 1800-1848
A. Population
i. better diet, sanitation, and medicine lead to lower death rates
ii. many countries increase population by up to 10 million more people in less than 50
B. Urbanization
i. cities expand as population increases
a) leads to problems of overcrowding, poor housing quality, lack of water and
sanitation, all of which leads to disease
• slows population growth, allows cities to adapt to new needs
C. Rural Society Changes
i. commercial farming (for profit) puts pressure on small scale farmers to produce more in
order to compete
ii. trade using trains and steamships makes grain cheaper, puts more pressure on farmers
iii. rural overcrowding and rural poverty result
a) feeds urban growth
iv. governments began trying to 'transform' rural populations through education
D. New Social Classes
i. Middle Class
a) subdivisions of middle class people and professions
• bankers, industrialists, professionals, merchants, managers, etc
b) movement within middle class
• more likely to rise in status within middle class than from working class to
c) belief in “self made man” in society where status should be based on talent and
d) generally see aristocracy as corrupt, wasteful, soft, undeserving of their power
e) emphasize thrift, efficiency, modesty, self control, respectability
f) generally see working class as morally and intellectually weak, drunken, lazy
(poverty result of moral/character failings)
• believe the poor could be “reformed” with guidance to improve themselves-
become more like middle class
• some believed this should be from government agencies (schools), others
thought it was a matter of individual conscience
ii. Working Class
a) faced common problems
• poor working conditions, bad living conditions, threat of losing work and bad
wages, lack of job security, little political power
b) divided by distinctions made based on skill, type of work
• “industrial workers” (mechanics) saw themselves as different and superior to
unskilled workers
• workers in certain trades considered themselves superior to workers in other
trades (glass blowers > carpenters)
• men considered their labor more valuable and superior to that of women
c) these differences worked against them developing a common sense of working class
E. Politics up to 1848
i. Liberalism
a) believed in individualism, men born equal in rights, end to privileges and powers of
the aristocracy, law meant to protect rights and liberty, limit governments by
developing a constitution
b) differences in opinion over voting rights (property owners only vs everyone), very
few thought women should have the vote
c) some believed government should stay out of people's business, others thought
government should interfere in favor of business, and help raise up working class
(public education)
• after revolutions of 1848, most agreed that government should provide services
(like improve urban living conditions) to avoid future revolutions
ii. Conservatism
a) two varieties
• some believed the best regime was the old hierarchy of monarchy, church, and
• liberalism was a challenge to God's intended hierarchical order
• others believed that while changes should be brought to government, it should be
done in a gradual way
• attempts to change by the French Revolution and liberals were tragically
misguided and tried to do too much too quickly
iii. Socialism
a) agreed in many ways with liberals, but with significant differences
• rejected the idea that private property was a right, and argued that it was the
cause of inequality and injustice
• thought legal equality wasn't enough- must also have social equality
b) used the Industrial Revolution to support ideas
• IR created wealth for middle and upper class, but it was the workers who really
did all the work
• just had to look at factories and living conditions to see the suffering of
working class people
• capitalism was ultimately irrational, because it was not the most efficient way to
distribute goods, resources, liberty, or happiness
c) Karl Marx
• most influential socialist critic of capitalism
• believed that capitalism had its uses, but by 1840 had lived out its usefulness
• capitalism had encouraged the exploitation of working class people
• therefore, in order to progress humanity, the working class had to overthrow
the capitalists and establish a socialist form of government with public
control of all productive property (Communism)
• this would be a true democracy based on absolute equality of social rights
• under socialism, social classes and class conflict would eventually
F. Social Trends up to 1848
i. Romanticism
a) intellectual and artistic movement that influenced the 3 political movements
b) criticized the Enlightenment's emphasis on logic and reason
c) stressed importance of nature, emotion, intuition, and imagination
ii. Nationalism
a) product of the French Revolution
• French leaders in the Revolution claimed to represent the “French Nation” and
made creating a sense of national unity one of their main goals
• leaders stressed all Frenchmen were united and that as citizens they had a duty to
serve and protect the nation
b) forces that helped spread the idea
• participation in the army
• spread of public education (helped spread national history, language, etc)
• celebration of national state-sponsored holidays
• voting on public offices
III. Revolutions of 1848
A. France
i. failed liberal efforts to expand voting rights through legal means, another economic
crisis (failed harvest), general unrest since Napoleon's death leads to another uprising
ii. February 1848 liberal and socialist groups rise up against Charles X and form a
provisional government
a) seek to employ everyone under new government work programs
iii. March 1848 the groups split due to differences between liberals and socialists
a) this was really a difference between middle and working classes
iv. April 1848 elections in Paris took place and the conservatives won a majority
a) they tossed out radical socialists from government, leading to protest demonstrations
by socialist workers
v. June 1848 soon after national workshops were closed (where many in working class had
a) socialists rose up against the government, who used the army (with support of
liberals and conservatives) to crush the demonstrators
b) this unrest led to a new liberal-conservative coalition against the socialist radicals,
and they drew up yet another constitution
vi. December 1848 they elected Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (NB's nephew) as President of
the Second Republic
a) new constitution limited him to one 4 year term, which he tried to get legally
b) when he was unsuccessful, he disbanded the Republic in a coup and declared
himself Emperor 1851
B. Other areas in Europe
i. common issues in 1848 Revolutions across Europe
a) includes German states, Austria, Poland, and Italian states
b) cross-class demands for constitutional and representative government
c) extension of equal civil rights and voting rights
d) social class tensions between urban workers and propertied elites
ii. issues particular to certain countries
a) national independence for national groups that were under multi-national empires
(Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians in Austria; Poles in the Russian Empire)
b) demands for national unification in places where people shared national
characteristics (Germany and Italy)
iii. Pattern of events in 1848
a) Spring
• formation of center-left coalitions for political reform (liberals and socialists) to
form constitutional governments
• in many places, these coalitions succeeded in taking power and created new
“reform” governments
b) Summer
• coalitions split along class lines (middle class liberals split from working class
• Austria: disputes over which ethnic group had claim to govern territories
• late summer saw open conflict (fighting in streets) between worker/leftists and
government/middle class groups
• government forces always won, creating new center-right coalitions
c) Fall
• everywhere, revolutions are defeated and conservative-monarchical authority is
C. Result of 1848 Revolutions
i. center and right leaning groups began to work together to prevent far left groups from
rising up again
ii. liberals stop looking to revolution to solve issues and instead look to government
programs as a way to reduce tensions with working class
iii. conservatives see nationalism as a tool to preserve the power of the elites (get the
masses to believe things were better in the past and not make changes to their country,
otherwise they were against their nation)
iv. many places that were still under a monarch looked to make constitutional regimes that
would preserve their power and not threaten the rule of the elites
a) Russia did the opposite, and the monarchy (Tzar) became even more hostile to the
idea of a constitution