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The Late 19th Century and the Drive for Empire Essay

1. Effects of Industrialization on…
the economy
The industrial revolution played a role in the emergence of the basic economic patterns that have characterized much of modern European economic life. Some historians characterize the period before 1895 and after 1873 as a great depression. Europeans experienced a series of economic crises during these years (Prices of agriculture produces fell). Slumps reduced profits in the business cycle. Although recession occurred at different times from 1895 to world war 2, Europe experienced an economic boom and got a prosperity level that encouraged people to look back at the era as la belle époque (the golden age in civilization ) specific countries

– Germany: replaced Great Britain as the industrial leader of Europe. Germany gained superiority in new areas of manufacturing (organic chemicals, electronic equipment). Britain had an established industrial plant and made it more difficult to shift to the new techniques of Industrial Revolution. The relationship between science and technology became closer. Germany was accustomed to change. – European economic zones: Europe was divided into two economic zones. The growth led to new patterns for European agriculture that emerged. It included an abundance of grain and lower transportation costs caused the prices of farm commodities plummeting . Southern Italy, Austria-hungary ,Spain=little industrialized the urban


– Urban dwellers make up an increasing percentage of the European Population. – There were 40% in Britain, 25% in France and Germany, 10% in Eastern Europe. Then after the industrial revolution, the population increased to 80% in Britain, 45% in F, 6% in germany, and 30% in Weastern Europe. There were also many inventions and innovations that occurred in this time period -Electricity- 1910. Hydro electric power stratons-coal fired steam plants. The electric railway was in 1879. Desire to own sewing machines, clocks, type writers, etc.

New consumer ethic. Mass marketing encourtages people to purchase new consumer goods. Introduction of chemical fertilizers. Workers were of people who abandoned farms because of hardships. Wanted cheaper labor. Ideologu of domesticity: Women should remain at home to bear and nuture children. This is said to keep the well being of familyand forced women to do marginal work at home. The urban and industrial lead was passed from Britain to Germany. demographics/

population patterns

Dramatic population increases after 1870. Prices of food and manufactured goods declined. There were also lower transportation costs. The period of the depression was from 1873-1895. This period was composed of a series of European economic crises. There was an abundance of grain: Tarrif barries; machines for harvesting In 1850-1910, THe population grew to 460 million. There was a rising birthrate and also a decline in deathrate Emigration: Excess rural labor migrates to industrial regions. Emigration is about 500 thousand a year. There was improved nutrition because food was transported to poor harvest regions.

2. Social Changes Due to Industrialization

Mass Society

Upper Class
This elite was composed of people with the jobs of aristocrats, bankers, merchants, and industrialists. There were elites schools dominated by the children of the aristocracy. The educated elite got leadership roles in government and military. There were pleasures of country living and the aristocrats bought lavish town houses for part-time urban life. Common bonds were made when the sons of wealth families met during school or other meetings. The aristocrats and the plutocrats fused together to one class. The mass education was a product of mass society. To be educated, one had to attend a secondary school or university. European states showed little interest in primary education. Only in the German states was there a state-run system for it. Europeans made a commitment to mass education becase they believed education was imprtant to social improvement and thought to supplant catholic education with moral training on secular values.

Mass Leisure: The new industrial system where evening hours after work, weekends, and later a week or two in the summer. Leisure was the opposite of work; What people did in their free time or for “fun” Mass tourism: Creation of the first market for tourism. Its wages increased and workers were given paid vacations. One result of mass education was an increase in literacy. With the dramatic increase in literacy, there was also a rise of mass-circulation newspapers. Mass politics became a reality in western European states. Reforms encouraged the expansion of political democracy through voting rights for men.

Middle Class

This class was a level that included jobs such as professionals in law, medicine, and the civil service as well as moderately well-to-do industrialists and merchants. After the industrial expansion, new groups of jobs were added such as managers, new professionals, engineers, architects, accountants, and chemists. The lower middle class jobs consisted of shopkeepers, traders, manufacturers, and prosperous peasants provided The moderately prosperous and successful middle class shared similar lifestyles and values than the others that dominated 19th century society. The middle class members were active in preaching their world view to children and other society classes. They believed in working hard and christian morality. They had a right way of doing things and propriety. This also gave rise to more books.

Lower Class

The majority of the lwoerclass were landholding peasants, agricultural laborers, or sharecroppers. There were some prosperous landowning peasants that shared the same values as low middle class. The lower class consisted of the urban working class: Artisans, printing, jewlry making, and semiskilled laborers who included: Carpenters, bricklayers, and MANY factory workers The lower class of urban workers experienced a real betterment in the material conditions of their lives after 1871. Urban improvements meant better living conditions. There was also a rise in wages, then a decline in consumer costs. This made it possible for workers to buy more than just the necessity food and housing. Workers were now permitted to buy more clothes and leisure that strikes and labor agitation were winning shorter workdays and Days off.

Women’s Roles

The second industrial revolution brought and enourmous impact on the position of women in the labor market. There was controversy of women for their “right to work”. The desperate need for money forced women to do marginal work. This work was done at home because it required little skill. A women was expected to nurture and care for children while ensuring the moral/physical well being of the family. Many lower class women were forced to be prostitutes. There were as many as 60k prostitutes in London. Many new job opportunities for women.

3. New Inventions
its effects and applications


The internal Combustion Engine

Tarrifs and Cartels

– A change in the method of making soda enabled France and Germany to take the lead in producing the alkalies used in the textile, soap, and paper industries. Laboratories overtook British in the development of new chemical compounds – Electricity was a major new form of energy that provided great value since it was easily converted into other energy forms such as heat, light, and motion. The first generators were developed in 1881 – The development of the combustion engine was made in 1878. This ran on gas and air. It was unsuitable for widespread use as a source of power until the development of liquid fuels- petroleum and its distilled derivatives.

An oil fired engine was made in 1897. The hamburg Amerika Line had switched from coal to oil on its new ocean liners. – There was increased competition for free trade. protective tariffs guaranteed domestic markets for the products of their own industries. AFter a decade, Europeans returned to protective tarif protections. Cartels were being formed to decrease competition internally/ A cartel is where enterprises worked together to control prices and fix production quotas, restraining the kind of competition that led to reduced prices.

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