Chapter 18 • Revolutions of Industrialization


III. The First Industrial Society



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III. The First Industrial Society

A. There was a massive increase in output as industrialization took hold in Britain.

1. rapid development of railroad systems

2. much of the dramatic increase was in mining, manufacturing, and services

3. agriculture became less important by comparison (in 1891, agriculture generated only 8 percent of British national income)

4. vast transformation of daily life

a. it was a traumatic process for many

b. different people were affected in different ways

B. The British Aristocracy

1. landowning aristocrats had little material loss in the Industrial Revolution

2. but the aristocracy declined, because urban wealth became more important

a. many businessmen, manufacturers, and bankers were enriched

b. aristocrats had declining political clout

c. by 1900, businessmen led the major political parties

3. titled nobles retained great social prestige and personal wealth

a. many found an outlet in Britain’s colonial possessions

C. The Middle Classes

1. the middle classes had the most obvious gains from industrialization

2. upper middle class: some became extremely wealthy, bought into aristocratic life

3. middle class: large numbers of smaller businessmen and professionals

a. politically liberal

b. stood for thrift, hard work, rigid morals, and cleanliness

c. Samuel Smiles, Self-Help (1859): individuals are responsible for their own destiny

d. middle-class women were more frequently cast as homemakers, wives, and mothers

4. lower middle class: service sector workers (clerks, secretaries, etc.)

a. by 1900, they were around 20 percent of Britain’s population

b. employment opportunities for women as well as men

D. The Laboring Classes

1. in the nineteenth century, about 70 percent of Britons were workers

2. laboring classes suffered most/benefited least from industrialization

3. rapid urbanization

a. by 1851, a majority of Britain’s population was urban

b. by 1900, London was the largest city in the world (6 million)

4. horrible urban conditions

a. vast overcrowding

b. inadequate sanitation and water supplies

c. epidemics

d. few public services or open spaces

e. little contact between the rich and the poor

5. industrial factories offered a very different work environment

a. long hours, low wages, and child labor were typical for the poor

b. what was new was the routine and monotony of work, direct supervision, discipline

c. industrial work was insecure

d. many girls and young women worked

E. Social Protest among the Laboring Classes

1. “friendly societies,” especially of artisans, for self-help were common

2. other skilled artisans sometimes wrecked machinery and burned mills

3. some joined political movements, aimed to enfranchise working-class men

4. trade unions were legalized in 1824

a. growing numbers of factory workers joined them

b. fought for better wages and working conditions

c. at first, upper classes feared them

5. socialist ideas spread gradually

a. Karl Marx (1818–1883) laid out a full ideology of socialism

b. socialist ideas were attractive among more radical trade unionists and some middle-class intellectuals in the late nineteenth century

6. British working-class movement remained moderate

a. material conditions for workers improved in second half of the century

b. capitalists and impoverished working class didn’t polarize because of the large middle and lower middle class

c. workers bettered their standard of living

7. but immense inequalities remained

8. by 1900, Britain was in economic decline relative to newly industrialized states like Germany and the United States




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