Chapter 23: The Building of European Supremacy: Society and Politics to World War I Outline
New steel mills, railways, shipyards, and chemical plants reflected an expanding supply of capital goods in Europe during the second half of the nineteenth-century.
By the first decade of the twentieth century, the age of the automobile, the airplane, the bicycle, the refrigerated ship, the telephone, the radio, the typewriter, and the electric light bulb had dawned.
Nation-states with large electorates, political parties, and centralized bureaucracies emerged.
Section One: Population Trends and Migration
The number of Europeans had risen from approximately 226 million in 1850 to 401 million in 1900 and to 447 million in 1910.
Europe’s population on the move
Mid-century emancipation of serfs lessened the authority of landlords and made legal movement and migration.
Railways, steamships, and better roads increased mobility.
Cheap land and better wages led some to emigrate from Europe to North America, Latin America, and Australia.
More than 50 million European left their homelands between 1846 and 1932.
Many in Europe moved from rural to urban settings.
In 1850, most emigrants were from Great Britain (especially Ireland), Germany, and Scandinavia.
After 1885, emigration from southern and eastern Europe rose.
Section Two: The Second Industrial Revolution
The economic gap between Britain and the rest of the Continent narrowed as Belgium, Germany, and France rapidly expanded their heavy industries.
German steel production surpassed Britain’s in 1893 and was nearly double that of Britain by the outbreak of World War I.
In contrast to the first industrial revolution, the second industrial revolution was associated with steel, chemicals, electricity, and oil.
Henry Bessemer (1830-1898)
English engineer who discovered a new process for manufacturing steel cheaply in large quantities.
Replaced the older Leblanc process and that led to an increase in production of sulfuric acid, laundry soap, and new dyestuffs and plastics were developed
Electrical energy applied to production
First public power plant constructed in 1881 in Great Britain
Homes, streetcars, and subway systems soon used electrical power
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900)
German who invented the modern internal combustion engine used to power cars
France initially took the lead in auto manufacturing but cars were a novelty for only the wealthy.
Henry Ford (1863-1947)
Made the automobile available to masses
Second half of the nineteenth century
1850-1873 both industry and agriculture prospered
1873-1900 both slowed
Strikes were common during this era
Economic downturn fed the growth of socialist political parties
Problems for European agricultural products
European foodstuffs were in competition with products from all over the world now that transportation and refrigeration had improved.
Several European banks failed in 1873 and the rate of capital investment slowed.
Consumerism and economic recovery by 1900
As the economy strengthened and urbanization increased, demand rose for consumer products.
New forms of retailing—like department stores, chain malls, and mail order catalogs appeared
Section Three: The Middle Classes in Ascendancy
Social Distinctions within the Middle Class
Most prosperous members lived in splendor that rivaled the lifestyle of the aristocracy
For example W.H. Smith, the owner of railway newsstands, was made a member of the House of Lords.
Comfortable, small entrepreneurs and professional people
Capable of owning private homes, large quantities of furniture, pianos, pictures, books, journals, education for their children, and vacations
Also included shopkeepers, schoolteachers, librarians, and others who had skills derived from education
“White –collar workers” (also called the lower middle class, or petite bourgeoisie)
Secretaries, retail workers, lower level bureaucrats in business and government.
Tension existed among different groups in the middle class
Section Four: Late-Nineteenth-Century Urban Life
1850-1911, urban dwellers rose from 25 to 44 percent of the population in France and from 30 to 60 percent of the population of Germany
Unrest common among different ethnic groups—like Russian Jews—who were uprooted and moved to the cities of Western Europe.
The Redesign of Cities
Restructuring of Europe’s cities
Government s stepped in and redesigned centers of cities to be areas where businesses, government offices, large stores, and theaters were located.
The New Paris
City that was most transformed during this period
Napoleon III hired Baron Georges Haussmann to oversee the reconstruction of Paris
The news Paris included wide roads, and many of the narrow alleyways were destroyed, so insurrections could be quickly squashed by the government.
Creation of many public buildings and gardens like the Paris Opera and the Bois de Boulogne were constructed.
Started to build a subway station in 1895
Eiffel Tower was built in 1889
Development of Suburbs
Urban land value and rent went up due to commercial development, railway construction, and slum clearance.
Middle classes looked for neighborhoods removed from urban congestion and, consequently, suburbs develop.
Railways, subways, and electric tramcars connected middle class workers to their employment in cities and home and work became more separate than ever before.
Importance of sanitation to social and political stability
it was widely believed that only when the health and housing of the working class were improved would middle-class health also be secure and the political order stable
Impact of Cholera
Epidemics in the 1830s and 1840s led to growing concern for sanitation in urban areas.
Mid-nineteenth century science taught that miasmas in the air spread infection that lead to cholera and other diseases, and miasmas, which could be detected by their foul odors, were believed to arise from filth.
Scholars in England, France, and Germany encouraged governments to launch city clean-up programs.
Louis Rene Villerme (1782-1863) in France
Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890) in England
Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) in Germany
New Water and Sewer Systems
Greatest health and engineering achievements of the second half of the nineteenth century.
Wherever facilities systems were installed, the mortality rate dropped considerably.
Expanded Government Involvement in Public Health
In Britain the Public Health Act of 1848, in France the Melun Act of 1851, and various laws in the German states allowed government inspectors to enter private homes in the name of public health.
Medical breakthroughs near the close of the century
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) in France, Robert Koch (1843-1910) in Germany, and Joseph Lister (1827-1912) in Britain, increased concerns about cleanliness.
Housing Reform and Middle-Class Values
After the revolutions of 1848, the overcrowding in housing and the social discontent that it generated were also seen to pose political danger.
Early German housing reformer who believed that providing decent housing to the poor would foster a good home life, in turn leading to a healthy, moral, and politically stable population.
Jules Simon (1814-1896)
French housing reformer who saw good housing as leading to good family life and, ultimately, to strong patriotic feeling
Programs and legislation were enacted to lower interest rates to construct cheap housing.
Section Five: Varieties of Late-Nineteenth-Century Women’s Experiences
Generally speaking, women remained economically dependent and legally inferior to men regardless of social class.
Women’s Social Disabilities
Women and Property
Until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, married women could not own property in their own names.
Reform of women’s property rights came slowly
Married Woman’s Property Act (1882) in Britain permitted married women to own property.
In France, a married woman could not even open a savings account until 1895 and did not earn possession of the wages they earned until 1907.
By 1900, in Germany, a woman could get a job without permission but her wages were turned over to her husband.
Legal codes required women to “give obedience” to their husbands.
Tradition of Roman Law and the Napoleonic Code made women legal minors throughout Europe.
Divorce was difficult everywhere in Europe
“cruelty” or “injury” were grounds for divorce
In Britain, adultery was a common reason for divorce.
Husbands’ extramarital sexual relations were tolerated to a much greater degree than those of wives.
Husband’s rights over children
Could take children away from mother and have child reared by someone else
Leading Russian socialist who wrote in exile from Switzerland and influenced Lenin.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1870-1924), who later took the name Lenin, was a close follower of Plekhanov
Lenin was the son of a high bureaucrat
His brother was executed for his role in planning an assassination attempt on Alexander III.
Studied law in Saint Petersburg
He was drawn to the revolutionary groups among the factory workers and was arrested and sent into exile in Siberia
He then moved to Switzerland.
Deeply involved in debates about Marxism
Most Marxist believed Russia needed to build up its proletariat before revolution was possible.
Wrote What Is To Be Done (1902)
Believed that professional revolutionaries had to bring their message to the workers.
Only a small, elite party could possess the proper dedication to revolution and resist penetration by police spies.
Lenin believed that revolutionary consciousness would not arise spontaneously from the working class so it needed to be planned and carried out.
Lenin and the London Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party (1903)
Russian socialists were divided on issues which caused the formation of two groups.
Bolsheviks (means “majority”)
was to consist of elite professional revolutionaries who would provide centralized leadership for the working class
only through revolution could socialist goals be obtained
Mensheviks (means “minority”)
Believed socialist goals could be achieved through political processes
Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Bourgeois-Democratic Revolution
Urged socialist revolution to unite the proletariat and peasantry
Bolsheviks seized power in November 1917 but it’s important to note that between 1900 and the outbreak of World War I, the government of Nicholas II managed to confront political upheaval more or less successfully.
The Revolution of 1905 and its Aftermath
Tsar entered the Russo-Japanese War, in part, to win public approval for the tsarist regime; the plan backfired when Russia lost the war.
Bloody Sunday, January, 22,1905
A Russian Orthodox priest named Father George Gapon led several hundred workers to present a petition to the tsar to improve industrial conditions.
As the crowd approached the Winter Palace, troops opened fire and killed forty people.
Crowds gathered throughout Saint Petersburg and troops ended up killing nearly 200 and wounding 800.
Aftermath of Bloody Sunday
Frequent workers strikes
The uncle of Nicholas II was assassinated.
Worker groups called soviets came to control the city of St. Petersburg.
Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto which promised a constitutional government
Created the duma, a representative body with two chambers
April election turned a highly radical group of representatives
Nicholas dissolved it and called for new elections; he did this again in 1907.
P.A. Stolypin replaced Witte as top advisor who sought to repress rebellion.
700 rebellious peasants were condemned to death, while simultaneously announcing that peasants would not have to meet payment requirements established when serfdom was abolished in 1861.
In 1911, he was assassinated by a social revolutionary.
New duma consisted of mostly moderate liberals.
A monk who gained favor with the tsar and his wife because of his alleged power to heal the tsar’s hemophilic son Alexis.
He was a strange, uncouth man, who caused the tsar to lose legitimacy with his people.