The Growth of Industrial Prosperity



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Europe 1850-1914

Population Growth – Between 1850 and 1910 European population increased from 270 million to over 460 million. Between 1850 and 1870, the increase was due to rising birthrate. After 1880, it was due to falling death rate. What accounted for this increase?



  • Medical discoveries – smallpox vaccinations became compulsory

  • Improved Public Sanitation – a safer water system and proper sewage systems helped to reduce the incident of infectious diseases.

  • An Improved Diet – increased agricultural productivity, coupled with improvement in the processing of food (pasteurization) provided improved nutrition to the growing population

  • Increased Emigration – migration within Europe from mainly agrarian areas to more industrialized areas; mass emigration from eastern and southern Europe to US, Canada, and Latin America – some left seeking new jobs; others left to escape persecution (Jews and Poles)

Additional notes on population growth:



  • Proportion of Europeans in the world’s population was the greatest ever around 1900

  • Due to railways, steamships, and better roads Europeans became more mobile

  • Outward movement of Europeans coupled with Europe’s economic and technological superiority contributed heavily to Europeanization of the world


The Growth of Industrial Prosperity
Second Industrial Revolution associated with steel, chemicals, electricity and oil

  • New Products and New Methods

Age of Steel

Kelly: U.S

Bessemer: Britain

Siemann Brothers: Germany

New methods of rolling/shaping steel allowed steel to be used in making lighter, smaller faster machines. Germany out produced Britain, but U.S. surpassed both by 1890.

Chemicals

Slowly the process of alkali production replaced the older LeBlanc process, allowing recovery of more chemical by-products; thereby increasing the production of sulfuric acid and laundry soap. New dyestuffs and plastics were also developed. Formal scientific research played key role and link between science and industrial development began. Germany took the lead in this revolution



Electricity –most versatile and transportable source of power

Faraday: invented generator


Tesla: developed a way to transmit electricity over long distances

Edison: built first power stations; light bulb, R&D lab at Menlo Park



  • Streetlights, electric railcars – streetcars, subways

  • Helped to speed up production in factories – conveyor belts, cranes to move products

New Forms of Communication

Bell: telephone Marconi: wireless radio

Morse: telegraph Cyrus Fields: Transatlantic cable
Internal Combustion Engine


  • Spurred by the development of liquid fuels

  • Ocean going vessels switched from coal to oil powered engines

Daimler --developed a light engine to power a bicycle

Benz -- water-cooled internal combustion engine

Ford -- used assembly line to produce cars thus making cars more affordable

Zeppelin -- airship

Wright Brothers -- fixed wing plane

Cunard—ocean lines



New Market Strategies


  • Best foreign markets were saturated (more consumer goods being produced)

  • More emphasis on domestic market which was growing thanks to increase in population and rise in wages

  • Used new marketing ploys to lure buyers (advertising)

  • Development of “department store” (mail order catalogue)

  • Increased competition marked a return to protective tariffs. Only Britain, Denmark, and Netherlands maintained a free trade policy

  • Cartels: most developed in Germany; controlled all the means of production; purpose was to control prices, set quotas and wipe out competition. This led to larger and larger factories.

  • Scientific management methods were employed to make production more efficient

  • Increased economic competition added to the growing political rivalries. (leads to growth in imperialism)


New Patterns of an Industrial Economy

1850-1873: agriculture and industry both prospered

1873-1895: a period of depression; rolling recession plagued Europe. Declining agricultural prices triggered recessions throughout Europe; however, they occurred in different countries at different times

1873: large banks failed, rate of capital investment slowed “unemployment” was coined

After 1895 Europe experienced an economic boom. “La belle époque” the Golden Age of European civilization -- the calm before the storm.


  • Germany became the industrial leader of Europe because the British did not update their factories to reflect the improvements and innovations of the Second Industrial Revolution – Britain “rested on their laurels”. Germany was in a position to employ the latest innovations as they came later to industrialization than Britain.

  • Germany encouraged formal scientific education – growth of technical schools

Union of Science and Technology

The time of the amateur inventor was past. The Second Industrial Revolution needed people trained in science and technology. Industry hired scientists and engineers to work in their R&D departments. The melding of science and technology was seen as vital to the development of new products and new methods of production.
Creation of Two Europes:

Europe was divided into two distinct regions: the industrialized and educated West with a high standard of living vs. the East, which was primarily agrarian and backward. The East served as the farmers for the west. Unfortunately with the mechanization of farming, farm prices dropped and the East was destined to remain less developed than the West. Some countries specialized in certain kinds of food products to try to capitalize on what they had to offer. To protect their own farmers and industries countries often placed high tariffs on foreign goods.


A World Economy -- Due to the improvements in transportation, trade became international. Europe was the dominant force in this worldwide trade.
Transformation of the Urban Environment

  • The Growth of Cities was due, in part, to residents of rural areas seeking jobs, and also improvements in sanitation which allowed people in urban areas to live longer

  • Competition for jobs created conflict among classes; the rise of anti-Semitism may be due to this

  • Impact of Cholera

    • Was not exclusive to the poor

    • Middle class believed it came from miasmas in the air-their presence was marked by foul odors, arose from filth

    • Fear if cholera among the middle and upper classes created an environment that encouraged the development of sanitation systems

Improving Living Conditions – reacting to the urban reformers of 1840’s, Edwin Chadwick, Louis Rene Villerme, Rudolf Virchow, and Solomon Neuman, national and municipal governments began to pass laws to improve urban living conditions

    • Sanitation – reservoirs, dams build to store clean water; hot water heaters encouraged daily baths; underground pipes used to transport sewage from the cities; unfortunately in many cases it simply dumped it untreated into lakes and rivers which soon became polluted. London did built a sewage treatment plant

    • Housing – Public Health Act of 1875 prohibited the construction of new building without running water and an internal drainage system; role of municipal governments now expanded to include detailed regulations for the improvement of urban living conditions. Public health officials and medical doctors were authorized to inspect dwelling for health issues. Health Act of 1848 created a National Board of Health and modern sanitation system

    • Melun Act of 1851(Ch. 24):

Allowed medical officers and buildings inspectors to enter homes and other structures in name of public health. Private property could be condemned for posing health hazards. Private land could be excavated for construction is of sewers and water mains. New building requirements put restrictions on building contractors.
Urban Reformers
Urban reformers, in most cases, supported private enterprise to improve living conditions for the very poor.

  • V.A. Huber, foremost German housing reformer: Suggested that good housing was a prerequisite for stable family life, and without stable family society would be harmed. If a private investor would offer clean, affordable housing to the needy other investors would be forced to improve their property.

  • Octavia Hill – Reformer who acquired dilapidated housing repaired it and rented it at reasonable prices; however, she expected those who were given this opportunity to improve themselves and to lead moral lives.

  • Lord Leverhulme – constructed Port Sunlight, outside of Liverpool, for the workers in his soap factory. He believed that good housing would lead to a happy and healthy workforce.

  • Ebenezer Howard – founded British garden city movement – concept of master planned communities outside the city.

  • Krupps constructed model housing projects and industrial communities

However, by the 1880’s it became apparent that private enterprise alone could not provide all the low-income housing that was needed


1890 – British Housing Act – granted local municipalities the right to levy taxes for the construction of cheap housing for the poor. Germany followed with similar legislation in 1900 and France provided for low interest loans for private investors who would build housing for the poor. It did not really impact urban areas until after the Great War.

      • Redesigning of cities

        • Many major cities in Europe realized that the confining wall of the middle ages must go.

        • Paris, Vienna replaced their narrow streets with broad avenues.

        • Old dilapidated buildings were torn down and replaced with new offices, government buildings, retail stores, etc.

        • All this new construction forced many people to relocate to neighboring villages and countryside. With the arrival of streetcars and commuter trains people could now live outside the city proper, but still work in the city.

      • Development of suburbs

        • Middle class sought housing removed from urban congestion.

        • Lower class sought affordable housing.

        • Bread winner worked in business or factory located in city

        • Used new transportation to get to work (rail and subway)

        • Home and work became more physically separated.

The Social Structure of Mass Society
Between 1871 and 1910, wages of British workers did increase; however, 3/5’s of nation’s wealth went to 20% of the population, while only 2/5’s of nation’s wealth went to 80% of the population.

  • The Elite: Wealth and Status

    • Lines between landed aristocracy and wealthy upper middle class blurred

    • Intermarriage became common as the aristocracy sought new sources of money and the upper middle class sought titles

    • Consuelo Vanderbilt married the Duke of Marlborough; he got 10 million dollars and she got a title

    • Wealthiest individual in Germany was Bertha Krupp, granddaughter of Alfred Krupp

    • In Germany anti-Semitism prevented some from intermingling with the Junker class; for example Albert Ballin, who was close to Kaiser Wilhelm II, was snubbed by Berlin aristocracy because of his Jewish origins

  • The Middle Class

    • Consisted of a variety of groups – upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class

    • Good Conduct was the one common theme to all the various groups of the middle class; very concerned with outward appearance and conduct – think Victorian Age

    • Accepted and promoted the importance of science and progress

    • Believed that through hard work one could achieve one’s goals

  • The Lower Classes – constituted about 80% of the population; in Eastern Europe most were agriculture workers; however, in Western Europe the number of agriculture workers was much less; members of lower classes drafted into military were exposed to different groups and their values; children of peasants forced to attend elementary schools learned to speak the national language and to accept national loyalties.

    • Skilled – many adopted the values of the middle class; sought good housing and education for their children

    • Semiskilled --- wages were only about 2/3’s of skilled workers

    • Unskilled – composed the largest component of lower class; included day laborers who lived with sporadic incomes; and the many women who were employed as domestic workers.

    • After 1871 lives of urban workers did improve as living conditions improved, wages rose and the cost of living declined (due to decline in price of food)


Education and Leisure in an Age of Mass Society

  • Primary Education for All - by 1900 most northern and western European states were providing state financed primary school, salaried and trained teachers, and free, compulsory mass elementary education – Why?

    • For a More Efficient Work Force – Second Industrial Revolution required better educated workers

    • For a More Intelligent Electorate -- political reasons were probably the greatest motivator for compulsory education; as the franchise was broaden, it necessitated a more educated electorate; indoctrination in a nation’s values, history was a major focus in the educational curriculum, along with reading, writing and arithmetic

    • A Demand for Teachers – most of the new teaching force was female; many were spinsters – greatest benefit was that females could be pay less

    • The Increase in Literacy – as compulsory education became widespread literacy increased – led to daily newspapers written in a simpler style and that often focused on the sensational; pulp fiction became popular

      • Mass Leisure - with the passage of labor laws restricting who could work and how many hours could be work, leisure time increased. New forms of entertainment arose and grew in popularity

    • Dance Halls – initially for men; 1880’s 500 music halls in London; gradually altered their programs to entice women and children to attend; 1900’s often strictly oriented toward adults – sexually suggestive dancing

    • Tourism – with the growth of mass transportation, more activities became available to middle and lower classes – trips to sporting events, the beach, resorts, and to the continent became more affordable

      • Thomas Cook – British pioneer of mass tourism; grew out of his involvement with the British temperance movement

    • Sports

      • Male participation in organized sports became more common as middle class came to view participation as a way of building character in young men

      • Professional sports clubs create mass spectator sports


Women’s Experiences

Women and Property:



  • For most of the century, once married a woman lost the right to own property. Legal identities found in their husbands. Freedom to work, save or move was very limited.

  • 1882- (Great Britain) Married Women’s Property Act- allowed married women to won property in their own name.

  • France- only after 1895 could a married woman open a saving account in her own name

  • 1907- Granted possession of wages earned

  • 1900- Germany- women could take jobs without husband’s permission, but husbands retained control of all the property

Family Law: “obedience to husbands” by law, legal minors, divorce very difficult,



  • Great Britain pre-1857 divorce required Act of Parliament- after 1857 through Court of Matrimonial. Causes- still very difficult had to prove adultery and other offenses of male- only adultery for women.

  • France- 1816-84- divorce forbidden by law, after 1884 cruelty or injury only grounds.

Educational Barriers



    • Less access to education and schools that were open to women were inferior

    • Literacy rates were lower for women

    • Although some universities began to admit women, it was difficult to gain acceptance because most women could not gain a secondary education. The few who were admitted to university could not obtain a degree even if they met the qualifications.

    • Elementary teachers became haven for young women. Lots of public scorned women who sought education.

The right of women to work continued to be debated. Working classmen suggested that women should remain in the home to protect the sanctity of the home. This may have just been a ploy to keep women out of the workforce. Some women had no options and were forced into “sweating”. They did piecework in their own homes for very low pay.


After 1870 new work opportunities arose for women. “White collar jobs” – telephone operators, postal workers, secretaries, clerks, nurses, and teachers – the latter two require more education than the former. Some of these jobs were filled by middle class women, but more often they were filled by working class women who saw “white collar jobs” as a step up from factory work.
An Increase in Prostitution

  • Rural girls who came to cities often turned prostitution for survival. Most were active only for a short period before they found regular work or they could marry. Late teens to 25 (few child prostitutes)

  • Prostitution was licensed and regulated by the government. Generally legalized on the continent, Great Britain set regulations.


The Role of Women

      • The Cult of Domesticity – clearly defined gender roles dominated throughout the 19th century – men go to work, women stay home and take of home and children; however, many lower class women had to supplement the family income and were forced to do sweat work; marriage was viewed as only truly acceptable work for women

      • The Middle Class Family – family was the central institution, wealthy enjoyed luxury

    • Men were the bread winners and women took care of the household and children, but middle class women were also suppose to cultivate the idea of the domestic leisure – ha – often the reality was that the family could only afford one domestic servant and wives had to work very hard to keep the house looking spic and span. In public, middle class women would want to appear as the idle wife who uses her spare time to enrich the lives of her husband and children; behind the scenes her life was often characterized by drudgery.

    • Childhood was seen as a distinct period in life; games, toys for children grew in popularity; playtime with other children was promoted

    • Young men were expected to follow the career paths of their fathers and were often sent away to school at a young age (6 or 7) and kept separated from society until the age of 16 or 17. Sports were used to toughen them up and leisure activities centered around both national military service and character building

      • Boy Scouts founded by Robert Baden-Powell

      • Girl Guides by his sister Agnes Baden-Powell

      • The Working Class Family

    • Women had to work hard – both in and out of the home

    • Daughters were expected to work until they married and even then many had to do piecework to supplement the family income

    • Childhood for working class ended at 9 or 10 when they were expected to take odd jobs or enter an apprenticeship

    • 1890-1914 the pattern of family life began to change as standard of living increased

      • Families could now adopt the middle class lifestyle where the wife and mother became the consumer and the father the provider.

      • Began to limit the size of their families as they no longer needed lots of children to work to support the family

      • Leisure time increased because of changes in labor laws – thus more time could be spent with their children

      • Interest in education of their children grew as they viewed education as a way of future improvement


Rise of Political Feminism
Obstacles to Achieving Equality: many liberal males opposed political equality because felt women would be conservative, because they were unduly influenced by the church. Split within feminists because of differences over methods to be used. RCC feminists had problems working with secular feminists. John Stuart Mill and wife Harriet Taylor applied the logic of liberal freedom to protection of women everywhere. The subjection of women, because early feminists were associated with early socialists who had radical ideas about sexuality, marriage and property.
Votes for Women in Britain:

  • National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies- Moderate, founded by Millicent Fawcett who believed that Parliament would grant women the vote only if they were convinced women would act respectfully and responsibly.

  • Emmeline Pankhurst and daughters, Christabel and Sylvia- Women’s Social and Political Union-suffragettes-1910-took violent measures such as arsons, breaking windows, sabotage of postal boxes, chaining themselves to public buildings-were arrested and force fed. Emily Davidson- Baby day.

Political Feminism on the Continent:



  • France: 1st Hubertine Auclert-first to campaign for vote in1880’s 1901-National Council of French Women- Upper-middle class women- did not support vote for women for several years. Almost all rejected violence. Believed vote could be achieved legally. Did not get vote until after World War II.

  • Germany: German law prohibited political activity for women. 1894- Union of German Women’s Organization (BDFK) support call for vote- most by concerned with social conditions, access to education, and right to other protections- worked for admission to civic participation at local level- support of German Social Democrats actually hurt the cause.


Women and Modern Thought
Antifeminism in late 19th Century Thought: Even though much new thought had emerged in biology, ideas about women and their roles remained unchanged. In fact, evolution was used to reinforce the stereotype. Women were inferior to men- this could be seen in literature and paintings of the late 19th century. Women were often excluded from intellectual discussions on the basis that it was unfeminine to discuss sexuality, customs of primitive people. T. H. Huxley took the lead in exclusion of women. Freud claims they are incomplete humans defined to unhappy lives; some female psychologists tried to challenge Freud and establish a feminist analysis.
New Directions in Feminism

Sexual Morality and the Family



      • Birth Control – birthrates dropped significantly – Why?

    • Maybe the invention of vulcanized rubber which led to condoms and diaphragms; however, their use was not widespread until after WWI

    • Some suggest it was more widespread use of coitus interruptus

    • Some say it was the increased incidence of abortion, infanticide or abandonment

    • Some say it was increased awareness of birth control methods

      • Aletta Jacob opened first birth control clinic in Amsterdam

  • Family planning was initially the work of reformers who believed that if the working class would reduce the size of their families, their standard of living would increase; however, it was the middle class that adopted the practice

Virginia Woof, “A Room of One’s Own” fundamental feminist literary work. It explained the need of women to have an intellectual life, challenged basic feminist theory. Concluded all writers must be able to think as both men and women and share sensibilities of each. Feminist movement became associated with sexual morality.


Contagious Diseases Acts (1870’s, 1880’s)

  • Granted authorities the right to examine prostituted for VD and if positive to confine them to lock hospitals for moral instruction

  • Josephine Butler, one of many female reformers who were angry that men with venereal disease were not subject to the same treatment

  • Butler and her “shrieking sisters” spoke out publicly about sexual matters. Eventually they got the Contagious Diseases Acts repealed

Women defining their own lives:



  • 1890’s- Vienna- General Austria Women’s Association led by Auguste Fiche argued the introduction of legally regulated prostitution would have put women under control of police authorities.

  • Germany was divided between those who would penalize prostitutes and those who saw them as victims.

  • Mother’s Protection League (Germany) suggested that both married and unmarried women required state aide, including leaves for pregnancy, child care, and emphasized need to rethink old sexual morality.



Science in the 19th Century

1850-1870 – Two Major Intellectual Developments



  • Growth of Scientific Knowledge

  • Shift from Romanticism to Realism – inner reality to outer material world




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