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Effects of the Industrial Revolution

Unit 5: c. 1750-1900

Main Ideas:

  • In response to the changes caused by the Industrial Revolution, many industrial workers organized to campaign for reforms

  • Many workers hated the new social hierarchies → Promoted Karl Marx's communist ideology

  • In response to the expansion of industrialization, some states (Ottoman & Qing Dynasty) sought to reform their economies to match that of Europe

  • Creation of new social classes (middle class & industrial working class)

  • Some women & children had to work, but other women had roles limited to the household

  • Rapid urbanization → Problems in the cities

Workers Organizing for Reform

Workers hated the Conditions of Industrial Factories → Campaigned for Reform

Key Ideas:

  • In response to poor economic & working conditions, factory workers organized themselves in labor unions to campaign for better working conditions

    • Workers faced poor working conditions: Long hours, strict supervision, little pay, 

    • Workers campaigned for better working conditions, less hours, higher pay, etc.

    • The Luddites were a radical group of textile workers in Britain that destroyed textile factories to campaign for better working conditions in early 1800s

  • In response to worker strikes & other factors, many governments implemented social & economic reforms
    • Children were being forced to work in coal mines → Governments passed mandatory education laws for children to keep children safe
    • Governments passed laws to limit working hours for women & children, improve working conditions, etc.
      • British Factory Act of 1833 limited working hours for children

  • Discontent with the poor social & economic standing of the working class → Many workers promoted Karl Marx's communist ideology
    • Karl Marx was a radical who believed that the capitalists (bourgeoisie) were constantly exploiting the working class (proletariat) → Believed the proletariat would eventually rebel to overthrow the bourgeoisie
      • Such an event would be called a proletarian revolution, or a communist revolution (it happened in Russia in 1917)
    • Many workers supported Marx's ideas as they wanted to overthrow the capitalists to boost their social standing


State-Sponsored Reform Movements

Some Non-Industrial States Organized Reform Movements in Response to Industrialization

Key Ideas:

  • Qing Dynasty (China) organized economic & military reform movements to try to boost their economy to European standards, but failed

    • Qing Dynasty sought to Westernize its economy through its "Hundred Days' Reform" program in 1898

    • Qing Dynasty failed as it was devastated from the Taiping & Boxer Rebellions, and many elites in the Qing Dynasty refused to support the reform movements

  • Ottoman Empire organized an economic & military reform movement (Tanzimat) to try to boost their economy to European standards, but failed
    • Ottoman Empire launched a reform program called the Tanzimat to westernize almost all aspects of society to try to catch up to European standards of living
    • Many Ottomans resisted the reform efforts → Tanzimat reform failed

Social Effects

New Social Classes were Created, and Urbanization Brought many Problems

Key Ideas:

  • Industrialization led to the creation of a distinct middle class and a large working class
    • A lot of people got jobs in industrial factories & coal mines → These people were part of the working class (a poor class that lived paycheck-to-paycheck & had poor living conditions)
    • The factory owners and merchants had some extra money to use for pleasure purchases → Part of a new distinct middle class

  • Many women & children had to work (to supply money for the family), but other women who didn't work had roles focused on housekeeping & child rearing

    • Many women & children were forced to work since they needed to supply for their family

    • Many middle-class women did not work, so they were restricted to the domestic sphere of the household → Focused on housekeeping & raising their children

  • People migrated from countryside to cities to work in factories → Rapid urbanization → Problems in the cities

    • Many people migrated from rural to urban centers to work in the factories

    • These migrant workers were forced to live in dirty cramped tenements due to housing shortages

      • The tenements had little or no sewage → Disease spread quickly

    • The city had poor water supply, sewage, fire control, police, pollution, etc. → Urban mortality was really high

    • Cities didn't have the proper infrastructure to accommodate for urban growth

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