1848-1914 Realism and Materialism
Capitalism and the New Left
During the nineteenth century, Europe experienced the full impact of the Industrial Revolution.
The new economic order not only altered the working lives of most Europeans, but also impacted on the very fiber of european culture.
The shifts in demography were revolutionary
The process of urbanization was irreversible and the transformation of European values and lifestyle were dramatic.
The Industrial Revolution resulted in improving aspects of the physical lives of a greater number of europeans
At the same time, it led to a factory system with undesirable working and living conditions and the abuses of child labor.
While the advantages of industrialism were evident, the disadvantages were more subtle
The industrial working class was more vulnerable than the agrarian peasants because of the fragilenature of the industrial economy.
This new economy was based on a dependent system which involved
The availability of raw materials an adequate labor supply, and a distribution system which successfully marketed the products;
The distribution system was in itself dependent upon a satisfactory availability of money throughout the economic system.
If any one of these requirements was impeded or absent, the industrial work force could be confronted with unemployment and poverty.
The industrial system was based fundamentally in developing capatalism which itself was essentially grounded in an appreciation of material culture.
The standard of living, neo-mercantilist attitudes towards national power, and the goal of accumulation of wealth were manifestations of this materialism.
As the century progressed the inequalities of the system became increasingly evident.
Trade-unionism and socialist political parties emerged which attempted to address these problems and improve the lives of the working class.
In most of these expressions of discontent, the influences of Utopian...