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Unit 6 - The Industrial Revolution & Ideologies and Upheavals

The Industrial Revolution 1780-1850

This chapter focuses on one of the greatest shifts in human civilization that has ever occurred: the Industrial Revolution. It is a movement that began in Great Britain in the later half of the 18th century, and rapidly advanced, turning Britain into the most industrially advanced and economically prosperous nation in the Western world. The development of the steam engine transformed practically every industry: textiles (namely the cotton industry), iron, transportation, and even luxury goods. The social implications of the new industrial society were astronomical, as new social classes emerged that were directly tied to industrial development and would alter European politics forever: the new industrial middle class and working laborers. The Industrial Revolution later spread to other nations on the continent, such as Belgium, France, and some German states, and across the Atlantic to the new nation of the United States, which was well on its way to proving its own economic and industrial power. The conflicts that arose between middle class and working class, labor and management, will have rippling effects on the politics and economies of the West that continue to be felt today.

Romanticism/Ideologies and Upheavals 1815-1850

This chapter focuses on the modern Europe that is borne out of two massive changes that occurred at the turn of the 18th century: the French Revolution (and its Napoleonic consequences) and the Industrial Revolution. New ideologies emerge as Europe deals with the reckoning of a new industrial class and a conservative backlash against Napoleonic changes and revolutionary ideals. As conservatives try to maintain some semblance of peace and order by conserving the old status quo, liberalism continues to live on in the educated middle class, university students, soldiers, and intellectuals. In the early part of the 19th century, liberals will find allegiance with the growing class of nationalists- people who have had a sense of patriotic pride and fervor awakened by wars, revolution, and years of dynastic conquest. These three ideologies will clash in two major waves of revolution that will strike Europe in 1832 and 1848- and in both cases, the revolts will start in France, and spread outward. Another massive shift will be finalized by the end of these revolutions: the bourgeoisie will no longer be revolutionaries, but rather the ruling class... and will be set to usher Europe in to the new age of mass politics as the franchise is expanded in several states. Through it all, nationalism will be the hallmark sentiment of Europe from this point on to the culminating effects of the clashing ideologies: the World Wars of the 20th century. Keep in mind that nationalism will not hold itself to liberal causes for long; it will soon be claimed by conservatives in Europe who wish to use it as a more practical strategy to preventing revolutions. Meanwhile, a new art movement will be inspired by a rapidly changing Europe as people- namely conservatives, but nationalists as well, will yearn for what appear to be "simpler times" as they romanticize the Europe of old, and Romanticism will express itself in painting, poetry, and literature of the new age.

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