Essay Four: 1871-1914

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Essay Four: 1871-1914
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  1. period between 1871-1914
    The period between 1871 to 1914 was an era of complex and intertwined developments that led to an era of modernity. These developments greatly enhanced the lifestyle of Europeans all over. Not only that, but developments also caused great setbacks for other countries. This period is divided into two periods. The first, between 1871-1894, is known as the Age of Progress, while the period between 1894-1914 is called the Age of Modernity. Both time periods have their own separate developments.
  2. Age of Progress
    The “Age of Progress” began with a stunning material growth produced by the Second Industrial Revolution. In this era, it was not Britain who took the lead, but Germany. New products were produced, such as iron, coal, railroads, and coal were replaced by steel, chemicals, electricity and petroleum. The development of steel enabled better machines and railways, ships, etc. Germany also took the lead in creating chemicals in labs.
  3. Electricity
    Electricity was also another form of energy that greatly enhanced life since it was converted to heat, light, etc. Electricity formed the basis of numerous inventions, such as the lightbulb, the telephone, and radio waves by Marconi, and more importantly, new transportation machines. These included the electric railway. Also, conveyor belts, cranes, etc. were powered by electricity. An internal combustion also furthered the industrial revolution when it used petroleum as its fuel. This led to automobiles and airplanes.
  4. New markets
    New markets also were developed as old markets were saturated and necessitated new markets to be formed. These led to greater national incomes. Furthermore, wages increased, allowing mass marketing to sell the consumer goods. Eventually, this led to a department store. Tariffs and cartels were instituted to protect free trade and investments.
  5. Larger factories
    Larger factories also were made possible due to new machinery and a greater demand for goods in the economy. The number of people working in factories in Germany increased immensely. However, the great demand led to cutting labor costs through the use of machines.
  6. New developments
    These new developments eventually led to new patterns  in the industrial economy. Even though recessions, depressions, crises, etc. were prominent, overall Europe experienced an economic boom—la belle époque. In this golden age, it was Germany that took the lead. This was because they were more willing to ‘risk it all.’ Furthermore, unlike Britain, they joined late and were able to build the most recent machines. 
  7. learning of science
    Lastly, they advocated the learning of science and technology, building labs for research and science. Europe was also divided into two zones—the industrialized, advanced core with educated populations and transportation and the unindustrialized and backward area that consisted of Russia, etc. Industrialization also affected the faming population that was undermined through the abundance of grain and lower transportation costs. Countries responded with tariff barriers and new machines for harvesting and threshing.
  8. Industrialization spread
    Industrialization also spread to regions, such as Russia and Japan, where Russia took the lead in promoting it through building railroads, financing industries, etc. A world economy also was developed as exports from far-off places such as Australia were being transported.
  9. white-collar jobs
    This era also experienced the change in women. Women, who were barred from working through legislation, such as the Ten Hours Act, were forced to remain home. However, when desperately in need of work,, they were granted white-collar jobs, which consisted of clerks, typists, secretaries, etc. These jobs were boring and did not need much education. Still, it provided an escape for women. 
  10. women unable
    Women who were unable to escape, however, were forced to undergo prostitution, which became so prominent that governments even regulated it. In Britain, women were checked for diseases before being permitted to prostitute. This led to protests from ladies, such as Josephine Butler, who objected to laws that punished women but not men. 
  11. working class
    In terms of the working class, trade unions and political parties began to develop. One was the Socialist Democratic Party, created by Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel, who espoused revolutionary Marxist rhetoric and wanted to enact legislation to improve the working class. Although other Socialist parties were formed, they were unsuccessful.
  12. despite socialists
    • Despite socialists, there was revisionism that opposed Marx’s idea about the declining working class. For example, Bernstein believed that the middle class was expanding and the proletariat was improving in standards of living. Other opposers to Marx were nationalists who refuted the idea of Marx that people will disregard their nations. In fact, nationalism was becoming more prominent.
    • In terms of trade unions, workers tried to improve their working conditions. Strikes were needed to achieve workers’ goals. It wasn’t until WWI when they had great success. As Marxist revolutionary fervor abated, there was the development of anarchists, who believed that only through violence could they bring about change, such as Michael Bakunin.
  13. Mass society
    More developments were the emergence of a mass society that began with a population growth that was the result of medical discoveries and environmental conditions. Also, food improved nutrition and allowed decline in famines and surplus. Still, the population was too large and emigration resulted, many going to North America. Emigration became a regular motif in history when people could not be supported. It was also the solution for oppressed minorities, such as the Poles and Serbs, and most especially the Jews.
  14. urban environment
    The urban environment also transformed. As people migrated from the country to the urban areas for economic necessity, many reformers began to tackle the issue of housing conditions. Edwin Chadwick and Rudolf Virchow and Solomon Neumann for example emphasized the filthy living conditions as the cause of disease and led to legislation and inspectors, who inspected dwellings for public health hazards. The Public Act of 1875, for example, prohibited the construction of new buildings without running water and an internal drainage system. Furthermore, fresh water was solved by dams and reservoirs; mammoth pipes could now carry waste miles away.
  15. housing needs
    Housing needs were also an area that saw great and new developments. Because reformers believed that terrible housing affected the moral health of people, governments promoted the construction of model dwellings renting at reasonable prices; but, it could not solve the problem. As a result, new taxes and cheap houses were constructed and redesigning of cities commenced, as walls were torn down and areas were converted into parks and boulevards, such as Baron Haussman of Paris.
  16. plutocrats
    New developments occurred in the social aspects of society as well, as a new group of wealthy plutocrats developed. They were the big businessmen and held the greatest fortunes. Eventually, plutocrats and aristocrats fused as plutocrats purchased landed estates to join aristocrats in country living; and, plutocrats went to schools that were previously predominately aristocratic. Furthermore, daughters of tycoons and aristocratic women were in great demand.  The middle class was also experiencing improvements. 
  17. middle class
    Aside from the plutocrats, the middle class was hierarchicized. There were professionals in law, medicine, etc, a lower middle class of shopkeepers and traders, and white-collar workers, who were new and inserted themselves between the lower middle class and the lower classes.  This middle class had the same ideals of the upper class, such as hard work and Christian morality. 
  18. lower class
    The lower class was comprised of peasants, sharecroppers, etc. and comprised of 80% of Europeans, but only 10% in Britain and 25% in Germany. They too shared the values of the middle class and were taught the national dialect. The working class was very diversified. The very end of the chain was the unskilled laborers, who worked regularly for low wages. Nevertheless, they experienced a betterment of society, much as everyone else.
  19. women
    In society, women were also experiencing changes as marriage was viewed as honorable, since convents were no longer an option. Birthrates also dropped due to changes in attitude as birth control was viewed as negative. Dr. Aletta Jacob founded the first birth control clinic for family planning for families who were unable to support kids. Still, this idea spread among propertied classes rather than lower classes. Family life in the middle class was characterized by servants and the mother remaining in the household.
  20. children
    . The lower number of children allowed women to take a better role in their children’s lives. Children were no longer small adults, but unique beings entitled to long childhoods involved in activities with kids their own age. Sport enabled kids to toughen up and Boy Scouts curbed licentiousness and promoted patriotism, self-sacrifice, and masculinity. 
  21. middle vs. lower class family
    These middle class women had to work hard to maintain the façade of n easy lifestyle, when in reality, they were not. The working-class family, on the other hand, had to work to maintain the family. When better industries came, however, some women were able to remain home. Children for them, however, were a burden since they were dependents.
  22. mass education
    Mass education was another development that, at first, was opened to nobles and wealthier middle-class families. However, state-run systems developed in Austria, France, and Britain, etc. with specialized teachers that were paid. These teachers were female, since teaching seemed to be an extension of their job. This desire to educate was due to the belief that it would cause personal and social improvement, as well as improve the quality of military recruits. Furthermore, new machines and jobs necessitated an educated population. Overall, this caused an increase in literacy and allowing newspapers and pulp fiction to become a regular feature. 
  23. Mass leisure
    Mass leisure was also a new development in mass society that was due to new technology and business practices. Amusement parks and dance halls were prominent, tourism sprang up as British pioneer Thomas Cook discovered an area of profit through offering trips, team sports allowed for a sense of teamwork and discipline that would be helpful in the military and also allowed the people to develop a sense of identity
  24. mass consumption
    • One last economical development was mass consumption, which was comprised of people, due to rising wages and lower food prices, purchasing new items through advertisements and department stores, such as accessories and furniture. Furthermore, omnibuses allowed people to go back and forth.
  25. Mass politics
    Aside from the development within society, there were also mass politics as suffrage enabled more people to get involved in politics and demand rights. In Britain, for example, political democracy was a preoccupation of British politics. The Reform Act of 1867 enabled the right to vote to all men who paid regular rents or taxes. Women were excluded, however. After this Reform Act, a Redistribution Act eliminated boroughs and counties and established constituencies with equal populations and one representative each. 
  26. Paying members and Ireland
    Furthermore, paying members of the House of Commons further democratized Britain. However, in Ireland, there was large discontent as people demanded home rule. Even though William Gladstone attempted to alleviate Irish discontent, due to the British’s inability to quell the rebellious nature of Ireland, this would impact them later on.
  27. France
    In France, although a provisional government was set up, Bismarck forced them to create a government based on universal male suffrage. Their preference of monarchists over republicans led to the creation of a Commune. The National Assembly, however, tried to crush the Commune, eventually leading to massacres of a large amount of the Commune’s defenders. This led to a split between the middle and the working class, the former who was afraid of the rebellious nature of the working class. 
  28. monarchists of France
    Even though the monarchists had power, they missed their chance and a Third Republic was formed, which lasted 65 years with an upper house, the Senate, and a lower house, the Chamber of Deputies. They were even strengthened when a figure, Georges Boulanger appeared to be a savior to the monarchists, but withdrew from politics with no word.
  29. Spain and Italy
    • In Spain, a parliamentary government dominated by Conservatives and Liberals was established until the Generation of 1898 called for political reforms, appealing to workers.
    • In Italy, there was division as well between the north and south. This lack of stability led to changing government coalitions.
  30. Central and Eastern Europe
    Unlike these changes, in Central and Eastern Europe, the autocratic order remained the same. In Germany there was division due to nationalism and a German constitution that led to an upper house with individual states keeping their kings and a lower house, who had no minister. The emperor commanded the armed forces, but a political democracy was on the verge of developing. 
  31. Prevention in Germany
    The only prevention of this was the army who viewed itself as protector of monarchy and aristocracy and Bismarck, who served as chancellor of the new German state. He tried to centralize authority, working with the liberals against the church. However, when his campaign, the Kulturkampf, failed, he turned against them and persecuted socialists. His alarm grew when socialists were still being elected and he passed an antisocialist law. He also tried to get workers to support him by enacting social welfare legislation. Still, socialism grew, and Bismarck was dismissed.
  32. Austria-Hungary
    • Austria-Hungary was also experiencing troubles. However, theirs was due to nationalism as minorities desired their own state. Their presence undermined the Austrian empire. However, Francis Joseph, the imperial army and the imperial bureaucracy held Austria together for the time being .Hungary, however, managed to solve their nationalities problem by Magyarization, which consisted of using only their language.
    • Russia made no concessions to reform and eliminated any possibilities of mass politics. Instead, after his dad’s death, Alex III expanded monarchical power through police, curtailing the zemstvos, and instituting a Russification program.
  33. 1894
    In 1894, even more developments took place. Human beings began to achieve a better society, as well as view the world in a more irrational way. Science was reevaluated as people discovered that what they believe isn’t what it real. They could not completely understand the physical world and many people revealed this through their discoveries. For example, Marie Curie discovered that atoms were “small worlds” containing subatomic particles. Furthermore, Max Planck developed the theory of quantum mechanics, with energy irregularly being radiated. Albert Einstein created a relativity theory, stating that nothing can be known because everything depends on the observer. This was confirmed only after an eclipse proved this.
  34. Nietzche and Bergson
    Two more people who contributed to the idea of irrationality were Nietzsche, who stated that reason played little role in human life and that god is dead, as well as the idea of the Superman, and Bergson, who believed that reality was a whole that could only be grasped intuitively and experienced directly. Another man, Georges Sorel (1847-1922), united these two ideas to create the idea of revolutionary socialism, advocating violent action to achieve the aims of socialism. He wanted general strikes, but also understood the need of the socialist to be guided.
  35. Freud and Spencer
    Other contributors to the confusion of the century were Sigmund Freud, who added to the uncertainties of the age through his theory of the id, ego, and superego and the idea of repression. Darwin also influenced the development of social Darwinism which was developed by Herbert Spencer, stating that society is a struggle for survival and only the fittest survive. Darwin’s ideas also contributed to racism as people argued that nations were engaged in a “struggle for existence” and needed war beat out the other races. It also led to new biological arguments, especially in Germany, where volkish thought led to the idea that Jews attempted to destroy the Aryan race.
  36. Christianity
    Christianity was also attacked. Political movements attacked the church until they relied on them due to the failure of the revolutions of 1848. However, after this close union was established, anticlericalism occurred where the government undermined religious instruction. Not only were they threats, but science, especially Darwin’s theory of evolution, contradicted the doctrine of divine creation. People responded by criticizing religion. 
  37. Church response
    The church responded in several ways; some, such as pope Pius and his Syllabus of Errors tried to abolish the new ideas—nationalism, socialism, etc.; others, such as Modernists tried to reinterpret Christianity. The greatest figure who responded with maturity to these conditions was Pope Leo XIII, whose Rerum Novarum allowed the spread of evolution as a hypothesis; he also condemned capitalism and Marxism but allowed people to make trade unions and strike.
  38. modernism
    In culture, a new development developed called Modernism. One sect was naturalism, in which accepted the material world as real and said that literature should be just as real. Emile Zola was an example who tried to show alcoholism’s effects. Leo Tolstoy also created War and Peace about Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Dostoevsky was concerned with loss of spiritual belief and believed that only through suffering and faith could one be purified. 
  39. symbolism
    Next, symbolism also developed as poets thought the world was not real; it was merely symbols. These people were Yeats and Maria Rilke. In art, impressionism, which focused on impressions through the changing effects of light on objects in nature (Monet, Morisot) and post-impressionism (which focused more on structure and form), consisting of artists like Paul Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh, dominated this era and led to individual expression, in which people began painting abstract, hoping it would appeal to the soul, such as Pablo Picasso. 
  40. music
    . In music, composers focused on folk music, which was important for building national identities. Gone composer, Edvard Grieg, composed lyric melodies that expression nationalism. Another composer by Debussy led to musical compositions inspired by the visual arts. Igor Stravinsky was a ballet composer, who revolutionized the world with ballets, all based on Russian folk tales.
  41. political world
    The political world was probably the most impacted as it led to movement in new directions. For example, women began to fight for rights, such as new professions, like nursing. They also fought for the right to vote. This led to groups that fought for women’s voting.  
  42. British women's movement
    The British women’s movement was but one that wanted to improve the position of women. However, it was divided into liberals, led by Millicent Fawcett, who believed being responsible would show Parliament they can vote, and radical groups, such as that led by Emmeline Pankhurst, who engaged in violent actions to get the attention of the news. They were known as suffragettes and fought for one thing: the right of women to full citizenship in the nation-state. They also fought for peace and advocated the laying down of arms. 
  43. new women
    This involvement of women led to a new development: the new women, who were women who renounced traditional feminine roles, such as Maria Montessori who attended medical school, went on a lecture tour, and eventually worked in a school for mentally handicapped children.
  44. Jews
    Another aspect of this period that really shook the dynamics of the age was the treatment of the Jews. In the 19th century, due to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, Jews were granted legal equality and emancipated them, allowing jobs for them. However, anti-Semitism developed as they were blamed for corruption of cultures, such as the Germans. Anti-Semitism also found strength in lower middle class groups who were threatened by the economic forces. Eventually, this led to persecutions, inescapable since Jews were racially stained. As a result, a Jewish nationalist movement developed in which many Jews went to Palestine, their land of dreams. This was funded by wealthy Jewish banking families and attracted thousands of Jews
  45. Liberalism
    Liberalism also experienced a transformation, as Liberals adopted new social reforms and moved away from the working-class movement: trade unions and the Labour Party. Trade unions wanted collective ownership and control over the economy, while the Labour Party was produced by Fabian Socialists, who stressed the need for workers to use their right to vote to capture the House of Commons and pass legislation that would benefit the laboring class. 
  46. Liberals
    Liberals eventually saw the need to support the workers and people like David Lloyd George advanced reform. Liberals abandoned laissez-faire and enacted reforms, called the National Insurance Act of 1911 and small pensions. However, Lloyd’s plan backfired when he had to face the House of Lords, who were discontent with his desire to tax them. Nevertheless, the Liberals created a law, restricting the ability of the House of Lords to impede legislation. They also tried to conquer the Irish problem, but inability to come to a conclusion led to their ignoring it and letting it fester until it would explode in WWI. 
  47. Italy
    In Italy, liberals struggled, and leaders like Giovanni Giolitti used transformism, which old political groups transformed into new government coalitions through bribery, leading to more corrupt conditions.
  48. France
    France also experienced crises due to Anti-Semitism, especially when Jewish Alfred Dreyfus was accused of a crime he did not commit. Although acquitted, the refusal to call for retrial increased the need for the Zionist movement. This caused moderate republicans to lose control to radicals who wanted a more democratic society by purging the army of antirepublicans and undermining Catholic orders. Still, France was largely behind; and even walkouts did not lead to improved working class conditions.
  49. Germany
    In Germany, since Bismarck created an authoritarian state, Germany was the strongest military and industrial power on the Continent. Industrialization increased, leading to expansion of the Social Democratic Party, who was more revisionists in its approach. This expansion of industry led to a desire for more political participation, which was blocked by conservatives. Groups such as the Pan-German League evolved, stressing strong German nationalism and advocating imperialism.
  50. Austria- Hungary
    Austria-Hungary, just like earlier, struggled with nationalities, leading prime ministers to ignore parliament. Even Parliament, however, was a joke; men sat around in desks. Nationalities wanted autonomy, which Social Democrats feared. Meanwhile, Hungary tried to separate itself from Austria, but Francis Joseph threatened universal male suffrage, which would lead to Magyar challenges. As a result, they fell in line.
  51. Russia
    Russia, during this time period, finally became industrialized under Sergei Witte (1849-1914), who saw it as crucial to Russia’s strength. It led to railroads being built, protective tariffs, and rapid industrial development, especially factories. This led to pitiful working and living conditions everywhere and socialist parties to form and just as soon go underground. Revolution eventually occurred in 1905as Russia’s desire to expand led to confrontation with Japan, who surprise attacked Russia, who sued for peace.
  52. War with Japan
    Still, this war led to dissatisfaction with nationalities and their oppression. Peasants suffered from lack of land; laborers were oppressed. This led to Bloody Sunday, where troops open fired on the crowd. It only caused even more upheaval as peasants and ethnic groups revolted until Tsar Nicholas instituted the October Manifesto, which was only temporary as Nicholas II curtailed the power of the formed Duma.
  53. New imperialism causes
    Through all of these changes, a new development that greatly shook the European world occurred called the New Imperialism. The causes were due to competition and growing nationalism after 1870 as European states desired to acquire colonies abroad for international prestige. Patriotism also spread nationalism. Racism and social Darwinism also led to the desire for the fit nations to dominate. Religion also played a part as Catholics sought to impose their religion on other, ‘inferior’ nations. Furthermore, economic imperialism developed; instead of focusing on colonies, European states focused on locations that provided great resources and money.
  54. Africa
    Africa was one place that fell to the Europeans. The British imposed themselves in South Africa, but after Boers revolted, South Africa was recognized as independent. Still, British policies by Cecil Rhodes allowed the founding of diamond and gold companies, but also the Boer war as he tried to overthrow the Boer government. The Boer War demonstrated the great resilience of the Boers. Although they lost, it took thousands of British soldiers to suppress them. Other British possessions were in Britain with the Suez Canal. They desired it due to its ability to shortcut their transport. Portuguese, Germans, and French also established themselves in Africa. Belgium was included due to Leopold II’s desire to establish himself in the Congo. By the end, Africa was completely carved up save for Liberia and Ethiopia. Even though tribesmen fought for their independence, the military superiority of the Europeans led to their defeat.
  55. Asia
    Asia was also dominated. British interest in the east came after their involvement in Australia, which was later released. They were more concerned with Indians and brought the East India Company under direct control of the government. The Russians also occupied Asia as they penetrated the Siberian forests, claimed and later released Alaska to the US. Their expansion also led to their interference with Britain, resulting in Afghanistan becoming a buffer state. Later interference with Japan led to their defeat in the Russo-Japanese war. China also succumbed to European power due to the declining Manchu dynasty. Japan was less greatly impacted until the US forced them to allow their trading and diplomatic privileges. In SE Asia, Britain and France played important roles.
  56. Responses
    The responses to this imperialism were what led to discontent. Overall, there was unhappiness as the Europeans refused to grant certain rights to these ‘inferior races.’ For example, in Africa, westerners exalted democracy, but did not extend it to the Africans. Furthermore, conditions led to a desire to end foreign rule. 
  57. In CHina
    In China, rebellions occurred (Boxer Rebellion) to dismiss these invaders. Japan remained strong, avoiding Western nations. Under a new emperor, Mutsuhito, the Meiji (Enlightened Government) occurred. They remained resilient due to their reforms in terms of military and industry, as well as finance. Their military consisted of 240m000 men in peacetime. India faced trouble with Britain as the British, although ending division. They banned cultural practices, such as the sati; extreme poverty was a way of life, industries were destroyed, etc. This oppression led to Indian dislike of the British. 
  58. New imperialism
    Due to this new imperialism, many of the great powers were greatly expanding in power. This expansion in power led to great confliction with other powers. The only person preventing war was Bismarck. Bismarck knew what effect a united Germany would have on other powers, especially France. As a result, he developed an alliance with Austria-Hungary and Russia, but it broke up due to competition between Austria-Hungary and Russia, especially over the Balkans. 
  59. Ottoman power waned
    When Ottoman power waned, the powers tried to sustain it so as to prevent war for the territory. Still, Russia wanted it for its overland routes and Austria desired it for its fertile ground. When the Balkan states revolted, Russia attacked the Ottomans, resulting in the Treaty of San Stefano and a large Bulgarian state being formed, scaring other powers. This led to a new Congress, which decreased the size of the Bulgarian state and gave some back to the Ottomans.
  60. Russia,
    Russia, after this, ended the alliance with Germany due to their decision and new alliances to be formed. Germany, Austria and Italy now formed an alliance. However, Bismarck also created Reinsurance Treaty with Russia to prevent war. When William II dismissed him, as well as the treaty, Russia  joined alliances with France; and Great Britain joined their alliance. 
  61. Division of Europe
    This division of Europe became involved in a new series of crises due to the crises in the Balkans, especially when Austria annexed territories that they were not supposed to. Serbia was discontent because they wanted to build a strong Serbian state; Austria knew this and annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina for this reason. Russia knew that they would soon have to get involved in the problem; and Serbs prepared for war against Austria.  However, William’s threat of war led Russia to back down. Afterwards, two Balkan wars occurred, shattering Serbia’s ambitions. Serbia remained resentful towards Austria; Austrians saw Serbia as a threat; and Russia was preparing to defend their ally. Meanwhile, Britain and France grew closer together.

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