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Industrial Revolution Seminar Questions Essay

1283 words - 6 pages

1) What caused the Industrial Revolution?
There are multiple reasons that the Industrial Revolution started. It was mostly made possible by a revolution in agriculture, which improved farm productivity. New types of soil, the development of crop rotating, and the invention of new devices, such as the seed drill, all served to increase the quantity and quality of farm produce. This meant that there were less famines, and that women would have stronger babies, so population skyrocketed. Population explosion from both declining death rates and the enclosure movement, in which rich landowners kicked farmers off their land, resulted in more people migrating to the cities to find jobs. This is ...view middle of the document...

Actions and laws are judged by their utility, which meant that something is wrong if it causes more pain than pleasure, and is right if it creates more happiness. Utilitarianism also called for the government to step in to aid the harsh lives of the working class and to stop the employers from hurting the workers.
Socialists, on the other hand, condemned industrial capitalism and thought that the entire population should own the means of production. In this, socialism want to develop a world where everyone would benefit (instead of just the rich), but utilitarianism wanted the happy medium between the most happiness and the most people happy. Also, in Socialism, everyone would own the means of production and make profits, instead of just a few individuals.
4)A) Describe Karl Marx’s view of history. B) How have events challenged that view?
Karl Marx viewed history as driven by economics, and that history was always a class struggle between “haves” (the bourgeoisie in Europe) and the “have-nots” (the proletariat). In the end, the proletariat would be victorious and take over the means of production to set up a society in which wealth and power was equal.
However, some events in history contradicted this view. For example, Marx predicted that the misery of the “have-nots” would set off world revolution. However, in reality, the efforts of the government and reformers led to better conditions for the working class. Marx also thought that workers of different nationalities and countries would band together, but the workers were more loyal to their own countries because of nationalism.
5) Choose one economic or political theory discussed in this section. Does that theory seem to apply to the American economy today? Explain.
Although the United States is more of a mixed economy, the economic system of capitalism mostly applies to its economy today. In the US, the private sector owns the means of production and makes the goods that the society consumes. Also, the US economy is mostly based on profit motive because the capitalists utilize all the resources for the cheapest labor in order to make a profit.
6)How might the rise of Methodism and workplace reforms alter Marxist predictions of world revolution?
Marx predicted that the misery and resentment of the poor world eventually lead to war between the class and global revolution. However, Methodism helped ease these feelings of resentment and calm down the poor, because Methodist preachers promised of a better life to come. They taught of salvation to the poor people, and gave hope to the working class. This channeled the anger of the working class away from the revolution that Marx predicted, and instead towards social reform.
7)How did the enclosure movement affect people?
In the enclosure movement, rich landowners took over land previously owned by peasants. As a result, many farmers were thrown off their land or...

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