The Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution is Great Britain. There are various reasons why Britain was an excellent place to start. Britain had the technology in place to start the Industrial Revolution. The way that Britain was created the natural resources helped greatly. The island of Britain had coal for power and streams for movement and also power. Britain had a stable economy. After hundreds of years of economic and governmental prosperity, the British never had to deal with rebellion or economic distress. They had a solid working class, and they benefited from the economic system of mercantilism. Mercantilism is the idea that the Mother Country (Britain) would collect and utilize the raw materials of their colonies (Canada, Colonial America, West Africa, India, and SE Asia) for profit. The colonies transport the raw materials to the mother country and have their industry create the finished products. The finished products are sold in the Mother Country and also their customers in other countries. They also sell these materials to the colonies for a profit. The ability to trade and create the finished products stimulates the economy so the workers of England always have a market and a job.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the process of creation was slow. Most products were created by one set of hands and they had to make every product individually. The use of steam powered engines and water powered created machines that were able to produce many products at the same time in a quicker manner. The use of machines helped in all parts of the industrial force. For example, the time an work needed for a horse plow to clear 1 acre, a machine could plow 20 acres.
The emphasis of industry went from the countryside to the city. Fewer hands would be needed in the country so all of this technology lent people to believe that they could find work in the city. Unfortunately this was the opposite. Because of the raw power of water and steam less people would be needed in a factory, and machines never got tired. Cities of England faced mass unemployment, and over population in the cities. The combination of these two circumstances caused a large amount of crime and hunger in the cities. Instances of sin and vice rose. People were difficult to control and other crimes were on the rise. The gap between rich and poor became larger and anger against the two grew.
The rich looked down on the poor and after Charles Darwin's examination of the species, the rich started to buy into sometime called Social Darwinism. Essentially the bought into the idea of natural selection like in the animal world. The rich were rich because of their benefits and ability to lead, while the poor were poor because they physically and mentally lacked the ability to make themselves better. It was through the Industrial Revolution that new philosophies developed.
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1744-1803)
Hegel is one of the founders of the socialist ideal. Hegel sought an ideal unity of all peoples regardless of class and country. He believed that the absolute is in all of us (mankind). He was a realist and only focused on what man could control. Like many that thought like him, he was not a man that placed a lot of value in religion. His followers echoed this in their writings. Hegel's followers believed that he was very well written and explained himself very well, but because of the time and the amount of technology available, he went as far as he could go. Many of his followers added to the idea that religion was not what people should be focusing and believing in, rather science is the key to mankind. Science and technology will provide us the answers, and politics is to be their focus like a religion. Man can control politics because man runs it, and man is learning and using science.
The Communist Manifesto was written in 1848 by Friedrich Engles and Karl Marx. It was written about the class struggle and how the workers of the world should unite against the upper class. The Communist Manifesto is the basis of Communism and is anti-capitalistic. The Communists were radical in their thoughts and their actions at this time period. Communists believed that the current system makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. Society needed to be reorganized where everyone lived and worked as a community, and there is no private property. To the Communists, there were two types of people, workers who were considered the proletariat and the capitalist/owners, who were considered the Bourgeoisie. There were six principles that the Communists believed would occur:
1. Economic Determination: Changes in the economy, changes history
2. Historical Inevitability: It is inevitable that economics evolve; 1st Feudalism, then Capitalism, and then the perfect form Communism
3 Alienation: The separations of peoples occur with Capitalism
4. Labor Value: True value comes in the work
5. The combination of the above mentioned four will cause a violent revolution
6. Revolt: Creates the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
1848 was a very significant year, because of the idea of workers uniting, various rebellions and uprisings occurred throughout Europe. This made the rich and leader of Europe fearful of other uprisings. The peoples of these revolts realized that they also had power they did not realize.