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Enlightenment Period

Sometimes referred to as the Age of Reason, was a confluence of ideas and activities that took
place throughout the eighteenth century in Western Europe, England, and the American colonies.
Scientific rationalism, exemplified by the scientific method, was the hallmark (feature or quality) of
everything related to the Enlightenment.
Enlightenment thinkers believed that the advances of science and industry heralded a new age of
egalitarianism and progress for humankind.
The term also more specifically refers to a historical intellectual movement, "The Enlightenment."
This movement advocated rationality as a means to establish an authoritative system of ethics,
aesthetics, and knowledge.
The intellectual leaders of this movement regarded themselves as courageous and elite, and
regarded their purpose as leading the world toward progress and out of a long period of doubtful
tradition, full of irrationality, superstition, and tyranny (which they believed began during a
historical period they called the "Dark Ages")
This movement also provided a framework for the American and French Revolutions, the Latin
American independence movement, and the Polish Constitution of May 3, and also led to the rise of
capitalism and the birth of socialism.
It is matched by the high baroque and classical eras in music, and the neo-classical period in the
arts, and receives contemporary application in the unity of science movement which includes
logical positivism.
Another important movement in 18th century philosophy, which was closely related to it, was
characterized by a focus on belief and piety.

In this period, piety and belief were integral parts in the exploration of natural philosophy and
ethics in addition to political theories of the age.

Prominent Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and David Hume
questioned and attacked the existing institutions of both Church and State.

The 18th century also saw a continued rise of empirical philosophical ideas, and their application to
political economy, government and sciences such as physics, chemistry and biology.

According to scholarly opinion, the Enlightenment was preceded by the Age of Reason (if thought of
as a short period) or by the Renaissance and the Reformation (if thought of as a long period). It was
followed by Romanticism

French Revolution

The French revolution paved the way for the secular system of governance that we now see
governing most of the countries of the world. From the perspective of freeing the people from
unjust monarchist regimes that committed all sorts of crimes under the banner of religion it can be
seen as a successful and valiant effort on the part of the people.

But the fact that the whole movement was tainted with a hatred for religion and a will to supersede
the will of God has- as some would argue- made the revolution a stepping stone towards the moral
degeneration of the people. What the revolutionaries failed to notice was that by abandoning the
idea of God altogether they would in effect only be moving in circles only to end up as a system in
which man rules over man.

Meeting of the Estates


The nature of the internal affairs in France made it an ideal stage for a revolution to take place. The
deteriorating economy as the result of fiscal mismanagement and the long years of feudal
oppression had long been testing the publics patience. With subsequent unsuccessful attempts to
restore the taxation problem the King was forced to call on the ancient assembly of three estates
representing all the social classes in France. This resulted in the first break away from the
oppressive regime as the third class, which consisted of the only tax paying class chose to declare
itself sovereign as it consisted of the vast majority of the people of France. This revolutionary

assembly attracted many members from the other assemblies who decided to join it in opposition
to the existing governing constitution.
Storming the Bastille
After the Tennis Court Oath it was clear that the revolutionary movement was going to be a no
holds barred movement which would stop at nothing to topple the monarchy. From here onwards
began the civil disobediences that would eventually pave the way for the revolutionary regime to
get noticed and put the changes in effect. The storming of the Bastille prison in the East of Paris on
the 14th of July is regarded as being the landmark event that led to the social disorder. This was
done in the attempt to gain arms and ammunitions from the prison. Inspired by this event the
peasants revolted against their feudal lords eventually freeing themselves of the unfair contracts
that they were signed into.
Post- Revolution
In the events that were to follow the national assembly did frame a constitution which could restore
the social unrest but differences within the assembly over whether to retain the monarchy or
completely abolish it led to further mishaps. The Girondin led assembly declared war against
Austria and Prussia due to the hostile stance that they took against France. The Girondin led
National party was overthrown by the Jacobins who were led by Robespierre who wreaked havoc
over the next 7 weeks. This period is known as the reign of terror as many executions were held
and all efforts were taken to curb any counter revolutionary activities. Robespierre was executed by
his own men which paved the way for the Thermidorian Reaction which was eventually overthrown
by means of a military coup under the leadership of Napolean Bonaparte who put an end to the
revolution by declaring himself the First consul of France.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1850


The Industrial Revolution transformed human life by changing methods of manufacturing, the way people
made a living, and the products available to them.

The Nature of the Industrial Revolution


The Industrial Revolution took place in England in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It
was made up of four sets of changes: first, the introduction of new technology; second, the use of
new mineral sources of energy; third, a concentration of workers in factories; and fourth, new
methods of transportation.

A. The New Industrial Technology


The Industrial Revolution introduced machines to textile manufacturing, iron, printing,
papermaking, and engineering industries. The most significant machines were steam engines and
the machines used to make cloth.
o

Textile Machinery
Until the eighteenth century, the manufacturing of cloth was done by hand. In 1767, James
Hargreaves introduced the spinning jenny, which increased the amount of cotton yarn that could be
spun. In 1769, Richard Arkwright introduced the water frame, which produced stronger warp yarn. A
decade later in 1779, Samuel Crompton combined the jenny and the water frame into one machine
called the mule. The mule could produce 300 times as much yarn as a person on a spinning wheel.
These machines produced more yarn than weavers could handle until 1787, when Edmund
Cartwright invented the power loom. Because of these machines and improvements made to them,
English weavers were working 200 times more cotton in 1850 than they had in 1780.

The Steam Engine


Another key invention of the Industrial Revolution was the steam engine, invented by James Watt in
1763, to pump water out of mines. The steam engine was used to raise minerals from mines,
provide heat for smelting iron ore, and drive machines in textile mills.

a) Mineral Sources of Energy


Until the eighteenth century, transportation of goods was powered by humans or animals. Organic
sources of fuel were wood, charcoal, or water power. Beginning in the eighteenth century, the
Industrial Revolution began to rely on coal to produce the high temperatures needed to smelt iron.
Eventually it also became a source of heat for the steam engine.
b) The Growth of Factories
One of the major developments of the Industrial Revolution was the large factory. In the sixteenth
century, businessmen began employing families in the countryside to spin and weave. This was
known as the domestic system, and all members of the family participated in the production. The
businessman provided the materials and was responsible for the marketing. The introduction of
machines in the late eighteenth century led to the development of the factory system. The large
factory was more cost effective because it allowed the concentration of machines and workers in
one place. It also reduced transportation costs and allowed for greater quality control. The factory
owner had greater control of the work force and enforced much stricter discipline. It also made
possible what the economist Adam Smith called the "division of labor," whereby each person was
responsible for one stage of production, allowing for great increase in total production. The workers
needed no special skills to operate the machines.
c)

New Methods of Transportation


As industry expanded, so did the transportation network needed to move raw materials and
finished products. Thousands of miles of canals and all-weather roads were built in the eighteenth
century. The main innovation in transportation of the nineteenth century was the railroad. The
railroads were driven by coal-burning, steam-power locomotives and provided quick, cheap
transportation to places inaccessible by water. The construction of railroads created a demand for
iron and for large numbers of workers and became a large industry in its own right. Unlike
manufacturing, railroad networks usually involved a combination of private and public investment.

B. Conditions Favoring Industrial Growth


The presence in England of a large population, capital, and people with scientific knowledge and
entrepreneurial skills were among the social and economic factors that helped make the Industrial
Revolution possible.
a) Population Growth
The population of England doubled between 1680 and 1820. The population increase provided the
large supply of cheap labor needed by the factories. It also provided an increase in demand for
manufactured goods.
b) Agricultural Productivity
In the eighteenth century, British agriculture experienced a revolution of its own. The process of
enclosure allowed farmers and landlords to fence in their fields and control production. They
introduced crop rotations that restored nutrients to the soil, allowing for greater yield. They also
began scientific breeding to improve the quality of their herds. The result was an increase in
productivity with fewer agricultural workers. This allowed more people to leave the farms to work in
the factories while supplying them with cheap food.
c) Capital Formation and Accumulation
The term capital refers both to money and to fixed capital (factories and machines). The investment
capital needed for the Industrial Revolution came mostly from merchants engaged in domestic and
foreign trade, from landowners who profited from their estates in Britain and plantations in the
colonies, and from banks.
d) Technological Knowledge and Entrepreneurship
England had been a leading center of the scientific revolution and consequently had plenty of
people with the scientific knowledge to mechanize the industry. It also had a merchant capitalist

class who organized the domestic system. The combination of these two elements is exemplified by
the partnership of James Watt and Matthew Boulton. Watt had the scientific knowledge and Boulton
was a leading entrepreneur who was able to assemble the workers with the needed skills to mass
produce Watt's engine.
e) Demand from Consumers and Producers
In addition to the supply of capital, labor, and knowledge, demand for goods also played an
important role in fueling the Industrial Revolution. The demand for goods was created by
advertising, as well as by the increasing ability of the working class to buy goods as their
purchasing power increased.
C. The Spread of Industrialization
The Industrial Revolution spread to the rest of Europe and North America over the course of several
decades after it developed in Britain.
a)

Great Britain and the Continent


Part of the reason for the delay in the start of the Industrial Revolution in the rest of Europe was the
political situation in individual countries. Germany, for example, was politically fragmented into
many states, each with its own tariffs and taxes, which hindered the free passages of resources and
goods across the country. Local privileges in France also hindered the free economic passage. By
contrast, all of Britain was a single market. Another factor in delaying industrialization was
protectionism. While it protected the local economy from competition, it also hindered the
importation of necessary resources. Another factor in hindering industrialization was the aristocracy
in continental Europe, who drew their wealth from land. They lacked a capitalist spirit and were
more cautious about investing in the new enterprises. Finally, parts of the continent lacked the
availability of the needed natural resources.

b)

Features of Continental Industrialization


After 1830, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Germany began to imitate the English
industrialization process by introducing machinery into the production process, concentrating
workers in factories, and beginning to build their transportation network. However, the
industrialization process in the European continent differed from the British in a number of ways.
First, the governments played a greater role providing capital as active partners in industrialization
process. Governments built railroad systems, which facilitated the beginnings of industrialization.
Second, the banks were also major partners in financing industry. Third, the development of the
railroad system helped begin industrialization. It helped stimulate other industries to meet its needs
by the markets it created.

c)

Industrialization in the United States


The Industrial Revolution began in the United States in the 1820s with the textile industry of the
northeast. It then continued with the development of heavy industry in the Pittsburgh and
Cleveland regions. U.S. industrialization followed patterns borrowed from England and Europe. Most
of the machinery was modeled on that of England. Like England, it also had a vast supply of raw
materials. The relatively short supply of labor helped avoid the awful conditions suffered by the
English working class. After 1865, U.S. industry began to expand rapidly. The major American
contribution to the industrial process was the assembly line.

d) Industrial Regionalism
The industrialization process was regional in character. Different regions of the various countries
developed different branches of industry. For example, the French textile industry developed in the
northeast, near the Belgian border, and the east-central region around Lyons. In Germany, the iron
industry was concentrated in the Ruhr valley. Some areas of the country remained engaged only in
agriculture.
D. The Effects of Industrialization
Industrialization affected every aspect of human life.

a) Population and Economic Growth


One of the most important changes was the continuous expansion of the population and the
economy. Most observers in the eighteenth century did not believe that expansion of the population
and the economy could be sustained indefinitely. Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) argued that
population naturally grows faster than the food supply, and therefore malnutrition, famine, and
disease will correct the imbalance. Malthus's cycle of expansion and contraction did not take place.
The population had consistently expanded as the greater agricultural productivity permitted
maintaining an adequate food supply. The industrial economy had been able to employ large
numbers of workers. Despite economic swings, industrialized nations continued to experience an
increase in the gross national product and per capita income.
b) Standards of Living
There has been much debate about the impact of industrialization on the working class. The
optimists have pointed to the long-term effects of industrialization, which have helped avoid
Malthus's predictions, such as the rise of individual income. Pessimists have emphasized the fact
that improvements did not appear for several decades after the beginning of industrialization.
Pessimists blame the system of industrial capitalism for the laboring population's hardships. In an
effort to reduce costs and maximize profits, employers kept wages low and utilized labor-saving
devices. Pessimists also point to the early decades of industrialization, when people were forced to
live in decrepit housing around the factories. The monotonous, demeaning, and exhausting nature
of factory work adds to the pessimists' argument against the positive effects of the Industrial
Revolution.
c) Women, Children, and Industry
During the early Industrial Revolution, large numbers of women and children were part of the
workforce. They were willing to accept lower wages and were more easily disciplined. The factory
system changed family life. In the early years of the Industrial Revolution many families worked
together in the factories and mines. As mothers found it impossible to care for their small children
while working, they began to leave the factory. The British Factory Act of 1833 enforced restrictions
against child labor. Eventually, the trend was that the man earned a living outside of the home
while the woman stayed home to care for their children.
d)

Class and Class Consciousness


Writers began to describe industrial society as divided into three classes based on the type of
property they owned. The aristocracy owned land. The bourgeoisie owned capital enterprises and
gained their wealth from profits. The working class owned only their labor and received wages.
There is great debate over the extent to which the people of the nineteenth century were conscious
of their class status. Some historians argue that worker exploitation and conflicts between capital
and labor over wages led to the formation of class identity. Others argue that workers were more
conscious of their trade, ethnic, or local identity than they were of their class identity.

e) Industrial Landscape
The Industrial Revolution changed the landscape. Small towns grew into huge cities. In the
countryside, bridges, viaducts, railroad lines, and canals were built to improve transportation. The
destruction of the natural beauty of the landscape triggered a nostalgic reaction in art and
literature. Some of the new industrial architecture, such as the new bridges, were romanticized and
thought to be architectural marvels.
E. Industry, Trade, and Empire
By the middle of the nineteenth century, Britain produced 66% of the world's coal, 50% of the
cotton cloth and iron, and 40% of the hardware. In the search for raw materials and markets, the
interests of industry, trade, and empire worked closely together.
a)

East Asia: The Opium War, 1839-1842


For three centuries after the arrival of the Europeans, China maintained a tight control over trade
with Europeans. In the 1830s conflict broke out between China and the British over the trade of
opium, which was causing severe problems in Chinese society. When the Chinese authorities began

seizing and destroying chests of opium, the English declared war. The British, with their superior
technology, attacked and defeated China. In the aftermath, the Chinese were forced to open
several ports to English merchants and allow the ports to be governed by British consuls who were
not subject to Chinese law.
b)

India: Annexation and Trade


In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Britain gained control of India. Political
control of India served British merchants' interests. British merchants controlled the trade between
India and the rest of Asia. India also became a market for British textile goods, which destroyed
India's own textile industry. India also became a major source of revenue for the British
government.

c)

Latin America: An Empire of Trade


In Latin America, Britain was an ardent supporter of the movements to gain independence from
Spain and Portugal. Once independent, these countries became markets for British goods and
capital. While these countries remained politically separate from Britain, they became economically
dependent on the British in the same way India had become. Latin America's village artisan
economies were destroyed and Latin America became a market for British finished goods.