Second Industrial Revolution



I. Economic, Demographic Situation of Europe at the Fin de Siècle


            A. Second Industrial Revolution

                        1. rapid economic growth

                        2. decreasing need for agricultural labor

                        3. growth of service sectors (post office, trained armed forces, etc.)

                        4. Increasing use of interchangeability and standardization in factories


            B. Growth of consumer industry

                        1. related to today's economy

                        2. bicycles, sowing machines, automobiles, washers, labor saving devices

                        3. fueled by a trickle down of wealth, even to the poorest workers to some extent

                        4. Rise of brand name


            C. Greater wealth, meant fewer deaths from disease

                        1. low infant mortality

                        2. technology + science in medicine; elimination of cholera, typhus, smallpox

                        3. better diet (meat, white bread...)


            D. Demographic explosion

                        1. especially high birth rate in poor countries that could afford it least

                        2. where confidence in health was higher, fewer children but more lived

                        3. fueled incredible migration

                                    a. country to city

                                    b. Europe to America: 1875-1914, 26 million (the size of all of Italy!)


            E. Fueled the expectation of a rising standard of living-i.e. progress

                        1. growing pie of wealth

                        2. technology would make life easier as well as make Europe stronger

                        3. great strides in education, especially of the young

                        4. great strides in suffrage, even in conservative countries

                                    a. 1885 expansion of suffrage in Britain

                                    b. 1890 universal male suffrage in Germany

                                    c. 1907 universal male suffrage in Austria

                                    d. 1911 universal male suffrage in Italy


            F. Beginning of a "mass culture" of Western Europe

                        1. mostly middle class in reality or aspirations

                        2. highly materialistic (techology and cheap goods created this)

                        3. highly individualistic

                        4. high degree of faith in science, technology, and therefore progress

                        5. culture for the masses: consumers, voters, producers