The Second Industrial Revolution

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The 2nd Industrial Revolution had a substantial impact on the world, especially with all the groundbreaking innovations that came out of this period. The technological advances of this time period are so significant that they usually dominate discussions on the importance of the 2nd Industrial Revolution and its consequences. However, despite all that was done for technology, the 2nd Industrial Revolution played a crucial role both socially and politically. The improvement of the public health system and the spread of urbanization, which led to a rise in the working class; as well as a new political party formation, are just a few examples of the social and political impact the 2nd Industrial revolution had on European society.
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During this time there was an influx of working class citizens that moved into cities with the intent of being within a close proximity to the factories. This inflow of people caused some major issues with housing and rendered the living conditions around the city insufficient. As a result of the increased population in this area, many inhabitants moved outwards towards more suburban areas. The suburban development was hastened by improvements in local transportation systems such as the electric tramway, and the subsidized suburban railways. This shift was the start of the “age of the commuter”. During this time, the state had assumed the power to enforce minimum standards for not only public hygiene, but also the rights of property. Even though the improvements weren’t felt right away, and there were large sections of the industrial population still living under appalling conditions towards the end of the 19th century, the accumulated effects of the changes and an improved diet in some of the population meant that Europeans were leading healthier lifestyles. As a result, Western Europeans were living significantly longer than they had been…show more content…
Early on in the Industrial Revolution, many liberals believed that the state didn’t have the power to impose itself on its citizens and that they should be left alone. However with the progressing of industrial societies, and the organizing of the industrial proletariat states found that it increasingly riskier to ignore the rights of the working class citizens and opted to address the many social abuses that had been present at this time. As the disparities of the classes grew, and the abuse of the industrial system became more prevalent, governments had obliged to pass legislation that limited and regulated hours of labor, and the exploitation of small children. Then, in the 1880s a more positive view of the state’s role began to form in which states are not only obligated to offer its citizens “negative protection, but also positive advantages”. This new outlook effectively led to the formation and spread of socialism within Europe. Socialism is one of the most important political outcomes of the 2nd Industrial Revolution. The level of socialism varied greatly throughout Europe and was based on many different factors. In Germany, it was Bismarck’s acute understanding of how socialism is a doctrine based on conservative prudence, as well as liberal and humanitarian idealism, that allowed him

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