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The Role of Autonomy and Responsibility Held by the Bourgeoisie during the Industrial Revolution

Powerful Essays
The Role of Autonomy and Responsibility Held by the Bourgeoisie during the Industrial Revolution

During the Industrial Revolution the population was broken up into two classes; the minority was the rich, industrial middle class, the bourgeoisie, and the majority was the poor working class, the proletariat. The bourgeoisie believed in their rights to gain wealth and preserve individuality and in their duty to maintain these rights, which in turn determined the harsh laboring and living conditions of the working class. The indignities forced upon the lower class also caused movements that challenged the bourgeoisie to alter their beliefs. These included the creation of Communism, the Christian Socialist Movement, utopian models, and other theoretic views. The demands for social reforms from these movements along with the demands from the proletariat and other influential members of society, forced the bourgeoisie to modify their views to include moral justifications for their actions. Classical economists invented these justifications. They claimed that low wages were necessary to ensure survival, that the proletariat took advantage of the bourgeosie members, and finally that the proletariat members were responsible for their poor state.

The bourgeoisie maintained their rich lifestyle only through their exploitation of the lower class, the proletariat. This exploitation included poor working conditions, child labor, long hours, and low wages. The industrial bourgeoisie established factories in order to produce the most efficient products at the least expensive cost. These factories, especially mines, were extremely dangerous. Three hundred forty-nine deaths occurred just in the mines of England in 18...

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4 Rogers 149.

5 Rogers 136.

6 Rogers 146.

7 Rogers 139.

8 Rogers 136.

9 Seed, John. "Capital and Class Formation in Early Industrial England" Social History

v. 18 1993 p. 17-30.

10 Rogers 135.

11 Rogers 144.

12 Rogers 145.

Bibliography

- Rogers, Perry M. Aspects of Western Civilization: Problems and Sources in History

Third Edition (Upper Saddle NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996), 138.

- Seed, John. "Capital and Class Formation in Early Industrial England" Social History

v.18 1993 p.17-30.

This article provided a synopsis of T Koditschek's Class Formation and Urban Industrial Society: Bradford 1750-1850. It showed the roles autonomy and responsibility played in the industrialists' influence of the economic, political, and social spheres during this period and illustrated the class antagonism between capital and labor.
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