The Industrial Revolution's Influence on European Society

1389 Words Jul 15th, 2018 6 Pages
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Industrial Revolution in Europe had a significant influence on society. There were many changes in social classes and equality. The rise of the middle class had a momentous effect on the population of Europe and was a catalyst for many changes in the social makeup of the region. The influence of technology and electricity changed many aspects of social interaction and created a new class system. The migration of workers and the separation of the classes had political and social repercussions throughout Europe. Labor unions and political parties provided protection and a voice to many of the working class, and urbanization provided the stage for reformers to push for modernized …show more content…
Another by-product of the migration and urbanization was the changing role of women. As the women left the rural areas where they had been the maternal leader of their families, they sought employment in the new factories. Despite the new working women they remained “second-class citizens” throughout Europe. Regardless of their social class or setting, women remained marginalized in society. In the nineteenth century, women “faced social and legal disabilities in three areas: property rights, family law, and education” (727). As workers and unions sought a voice for the masses, women, too, were seeking equality.
As women sought equality, the nations of Europe gradually turned to democracy and an electoral system. With the democratic philosophy, political parties were being introduced for the first time. Political parties were organized to help educate the new voters because many of the working class were not educated on the process. As the political parties grew, the working class became the largest sect of voters. The political parties also provided a spring-board for the socialist party. The ideas of socialism were rooted in the vision of equality for the working class. The utopian view of all classes sharing across the European continent by the socialists was not shared by many of the nationalist. European socialists “badly underestimated the emotional drawing power of nationalism” (738). The
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