Give an overview of the dramatic change in European society in the period 1500-1850 and discuss possible explanations to it. The discussion should be general but give relevant examples (800 words) – Essay Example
Client’s 22 September Several significant changes took place in the European society during 1500-1850. This paper will shed more light upon these changes; the paper will also examine the possible explanations to these significant changes.
These days almost everything is produced in factories, this trend originated in England in the late 18th century. Home based production was disregarded and factory based production picked up pace and more and more people engaged in this because it was a very lucrative trend. “Rapid economic development requires that technical capacity suffuses the entire society from bottom up’ and that the way to do this is to provide technological training to large numbers of people at the village level.” Sachs (2005, p.257)
The possible explanation for this is the hunger to grow and the desire to make things easier. Machines could work for hours together unlike human beings who could only devote a few hours when it came to producing goods and services. Urbanization was beginning to take over the world, these days we have skyscrapers everything started in England back in the 18th century. People picked on pace and this is how we just kept growing and kept becoming better.
Handicraft economy became obsolete, machines were ready to take over the world and announce their arrival in style. The use of iron and steel was another significant change which first took place in England. Steam engine was a huge breakthrough and paved the way for remarkable development which was made in absolutely no time.
Migration was another important thing which happened in mass numbers during 1500-1850. “Although the British government tried several times to get rid of groups of Black people, there was clearly a settled Black and Asian population here throughout the period 1500-1850. Although we do not know their numbers, there are some (rather contradictory) clues.” (Multicultural Britain)
Several notable technological advancements were made between the period of1500-1850; James Watt who was a student at the University of Glasgow provided a huge breakthrough to the world when he invented a new steam condenser. This new condenser improved the efficiency of the Newcomen engine by several folds, the engine became much faster than ever and it was truly a huge breakthrough. The possible explanation behind this was the hunger to get better, human beings have always had this and it has always paid off. Getting better has not stopped even though we have come a long way since the invention of this new engine. Getting better will never stop if there is an Apple Ipad today there is ought to be something better tomorrow which will supersede the Ipad and the other modern day gadgets that have done well.
Coal was discovered as an energy source and this again was a huge breakthrough, it is still being used as an energy source though we are running out of it thick and fast. Steam power was produced when coal was used as an energy source this made the locomotives so much better than they ever were, they became faster and less arduous to use, this was just the sign of big things to come in the near future.
Socially also a lot of changes took place between the period of 1500-1850. New jobs were created for the Europeans, they actively participated in a plethora of constructive things and the society kept growing by working in unison.
“Along with the technological revolution. The transformation of capitalism, and the demise of statism, we have experienced in the last quarter of the century the widespread surge of powerful expressions of collective identity that challenges globalization and cosmopolitanism on behalf of cultural singularity and people’s control over their lives and environment” (Allen & Eade, 2000, p. 503). People started losing control over their lives as we made progress, this is what the above quote signifies. Even though we made progress but it somewhere changed many a thing for worse.
Knowingly or unknowingly we started giving preference to the more powerful nations as we grew and as we became stronger. “For Europe, where the often vast profits of slave traders and shippers and plantation owners were directed, slavery contributed to the accumulation of wealth and facilitated the transition to industrial capitalism.” (Potter, Robert B 2008, p. 255) Slavery started flourishing in Europe and no concrete attempts were made to put an end to this evil. Women and children were also not spared; they worked as slaves for rich owners in Europe.
To conclude it is very fair to say that the European countries made significant progress between the period of 1500-1850 but somewhere we also started losing control over our lives. The more powerful nations started calling the shots and as a result of which hegemony was established. The same hegemony also exists today; a classic example of this hegemony is the infiltration of America into Iraq and Afghanistan. We did make progress but we also lost our identities while making progress which should never have happened.
Allen, T., & Eade, J. (2000). The new politics of identity. In T. Allen, & A. Thomas (Eds.), Poverty and development into the 21st century. Oxford University Press, Oxford, in association with the Open University, Milton Keynes.
Multicultural Britain (2011). Early Migrations by the Asians. N.p Web.
Potter, Robert B., binns, Tony Elliot, Jennifer A. & Smith David (2008). Geographies of Development, An introduction to Development Studies, third edition, Harlow
Sachs, J. (2005) The end of poverty: how we can make it happen in our lifetime, Penguin Books, London.