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British industrial

revolution
Effects of the Industrial Revolution in
England
Laissez-faire Economics

 A policy of minimum governmental interference in the


economic affairs of individuals and society. During the
enlightenment a theory of laissez faire economics
emerged, which argued that businesses should be
allowed to operate free of government regulations.
Adam Smith in his book Wealth of Nations posited
that the economy should be governed by the natural
forces of supply and demand and competition among
businesses. This became the prevailing economic
system during the Industrial Revolution.
Rise of Big Businesses
 With new technology came the need for investment of
large amounts of money in businesses. To acquire
money, business owners sold stocks and shares in their
companies to investors. Each stockholder owned a part
of the company. Stockholders allowed businesses to
expand.
Working conditions
 The working class—who made up 80% of society—had little or no
bargaining power with their new employers. Since population was
increasing in Great Britain at the same time that landowners were
enclosing common village lands, people from the countryside flocked
to the towns and the new factories to get work. This resulted in a very
high unemployment rate for workers in the first phases of the
Industrial Revolution. Henry Mayhew studied the London poor in 1823,
and he observed that “there is barely sufficient work for the regular
employment of half of our labourers, so that only 1,500,000 are fully
and constantly employed, while 1,500,000 more are employed only half
their time, and the remaining 1,500,000 wholly unemployed”. As a
result, the new factory owners could set the terms of work because
there were far more unskilled labourers, who had few skills and would
take any job, than there were jobs for them. And since the textile
industries were so new at the end of the 18th century, there were
initially no laws to regulate them.
 Desperate for work, the migrants to the new industrial towns had no bargaining power to
demand higher wages, fairer work hours, or better working conditions.
 Many of the unemployed or underemployed were skilled workers, such as hand weavers,
whose talents and experience became useless because they could not compete with the
efficiency of the new textile machines. In 1832, one observer saw how the skilled hand
weavers had lost their way and were reduced to starvation. “It is truly lamentable to
behold so many thousands of men who formerly earned 20 to 30 shillings per week, now
compelled to live on 5, 4, or even less.”
 For the first generation of workers—from the 1790s to the 1840s—working conditions
were very tough, and sometimes tragic. Most labourers worked 10 to 14 hours a day, six
days a week, with no paid vacation or holidays. Each industry had safety hazards too; the
process of purifying iron, for example, demanded that workers toiled amidst
temperatures as high as 130 degrees in the coolest part of the ironworks. Under such
dangerous conditions, accidents on the job occurred regularly. A report commissioned by
the British House of Commons in 1832 commented that "there are factories, no means
few in number, nor confined to the smaller mills, in which serious accidents are
continually occurring, and in which, notwithstanding, dangerous parts of the machinery
are allowed to remain unfenced." The report added that workers were often "abandoned
from the moment that an accident occurs; their wages are stopped, no medical
attendance is provided, and whatever the extent of the injury, no compensation is
afforded.” As the Sadler report shows, injured workers would typically lose their jobs and
also receive no financial compensation for their injury to pay for much needed health
care.
 Industries such as the cotton trade were particularly hard for workers to
endure long hours of labour. The nature of the work being done meant
that the workplace had to be very hot, steam engines contributing
further to the heat in this and other industries. Machinery was not
always fenced off and workers would be exposed to the moving parts of
the machines whilst they worked. Children were often employed to
move between these dangerous machines as they were small enough to
fit between tightly packed machinery. This led to them being placed in
a great deal of danger and mortality (death rates) were quite high in
factories. Added to the dangers of the workplace also consider the
impact of the hours worked. It was quite common for workers to work
12 hour s or more a day, in the hot and physically exhausting work
places. Exhaustion naturally leads to the worker becoming sluggish
(slow), which again makes the workplace more dangerous.
 Worse still, since only wealthy people in Great Britain were eligible to
vote, workers could not use the democratic political system to fight for
rights and reforms. In 1799 and 1800, the British Parliament passed the
Combination Acts, which made it illegal for workers to unionize, or
combine, as a group to ask for better working conditions.
Living conditions
 As workers migrated from the country to the city, their lives and the lives of their families
were utterly and permanently transformed. For many skilled workers, the quality of life
decreased a great deal in the first 60 years of the Industrial Revolution. Skilled weavers,
for example, lived well in pre-industrial society as a kind of middle class. They tended
their own gardens, worked on textiles in their homes or small shops, and raised farm
animals. They were their own bosses. One contemporary observer noted, “their dwelling
and small gardens clean and neat, —all the family well clad, —the men with each a watch
in their pocket, and the women dressed in their own fancy, —the Church crowded to
excess every Sunday, —every house well furnished with a clock in elegant mahogany or
fancy case. . . . Their little cottages seemed happy and contented. . . . it was seldom that a
weaver appealed to the parish for a relief. . . . Peace and content sat upon the weaver’s
brow.” But, after the Industrial Revolution, the living conditions for skilled weavers
significantly deteriorated. They could no longer live at their own pace or supplement
their income with gardening, spinning, or communal harvesting. For skilled workers,
quality of life took a sharp downturn: “A quarter [neighborhood] once remarkable for its
neatness and order; I remembered their whitewashed houses, and their little flower
gardens, and the decent appearance they made with their families at markets, or at public
worship. These houses were now a mass of filth and misery.”
 During the first 60 years of the Industrial Revolution, living conditions were,
by far, worst for the poorest of the poor. In desperation, many turned to the
“poorhouses” set up by the government. The Poor Law of 1834 created
workhouses for the destitute. Poorhouses were designed to be deliberately
harsh places to discourage people from staying on “relief” (government food
aid). Families, including husbands and wives, were separated upon entering
the grounds. They were confined each day as inmates in a prison and worked
every day. One assistant commissioner of the workhouses commented, “Our
intention is to make the workhouses as much like prisons as possible.” Another
said, “Our object is to establish a discipline so severe and repulsive as to make
them a terror to the poor and prevent them from entering” (Thompson 267).
Yet, despite these very harsh conditions, workhouse inmates increased from
78,536 in 1838 to 197,179 in 1843 (268). This increase can only be viewed as a
sign of desperation amongst the poorest of the poor.
 The living conditions in crowded cities weren't any better than the working
conditions. As more and more people moved into the cities, large slums
formed. These places were dirty and unsanitary. Entire families sometimes
lived in a single room apartment. According to E.D. Thompson, “Five to nine
people lived in a single room which was as big as an apartment.” With people
living so close, diseases spread rapidly and there was little medical care to help
them get well.
Urbanization
 One of the defining and most lasting features of the Industrial Revolution was
the rise of cities. In pre-industrial society, over 80% of people lived in rural
areas. As migrants moved from the countryside, small towns became large
cities. By 1850, for the first time in world history, more people in a country—
Great Britain—lived in cities than in rural areas. In England, this process of
urbanization continued unabated throughout the 19th century. The city of
London grew from a population of two million in 1840 to five million forty
years later (Hobsawm, Industry and Empire 159).
 The small town of Manchester, England also grew rapidly and famously to
become the quintessential industrial city. Its cool climate was ideal for textile
production. And it was located close to the Atlantic port of Liverpool and the
coalfields of Lancashire. The first railroads in the world later connected the
textile town to Liverpool. As a result, Manchester quickly became the textile
capital of the world, drawing huge numbers of migrants to the city. In 1771, the
sleepy town had a population of 22,000. Over the next fifty years, Manchester’s
population exploded and reached 180,000. Many of the migrants were destitute
farmers from Ireland who were being evicted from their land by their English
landlords. In Liverpool and Manchester roughly 25 to 33 percent of the workers
were Irish.
 This process of urbanization stimulated the booming new
industries by concentrating workers and factories together.
And the new industrial cities became, as we read earlier,
sources of wealth for the nation. Despite the growth in
wealth and industry urbanization also had some negative
effects. On the whole, working-class neighbourhoods were
bleak, crowded, dirty, and polluted. Alexis de Tocqueville, a
French traveller and writer, visited Manchester in 1835 and
commented on the environmental hazards. “From this foul
Drain the greatest stream of human industry flows out to
fertilize the whole world. From this filthy sewer pure gold
flows. Here humanity attains its most complete
development and its most brutish, here civilization works
its miracles and civilized man is turned almost into a
savage.”
Public Health and Life Expectancy
 In the first half of the 19th century, urban overcrowding, poor diets, poor
sanitation, and essentially medieval medical remedies all contributed to very
poor public health for the majority of English people.
 The densely packed and poorly constructed working-class neighbourhoods
contributed to the fast spread of disease. In “The Conditions of the Working
Class in England in 1844”, Friedrick Engels’ gives a first-hand account of
working-class areas in Manchester, describing that these neighbourhoods were
“filthy, unplanned, and slipshod.” Roads were muddy and lacked sidewalks.
Houses were built touching each other, leaving no room for ventilation.
Perhaps most importantly, homes lacked toilets and sewage systems, and as a
result, drinking water sources, such as wells, were frequently contaminated
with disease. Cholera, tuberculosis, typhus, typhoid, and influenza ravaged
through new industrial towns, especially in poor working-class
neighbourhoods. In 1849, 10,000 people died of cholera in three months in
London alone. Tuberculosis claimed 60,000 to 70,000 lives in each decade of
the 19th century.
 People who received medical treatment in the first half of the 19th
century likely worsened under the care of trained doctors and
untrained quacks. Doctors still used remedies popular during the
Middle Ages, such as bloodletting and leeching. They concocted toxic
potions of mercury, iron, or arsenic. They also encouraged heavy use of
vomiting and laxatives, both of which severely dehydrated patients and
could contribute to early death, especially among infants and children
whose bodies would lose water dangerously fast. Even though there
were more doctors in the cities, life expectancy was much lower there
than in the country.
 Poor nutrition, disease, lack of sanitation, and harmful medical care in
these urban areas had a devastating effect on the average life
expectancy of British people in the first half of the 19th century. The
Registrar General reported in 1841 that the average life expectancy in
rural areas of England was 45 years of age but was only 37 in London
and an alarming 26 in Liverpool. These are life-long averages that
highlight a very high infant mortality rate; in the first half of the 19th
century, 25% to 33% of children in England died before their 5th
birthday.
Child Labour
 During the Industrial Revolution poor children often worked full time jobs in
order to help support their families. Children as young as four years old worked
long hours in factories under dangerous conditions. Children performed all
sorts of jobs including working on machines in factories, selling newspapers on
street corners, breaking up coal at the coal mines, and as chimney sweeps.
 Child labour was, unfortunately, integral to the first factories, mines, and mills
in England. In textile mills, as new power looms and spinning mules took the
place of skilled workers, factory owners used cheap, unskilled labour to
decrease the cost of production. And, child labour was the cheapest labour of
all. Some of these machines were so easy to operate that a small child could
perform the simple, repetitive tasks. Some maintenance tasks, such as
squeezing into tight spaces, could be performed more easily by children than
adults. And, children did not try to join workers unions or go on strike. They
were paid 1/10 of what men were paid. It’s not surprising, then, that children
were heavily employed in the first factories in history. In 1789, in Richard
Arkwright’s new spinning factory, two-thirds of 1,150 factory workers were
children.
 The tedious and dangerous factory work had negative
effects on the health of children. Doctor Turner
Thackrah described the children leaving the
Manchester cotton mills as “almost universally ill-
looking, small, sickly, barefoot and ill-clad. Many
appeared to be no older than seven. The men,
generally from sixteen to twenty-four, and none aged,
were almost as pallid and thin as the children.”
Reform Legislation
 1802: Health and Morals of Apprentices Act- limited the workday
of apprentices to 12 hours.
 1819: Peel’s Factory Act – cotton mills cannot employ children
under the age of 9. Workdays for children 9-16 years old limited
to 12 hours.
 In the 1830s, the British Parliament began investigating the
conditions in factories for children. One Member of Parliament,
Michael Sadler, started a committee, in 1832, to send
investigators out to factories to interview children and gather
evidence about their working conditions. Sadler sought to pass a
bill through Parliament to decrease child labour and regulate all
factories to have a 10-hour work day. The transcripts from these
investigations survive today as some of the best primary source
evidence of child labour.
 The Sadler report led to the Factories Regulations Act of
1833. This Act prohibited children under nine from being
employed in textile mills and limited the working hours of
children under 18. The basic act also entailed that:
 Employers must have an age certificate for their child
workers
 Children of 9-13 years to work no more than nine hours a
day
 Children of 13-18 years to work no more than 12 hours a day
 Children are not to work at night
 Two hours schooling each day for children
 Four factory inspectors appointed to enforce the law.
 1842: Mines Act – women, girls, and boys under the age
of 10 prohibited from underground work.
 1844: Factory Act – (textile mills only) workday for
women and children aged 8-13 limited to 6.5 hours a
day. Children must receive a minimum of 3 hours of
education each day. Women forbidden to do night
work and limited to 12 hours of work.
 1847: Factory Act – workday for women and children
aged 13-18 limited to 10 hours per day or 58 hours per
week.
 1853: Employment of Children in Factories Act –
children aged 8- 13 cannot work before 6 a.m. or after 6
p.m., or 2 p.m. on Saturday.
 1867: Factory Act Extension Act and Hours of Labour
Regulation Act – earlier factory legislation extended to
include non-textile factories and workshops. Prohibits
employment of children under 8. Children 8-13 years
must receive minimum of 10 hours of education per
week.
 1867: Agricultural Gangs Act – prohibited employment
of children under 8 and employment of women and
children in a field gang that includes men.
 1901: Factory and Workshop Act – minimum working
age is raised to 12. The act also introduced legislation
regarding education of children, meal times, and fire
escapes.
Working Class Families and the
Role of Women
 The Industrial Revolution completely transformed the role of the family. In
traditional, agricultural society, families worked together as a unit of
production, tending to fields, knitting sweaters, or tending to the fire.
Women could parent and also play a role in producing food or goods needed
for the household. Work and play time were flexible and interwoven.
Industrialization changed all that. The same specialization of labour that
occurred in factories occurred in the lives of working-class families, and this
broke up the family economy. Work and home life became sharply separated.
Men earned money for their families. Women took care of the home and saw
their economic role decline. While many factory workers were initially
women, most of them were young women who would quit working when
they married. In stark contrast to the various changing tasks that a farmer
performed in pre-industrial society, factory workers typically completed
repetitive and monotonous tasks for 10 to 14 hours each day.
 Industrial working-class families, though not working together, did serve an
economic purpose of raising money to support each other. As we have seen,
children often worked to earn some income for the family. In difficult
circumstances, mothers struggled to make ends meet and keep
 the family out of the poorhouses. Jane Goode, a working-class mother, testified
before the British Factory Commission in 1833. The history of her family shows
the worries and stresses of a mother struggling to survive. Her life shows the
unfortunately common death rate of infants. Jane Goode had twelve children,
but five died before the age of two: “I have had five children that have all
worked at the factory. I have only one that works there now. She gets 5 shillings
9 pence. She pays it all to me. She has worked there nine years. She has been at
the drawing-head all the while. She got 2 shilling when she first went…”
 Betty Wardle, interviewed by the parliamentary commission on women in
mines in 1842, illustrates the incredible challenges of being a mother and a
worker in coal mines:
 Q: Have you ever worked in a coal pit?
 Wardle: Ay, I have worked in a pit since I was six years old.
 Q: Have you any children?
 Wardle: Yes. I have had four children; two of them were born while I worked in
the pits.
 Q: Did you work in the pits while you were in the family way [pregnant]?
 Wardle: Ay, to be sure. I had a child born in the pits, and I brought it up the pit
shaft in my skirt.
The Emerging Middle Class
 Gradually, very gradually, a middle class, or “middling sort”, did emerge
in industrial cities, mostly toward the end of the 19th century. Until
then, there had been only two major classes in society: aristocrats born
into their lives of wealth and privilege, and low-income commoners
born in the working classes. However new urban industries gradually
required more of what we call today “white collar” jobs, such as
business people, shopkeepers, bank clerks, insurance agents,
merchants, accountants, managers, doctors, lawyers, and teachers.
One piece of evidence of this emerging middle class was the rise of
retail shops in England that increased from 300 in 1875 to 2,600 by
1890. Another mark of distinction of the middle class was their ability
to hire servants to cook and clean the house from time to time. Not
surprisingly, from 1851 to 1871, the number of domestic servants
increased from 900,000 to 1.4 million. This is proof of a small but rising
middle class that prided themselves on taking responsibility for
themselves and their families. They viewed professional success as the
result of a person’s energy, perseverance, and hard work.
Wealth and Income
 As the Industrial Revolution grew, many saw a gap forming
between the “upper” and the “lower” classes. The rich were
getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. E.P.
Thompson argued in “The Making of the English Working
Class” that life clearly did not improve for the majority of
British people: “ The experience of immiseration came
upon them in a hundred different forms; for the field
labourer, the loss of his common rights and the vestiges of
village democracy; for the artisan, the loss of his
craftsman’s status; for the weaver, the loss of livelihood and
of independence; for the child the loss of work and play in
the home; for many groups of workers whose real earning
improved, the loss of security, leisure and the deterioration
of the urban environment.”
Improvements in transportation
 Roads and canals were built and improved. The steam
locomotive was invented. Railroads grew. Steam
engines powered ships at sea. These improvements in
transportation facilitated trade and commerce and
made voyages faster and more efficient.
The Trade Union Movement
 The formation of trade unions in the developing stages of the Industrial
Revolution aided the start of reform which would eventually aid those being
unfairly treated. During the 17th and 18th century, British workers commenced
grouping themselves into trade unions in order to fight for their rights as
workers and humans. Workers in various trades began to form groups and have
strikes to protect and improve their working and living conditions. Labour
unions arose because there were many who found difficulty in accepting how
“big business” was run; on the backs of the workers in the factories who saw
very little in compensation. Labour unions helped spread the balance of power
more evenly so that labourers could bargain for more rights such as more pay,
shorter work hours and better working conditions.
 During the 1830s labour unrest and trade union activity reached new levels. For
the first time men began to organise trade associations with nationwide aims,
such as Robert Owen's short-lived Grand National Consolidated Trades Union,
formed in February 1834. Agricultural workers were also adopting new forms of
collective action - a notable example being the Swing Riots in 1830-1.
 Labour leaders such as Thomas Mann, one of the chief
organisers of the successful London dock strike (1889), argued
that the trade union movement needed to become far more open
and inclusive. 'New unionism' reached out to the many unskilled
workers in Britain who lacked union representation. The first
women's 'trade societies' also began to emerge during this
period. The strike by the female workers at the Bryant & May
match factory, in the East End of London, in July 1888
highlighted the expanding boundaries of trade union activity in
Britain.
 In 1868 the British government supported these Unions forming
the Trade Union Congress that further made Trade Unions an
influence to reform. Membership in Trade Unions grew from
approx. 100,000 in the 1850s to a million in 1874. The influx of
trade unions forming and trade union membership gave the
working class a voice in politics and helped pushed the idea of
reform which bettered working conditions.
Movement towards a Global
Economy
 The Industrial Revolution completely globalized the
economy. A wider range of goods were now available,
and were at a reasonable price. It began to increase the
economic activity around the world. Because of this,
different people were able to mix with different people.
 As the industrial revolution spread, new world powers
had emerged. They soon began competing for a share
of the wealth in markets around the world.
 New technology (coal-steam powered engine) allowed
markets to expand around the world as global trade
increased.
Global Migration
 Improvements in transportation, population growth,
and social and political conditions led to a wave of
global migrations (1845-1900s). Many people were
struggling economically in Europe. Thus they
migrated to places such as the Americas, in part, to
improve their economic condition.
Impacts of the industrial revolution
in Germany
Economic System
 The establishment of the German Customs Union
was the focal point of Germany’s Industrial
Revolution. The Zollverein (Toll Union) in 1833
abolished tolls between the various German
principalities, made Germany into a common
market. This paved the way for bigger and more
attractive market for producers. In 1870 the modern
German nation was created and thereafter major
industries were founded that led to the full-fledged
industrialization of Germany.
Economic Hubs
 The Southern Ruhr area was the epicentre of the
revolution as villages quickly merged into cities
as new factories sprung overnight demanding a
constant supply of labour. The city of Essen was
probably the first industrial city in Germany as it
became the home base for companies taking
advantage of the Industrial Revolution.
Railways
 Railways played an important part in Germany’s growth.
Railways increased efficiency, because everything gets
there faster, and the tempo of business speeds up.
Germany became the centre of activity for the European
business community, and Germany was able to trade
better because she could now ship directly south, rather
than via another country.
 The rail system increased the demand for steel and coal.
The coalfields in Ruhr Valley were fully developed and
made Germany into the foremost coal producer in
Europe. A steel industry also developed and the stimulus
of the coal and steel development expanded the banking
and capital markets available to Germany. This helped
other industries such as the chemical and electrical
industries develop. The German chemical industry
became the most advanced in the world.
 By 1880, Germany had 9,400 locomotives pulling 43,000
passengers and 30,000 tons of freight.
Education
 Germany implemented a technical education
curriculum which emphasized the technical
areas of industry such as electrics, chemistry and
physics. This programme produced more
scientists and so more and more advances were
made in these directions. This is why Germany
was to become so strong in these technical fields.
Population Growth
 The population growth in Germany increased a
lot in the times of the Industrial Revolution. It
went from 41 million people in 1871 to 49 million
in 1891 and then increased way more in 1911, with
65.3 million people. Birth rates were highest in
the urban parts of the country because many
people migrated from rural areas to urban areas.
Berlin was the country's largest city and the
country's largest industrial centre. In 35 years the
population of the city doubled from 1 million to
2 million.
 Government’s Role, Protection and Welfare
 The government played a powerful role in the
industrialisation of the German Empire. The
government not only supported heavy industry
but also crafts and trades because it wanted to
maintain prosperity in all parts of the empire.
 In 1879, industrial protection was introduced by
applying the foreign tariffs on imports. This
encouraged trade, employment and business.
 Social welfare was also introduced; Sickness
Insurance in 1883, Accident Insurance in 1884,
and Old Age Pension in 1889.
Effects of the Export Boom on Latin America
 The most significant economic outcome of this growing integration was a
rapid growth of Latin American exports to the industrializing countries,
which now needed the food products, raw materials, and markets of these
new nations. Latin American landowners, businessmen, and governments
proved eager to supply those needs, and in the sixty years or so after 1850,
an export boom increased the value of Latin American goods sold abroad
by a factor of ten.
 Mexico continued to produce large amounts of silver, supplying more than
half the world's new supply until 1860. Now added to the list of raw
materials flowing out of Latin America were copper from Chile, a metal
that the growing electrical industry required; tin from Bolivia, which met
the mounting demand for tin cans; and nitrates from Chile and guano
(bird droppings) from Peru, both of which were used for fertilizer. Wild
rubber from the Amazon rain forest was in great demand for bicycle and
automobile tires, as was sisal from Mexico, used to make binder twine for
the proliferating mechanical harvesters of North America. Bananas from
Central America, beef from Argentina, cacao from Ecuador, coffee from
Brazil and Guatemala, and sugar from Cuba also found eager markets in
the rapidly growing increasingly prosperous world of industrializing
countries. In return for these primary products, Latin Americans imported
the textiles, machinery, tools, weapons, and luxury goods of Europe.
 Accompanying this burgeoning commerce was large-scale
investment of European capital in Latin America, $10 billion
alone between 1870 and 1919. Most of this capital came from
Great Britain, which invested more in Argentina in the late
nineteenth century than in its colony of India. Much of this
capital was used to build railroads, largely to funnel Latin
American exports to the coast, where they were shipped to
overseas markets. Mexico had only 390 miles of railroad in 1876;
it had 15,000 miles in l910. By 1915, Argentina, with 22,000 miles
of railroad, had more track per person than the United States.
Becoming like Europe?
 To the economic elites of Latin America, intent on making their
countries resemble Europe, all of this was progress. In some
respects, they were surely right. Economies were growing and
producing more than ever before. The population also was
burgeoning; it increased from about 30 million in 1850 to more
than 77 million in 1912 as public health measures (such as safe
drinking water, inoculations, sewers, and campaigns to
eliminate mosquitoes that carried yellow fever) brought down
death rates.
 Urbanization also proceeded rapidly. By the early twentieth
century, wrote one scholar, "Latin American cities lost their
colonial cobblestones, white-plastered walls, and red-tiled
roofs. They became modern metropolises, comparable to urban
giants anywhere. Streetcars swayed, telephones jangled, and
silent movies flickered from Montevideo and Santiago to
Mexico City and Havana.'' 25 Buenos Aires, Argentina's
metropolitan centre, boasted 750,000 people in 1900 and billed
itself the "Paris of South America." There the educated elite,
just like the English, drank tea in the afternoon, while
discussing European literature, philosophy, and fashion, usually
in French.
 To become more like Europe, Latin America sought to attract
more Europeans. Because civilization, progress, and modernity
apparently derived from Europe, many Latin American
countries actively sought to increase their European
populations by deliberately recruiting impoverished people
with the promise, mostly unfulfilled, of a new and prosperous
life in the New World. Argentina received the largest wave of
European immigrants (some 2.5 million between 1870 and
1915), mostly from Spain and Italy. Brazil and Uruguay likewise
attracted substantial numbers of European newcomers.
 A new but quite small segment of this vast lower class emerged among
urban workers who laboured in the railroads, ports, mines, and a few
factories. They organized themselves initially in a variety of mutual aid
societies, but by the end of the nineteenth century, they were creating
unions and engaging in strikes. To authoritarian governments
interested in stability and progress, such activity was highly
provocative and threatening, and they acted harshly to crush or repress
unions and strikes. In 1906, the Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz invited
the Arizona Rangers to suppress a strike at Cananea near the U.S.
border, an action that resulted in dozens of deaths. The following year
in the Chilean city of Iquique, more than 1,000 men, women, and
children were slaughtered by police when nitrate miners protested
their wages and working conditions.
 The vast majority of the lower class lived in rural areas, where they
suffered the most and benefited the least from the export boom.
Government attacks on communal landholding and peasant
indebtedness to wealthy landowners combined to push many farmers
off their land or into remote and poor areas where they could barely
make a living. Many wound up as dependent labourers or peons on the
haciendas of the wealthy, where their wages were often too meagre to
support a family. Thus women and children, who h.ad earlier remained
at home to tend the family plot, were required to join their menfolk as
field labourers.
Consequences for Africa
 The Industrial Revolution contributed to the ‘Scramble for Africa.’
First, the Industrial Revolution created an almost insatiable demand
for raw materials, including metals, timber, rubber, and many others.
Africa is rich in these materials, and European nations, and the
industrialists who helped influence foreign policy, clamoured for
them. In the Congo, for instance, King Leopold of Belgium created his
own company to profit from the harvest of rubber and other raw
materials. This demand, coupled with increased nationalist pride, led
nations to seek colonies in Africa in which to produce and trade goods.
By 1914, the entire continent with the exception of Liberia and
Abyssinia were controlled by European nations. Vast amounts of
natural resources were extracted from these colonies, which aided the
British industrial effort but left many of the nations bankrupt.
 Second, the Industrial Revolution created a demand for new, secure
markets for manufactured goods. Colonisation created captive
markets in places like Africa, for the abundance of goods produced.
British West Indies and Americas
 Industrialisation intensified trade among the colonies and
the metropolitan states. Large amounts of sugar, coffee,
cotton and tobacco were taken from the colonies to fuel the
industrial masters in Britain. The result of this parasitic
relationship was massive underdevelopment and stunted
economies in the colonies since all colonies were giving
back to the mother country.
 There was also the culture of interdependence between
Britain and her colonies. The colonies were by now
accustomed to a ready market and therefore had to remain
dependent upon the crown since their industry were tied to
them.