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The Building of European Supremacy: Society and Politics of WWI.

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1 The Building of European Supremacy: Society and Politics of WWI

2 The number of Europeans had risen from about 266 million in 1850 to 447 in 1910 Population after 1910 slowed in industrialized areas but rose in undeveloped regions This helped relieve the social and population pressures on the Continent and Europe a huge influence on the rest of the world not seen since the 16th century Population Trends and Migration

3 The basic heavy industries of Belgium, France, and Germany expanded rapidly In particular, the growth of the German industry was stunning and its steel production surpassed Britain’s in 1893 This emergence of an industrial Germany was the major fact of European economic and political life at the turn of the century The first Industrial Revolution was associated with textiles, steam, and iron, and the second was associated w/ steel, chemicals, electricity, and oil Electricity was the most versatile and transportable source of power ever discovered Despite the new industries, the second half of the 19th century was not a period of uninterrupted smooth economic growth

4 Bad weather and foreign competition put grave pressures on European agriculture and caused many European peasants to emigrate to other parts of the world These developments lowered the prices of consumer goods, but put great pressure on European agriculture Several large banks failed in 1873, and the rate of capital investment slowed However, the overall standard of living improved in the second half of the 19th century The new industries produced consumer goods and these goods brought the economy out of inactivity by the end of the century

5 The sixty years before WWI were the age of the middle classes The London Great Exhibition of 1851 held in the Crystal Palace displayed the products and the new material life they had forged After this, the middle classes became the negotiator of consumer taste After the revolutions of 1848, the middle classes ceased to be a revolutionary group Once the question of equality had been raised, large and small property owners moved to protect what they possessed against demands from socialist and other working-class groups

6 The middles classes grew increasingly diverse and the most prosperous Only a few hundred families gained such wealth and beneath them were comfortable small entrepreneurs and professional people There was a wholly new element – “white-collar workers” who formed the lower middle class, or petite bourgeoisie They included secretaries, retail clerks, and lower-level bureaucrats in business and government They often had working class origins but had middle class aspirations and consciously sought to distance themselves from a lower-class lifestyle

7 Europe became more urbanized than ever in the 2 nd half of the 19 th century Between 1850 and 1911, urban dwellers rose from 25 to 44% of the population in France and from 30 to 60% in Germany The most famous and extensive transformation occurred in Paris Napoleon III determined to redesign Paris and he appointed George Haussmann In 1889 the Eiffel Tower was built and it became a symbol of French industrial strength Development of all kinds displaced many city dwellers and raised urban land values and rent Consequently, both the middle classes and the working class began to seek housing elsewhere

8 Also, Concerns about health first appeared with the great cholera epidemics of the 1830s and 1840s The government began to publicize the dangers of unsanitary conditions and many reformers linked the issues of poor living conditions with public health The proposed solution to the health hazard was cleanliness, to be achieved through new water and sewer systems. The concern for public health led to an expansion of governmental power on various levels Throughout Europe, issues related to health repeatedly opened the way for the government to intervene in the lives of citizens Debates about health led to debates about housing Housing became a political issue because of the large number of people migrating to the cities

9 By 1914, the goal was to provide the working classes of Europe homes that would allow them to enjoy a family life. Until the last quarter of the century, married women could not own property in their own names Reforms came slowly but in some countries laws were passed to give married women the right to own property In effect, women were legal minors in the eyes of the Napoleonic Code and the remnants of Roman law Divorce was illegal in some countries and double standards existed, with society tolerating more men’s vices than women’s The father usually received custody of the children in cases of divorce, no matter how he had treated them previously Also, Women had much less access to education than men had and what was available to them was inferior to that available to men

10 Towards the end of the century, universities began admitting women and women’s colleges began to form The growth of industry and retail stores opened many new employment opportunities for women Women rarely occupied more prominent positions and still received low wages since it was assumed she could have a husband Upon marriage, women withdrew from the labor force Employers in this time period often preferred young, unmarried women whose family responsibilities normally wouldn’t interfere with her work The real wages paid to male workers increased during this period, so families had a somewhat reduced need for a second income

11 At this time period, major manufacturers would continue to employ many women The manufacturer would purchase the material and then put it out for tailoring (putting-out system) Women were exploited in this system as they were laid off in hard times, although they were the ones doing the work A vast social gap separated poor working-class women from middle-class counterparts As their fathers’ and husbands’ incomes permitted, middle-class women participated in the vast consumerism that marked the late 19th and early 20th centuries They enjoyed electricity, new sanitation and also could employ numerous servants

12 More than any other women, middle-class women became limited to the roles of wife and mother Magazines and books for women began to praise motherhood In this time period, women now symbolized first her father’s and then her husband’s worldly success This close association between religion and domestic life for women a reason for later tension between feminism and religion Also, middle-class women were responsible for charity These roles for middle-class women would dominate European life for decades to come Many women themselves did not support feminist Also, many women did not want to associate with different social classes so it was difficult to unite the women

13 The most advanced women’s movement was in Britain where Millicent Fawcett led the moderate National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies She believed Parliament would only grant women the vote if it were convinced that they would be responsible in their political duties Emmeline Pankhurst and her followers of the Women’s Social and Political Union lobbied publicity and privately for the extension of the vote of women Women didn’t receive the right to vote until 1918 as a result of their contribution to WWI Before WWI, only Norway allowed women to vote on political issues In France, the government did not allow women the vote until after WWII In Germany, women received the vote in 1919

14 In 1782, Joseph II, the Habsburg emperor, issued a decree that placed the Jews of his empire under more or less the same laws as Christians Jewish communities in Italy and Germany were usually allowed to mix on an equal footing with the Christian population Also, in certain countries like Russia and Poland, prejudice and discrimination continued until WWI After the revolutions of 1848, Jews in general saw an improvement in their situation that lasted decades Many Jews in Western Europe were allowed to enter the professions and other occupations once closed to them Jews intermarried freely with non-Jews since such laws prohibiting the practice had been repealed However, anti-Semitism erupted throughout Western Europe and people began to attack prosperous Jews

15 Except for Russia, all the major European states adopted broad-based electoral system in the late 19 th century The political parties mobilized working class voters more than any other group Socialism emerged as a political ideology that was supposed to unite the working classes across national borders However, European socialists underestimated the power of nationalism In 1864, a group of British and French trade unionists founded the International Working Men’s Association In the inaugural address, Karl Marx approved the trade unions’ efforts to reform the conditions of labor within the existing political processes The organization held debates over socialist doctrine and through these debates, Marxism emerged as the single most important strand of socialism

16 The Fabian Society, founded in 1884, was Britain’s most influential socialist group Many Fabians sought to educate the country about the rational wisdom of socialism and they were particularly interested in modes of collective ownership on the municipal level The Second International had been founded in 1889 to unify various national socialist parties French workers were uninterested in politics or socialism and believed more in anarchism The organizational process of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) kept Marxist socialism alive during the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries The so-called Iron Chancellor (Otto Von Bismarck) believed socialism would undermine German politics and society Count Sergei Witte led Russia into the industrial age by pursuing a policy of planned economic development

17 Many free peasants had to work on large estates owned by nobles or more prosperous peasants called kulaks Between 1860 and 1914, Russia’s population rose from 50 million to around 103 million people The leading Russian Marxist was Gregory Plekhanov and his chief Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin’s faction assumed the name Bolsheviks, meaning “majority,” and the other more democratic revolutionary faction come to be known as the Mensheviks Lenin believed a mass party functioning in a democratic fashion wouldn’t completely reform Russia Between 1900 and WWI, Nicholas II was able to confront political upheaval more or less successfully Russia lost in a war with the Japanese and lost Port Arthur, Russia’s naval base on the coast of China in 1905

18 On January 22, 1905, a Russian Orthodox priest led several hundred workers to present a petition to the tsar for the improvements of industrial conditions As they approached the Winter Palace, the troops opened fire, killing about 40 people and wounding hundreds of others The final death toll was about 200 killed and 800 wounded and the day, known as Bloody Sunday, marked a turning point In early October 1905, strikes broke out in Saint Petersburg, and for all practical purposes, worker groups, called soviets, controlled the city Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto, which promised Russia constitutional government Early in 1906, Nicholas II announced the creation of a representative body, the Duma, with two chambers

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