Presentation on theme: "19th Century England A Brief Overview. 18th Century Enlightenment Ideals Reason Toleration Natural Law Change and Progress as good things Deism."— Presentation transcript:
19th Century England A Brief Overview
18th Century Enlightenment Ideals Reason Toleration Natural Law Change and Progress as good things Deism.
Enlightenment Ideas Francis Bacon ( ), sometimes called "Father of Modern Science,”believed that natural philosophy (what we call science) could be applied to the solution of practical problems. For Bacon, the problem was this: how could humans enjoy perfect freedom if they had to constantly labor to supply the necessities of existence? His answer was clear -- machines. These labor saving devices would liberate humankind, they would save labor which then could be used elsewhere. "Knowledge is power," said Bacon, and scientific knowledge reveals power over nature. This vision was all-important. It was optimistic and progressive. Humans were going somewhere, their lives had direction.
Enlightenment & Revolution This optimistic and progressiv attitude is implicit throughout the Enlightenment and was made a reality during the French and Industrial Revolutions. The American and French Revolutions, building on enlightened ideas, brought forth a cultural as well as an industrial revolution. Humankind could now change society for the better.
19th Century Intellectual History Philosophy and Ideology European thinkers were becoming more aware of ancient thought. This development has a great deal to do with the development of anthropology as well as Darwinian evolutionary theory. Eastern thought began to pervade western ideas during the 19th century. Many of the British Romantic poets were quite taken with eastern ideas. In general, new ideas and with them, a new vocabulary, entered into European intellectual discourse Science made new conquests, especially in the fields of geology, biology, botany and organic chemistry. newest developments in the sciences were primarily in the physical and life sciences, all founded in the early part of the 19th century. Another way of looking at science in the 19th century is to say that whereas the 17th and 18th centuries were keen on investigating Nature from the standpoint of what was inorganic and heavenly, the 19th century discovered and took a lively interest in what was organic, vital and living.
Intellectual con machine production, the factory system and the cash nexus profoundly altered the social structure of England. This revolution in industry -- the Industrial Revolution -- gave humankind a new conception of power in relation to the physical environment And with industrialization and the development of industrial capitalism, a whole new set of social, political, cultural and intellectual problems entered the European mind at all levels. No one was left untouched by this revolution in industry. Revolt both philosophical and political, against traditional systems of thought. This revolt had two faces -- one was Romantic and stressed the irrational and unreason, the other was rationalistic and stressed the human capacity of reason and rationality. The 18th century Age of Enlightenment was firmly entrenched in the capacities of Human Reason. But by the end of the century and into the early part of the 19th century, a reaction set in. Man was not a disembodied brain, a thinking machine, but an emotional and organic individual. The man of reason became the new man of feeling.
The Industrial Revolution in England The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries changed the productive capacity of England, Europe and United States. But the revolution was something more than just new machines— smoke-belching factories, increased productivity and an increased standard of living. For many, the Industrial Revolution implied that humankind now had not only the opportunity and the knowledge but the physical means to completely subdue nature. No one was left unaffected. Everyone was touched in one way or another -- peasant and noble, parent and child, artisan and captain of industry. As Harold Perkin has observed, "the Industrial Revolution was no mere sequence of changes in industrial techniques and production, but a social revolution with social causes as well as profound social effects" [The Origins of Modern English Society, (1969)].
A Time of Invention The first steamboat in Britain was Henry Bell's Comet on the Clyde in George Trevithick created the first steam locomotive in In 1813 George Stephenson created a better one. In 1812, the parish of St. Margaret's in Westminster was lit by gas - by the Gas, Light, & Coke Company. By 1815 there were 26 miles of gas mains in London. The factories in the Midlands were already lit by gas. The November 29, 1814 edition of The Times was the first newspaper issue printed on a steam press. Both Thomas Telford and John Loudon Macadam experimented with road improvements. Macadam's methods were first used on the Bristol roads when he was appointed surveyor-general in The technique involved raising and draining the road level and laying down layers of hard stones broken into very small pieces. George Stephenson built the first public railways in the 1820s. To learn more about transportation during the period go to
Social & Cultural Consequences Once engines and machines, the products of science, began to revolutionize the idea of progress itself, an even greater optimism began to develop. Many wondered that if a simple machine can do the work of twenty men in a quarter of the time formerly required, then what might happen next? The answer was not entirely what was expected. While the Industrial Revolution brought its blessings, there was also much misery. Revolutions, political or otherwise, are always mixed blessings, and in addition to scientific and industrial changes, the Industrial Revolution had a detriment effect on social relationships. As the mid-19th century Scottish critic Thomas Carlyle ( ) put it, the Industrial Revolution ushered in a society where the only connection between men is the one of money, profit and gain.
Socioeconomic & Cultural Change Along with this great leap in technology, there was an overall downfall in the socioeconomic and cultural situation of the English people. Growth of cities were one of the major consequences of the Industrial Revolution. Many people were driven to the cities to look for work, in turn the ended living in the cities that could not support them. With the new industrial age, a new quantitative and materialistic view of the world took place. This caused the need for people to consume as much as they could, living on small wages that required small children to work in factories for long days.
Workers Needed As people were encouraged to consume as much as they could,both the cost of such consumption and the increasing need for production of goods brought about yet another social change: small children working in factories for long days.
Life of a Child Laborer To overcome this labor shortage factory owners had to find other ways of obtaining workers. One solution to the problem was to buy children from orphanages and workhouses. The children became known as pauper apprentices. This involved the children signing contracts that virtually made them the property of the factory owner. Pauper apprentices were cheaper to house than adult workers. Owners of large textile mills purchased large numbers of children from workhouses in all the large towns and cities. By the late 1790s about a third of the workers in the cotton industry were pauper apprentices. Child workers were especially predominant in large factories in rural areas.
Dangers & Punishment Children who worked long hours in the textile mills became very tired and found it difficult to maintain the speed required by the overlookers. Children who were late for work were severely punished. If children arrived late for work they would also have money deducted from their wages. Time-keeping was a problem for those families who could not afford to buy a clock. In some factories workers were not allowed to carry a watch. The children suspected that this rule was an attempt to trick them out of some of their wages. Children were usually hit with a strap to make them work faster. In some factories children were dipped head first into the water cistern if they became drowsy. Children were also punished for arriving late for work and for talking to the other children. Parish apprentices who ran away from the factory was in danger of being sent to prison. Children who were considered potential runaways were placed in irons.
Child Labor Laws The first Factory Act passed by the British Parliament was called "The Factory Health and Morals Act, 1802" and applied principally, though not exclusively, to apprentices in cotton and woolen mills. The preamble runs as follows: "Whereas it hath of late become a practice in cotton and woolen mills, and in cotton and woolen factories, to employ a great number of male and female apprentices, and other persons, in the same building, in consequence of which certain regulations are now necessary to preserve the health and morals of such apprentices." The regulations, briefly stated, were the following: The master or mistress of the factory must observe the law. All rooms in a factory are to be lime-washed twice a year and duly ventilated. Every apprentice is to be supplied with two complete suits of clothing with suitable linen, stockings, hats and shoes. The hours of work of apprentices are not to exceed twelve a day, nor commence before six in the morning, nor conclude before nine at night. They are to be instructed every working day during the first four years of apprenticeship in reading, writing and arithmetic. Male and female apprentices are to be provided with separate sleeping apartments, and not more than two to sleep in one bed. On Sunday they are to be instructed in the principles of the Christian religion.
Changing Social Patterns The Industrial Revolution brought with it an increase in population and urbanization, as well as new social classes. The increase in population was nothing short of dramatic. England and Germany showed a growth rate of something more than one percent annually; at this rate the population would double in about seventy years. The general population increase was aided by a greater supply of food made available by the Agricultural Revolution, and by the growth of medical science and public health measures which decreased the death rate and added to the population base. Until the Industrial Revolution, most of the world's population was rural. However, by mid-nineteenth century, half of the English people lived in cities, and by the end of the century, the same was true of other European countries. Between 1800 and 1950 most large European cities exhibited spectacular growth. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were scarcely two dozen cities in Europe with a population of 100,000, but by 1900 there were more than 150 cities of this size.
Rise of Cities The rise of great cities can be accounted for in various ways: First, industrialization called for the concentration of a work force; and indeed, the factories themselves were often located where coal or some other essential material was available, as the Ruhr in Germany and Lille in northern France. Second, the necessity for marketing finished goods created great urban centers where there was access to water or railways. Such was the case with Liverpool, Hamburg, Marseilles, and New York. And third, there was a natural tendency for established political centers such as London, Paris, and Berlin to become centers fort he banking and marketing functions of the new industrialism.
Urban Growth Rapid growth of the cities was not an unmixed blessing. The factory towns of England tended to become rookeries of jerry-built tenements, while the mining towns became long monotonous rows of company- built cottages, furnishing minimal shelter and little more. The bad living conditions in the towns can be traced to lack of good brick, the absence of building codes, and the lack of machinery for public sanitation. But, it must be added, they were also due to the factory owners' tendency to regard laborers as commodities and not as a group of human beings. In addition to a new factory-owning bourgeoisie, the Industrial Revolution created a new working class. The new class of industrial workers included all the men, women, and children laboring in the textile mills, pottery works, and mines. Often skilled artisans found themselves degraded to routine process laborers as machines began to mass produce the products formerly made by hand. Generally speaking, wages were low, hours were long, and working conditions unpleasant and dangerous. The industrial workers had helped to pass the Reform Bill of 1832, but they had not been enfranchised by it.
19th Century Class System The population grew from 11 to 37 million in England during the nineteenth century. Factories created jobs which lured workers from rural communities and immigrants from Scotland and Ireland. By 1901, nearly three-quarters of the population called the city their home. The rigid class system of the past essentially fell asunder with industrialization. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, England was an agrarian society. The aristocracy, also known as the gentry, owned all the land. Although a small group, the gentry wielded the power and wealth. Anyone outside the upper class could not advance into it. Tenant farmers could rent the land with the majority of men and women working as laborers and servants. The growth of factories meant an increase in job opportunities as well as wages. The workers left their rural life to become urban workers.
The Middle Class Industry, job opportunities, increased wages, and vision opened the way for a new class of citizenry by the 1850s - the middle class. This group consisted of factory owners, bankers, shopkeepers, merchants, lawyers, engineers, and other professionals. The new class was gaining power through economic and social means, not because of inherited titles or lands as the aristocracy. They soon knocked on the door of the upper class, demanding entry into the realm of the previously privileged. These men and women felt that wealth and social position were theirs for the taking through discipline and hard competition. Nineteenth century political and social reformer Samuel Smiles stated, "Individual effort, backed by austerity of life, would propel any man, no matter what his origins, to success in this world." The nouveau riche paraded their wealth through the possessions they acquired. Beautiful homes were meticulously decorated externally and from within. Decorative bric-a-brac, furnishings and wall treatments conveyed in nonverbal messages their position in society. The middle class was also sensitive to fashion, displaying their good fortune by the clothes they wore. The newly rich endeavored to parade their success by taking carriage rides through Hyde Park and walks along the fashionable streets of London. They enjoyed other activities including attending sporting events, picnics and drawing-room dinners.
The Rise of the Middle Class The Victorians set high standards for morality and respectability. The Victorians viewed drunkenness with a disapproving eye in the nineteenth century. Strict standards were enforced in the sexual morality arena. Sexual experiences, particularly for women, were confined to the marriage bed. Any breath of sexual scandal would destroy a woman’s reputation. Numerous women’s organizations fought against prostitution. Sadly, prostitution was a supplemental form of income for many working-class girls. The roles of men and women were clearly defined. Men worked outside the home while women raised and reared the children. The man was strong and intellectual while the woman was emotional, passive and fragile. The role of the man was as protector to his wife and children.
Mary Shelley Frankenstein & Technology
Biography ( ) Born August 30, 1797 to political radicals William Godwin and Mary Wollestonecraft. Parents believed in communal property, the ideals of the French Revolution, free love, and they were against marriage. Mary Wollestonecraft was considered revolutionary because her work exposed the status of women as second-class citizens in the world, and complained about the injustices of the political system and of marriage. She was also considered scandalous because of several fairly public love affairs. But Mary and William married 5 months before their only daughter was born. Mary Wollestonecraft died ten days later from an infection caused by birth complications. Her daughter was named Mary for her. Her mother died in childbirth. Mary was brought up in a very intellectually stimulating, though not particularly warm, environment. She was left to educate herself amongst her father's intellectual circle, was, from her youth, educated to become a literary figure. She published her first poem at the age of ten
Biography (continued) In June 1814 at 16 she and Percy Shelley, 22, a poet and a disciple of her father’s, eloped to Europe together taking her stepsister with them, and leaving behind his young daughter, his very pregnant wife (with whom he had also eloped when she was 16) and her very angry father. The three of them traveled around Europe before returning to London. Mary gave birth several months later to a premature daughter who dies. At the time of writing Frankenstein in 1816, the couple had moved to the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. They had an infant son, William, who lived a few more years. The group, plus Byron’s personal doctor, Polidori, set up a ghost story writing game. Mary Shelley is all of 19. The novel is published anonymously in 1818.
Frankenstein: Production Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus was born out of a series of conversations she had during the summer of 1816 with Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Dr. John Polidori. In introduction to 1831 edition, Shelley cites conversations between P. Shelley and Byron about Erasmus Darwin ("they talked about the experiments of Dr. Darwin") and Luigi Galvani ("perhaps a corpse would be re-animated; galvanism had given token of such things") as sources for her own idea of a reanimated human ("perhaps the component parts of a creature might be manufactured, brought together, and endued with vital warmth"). When asked to explain why he has created a monstrous life form (one that would eventually destroy him), Shelley's Victor Frankenstein offers an explanation based on the concept of "species." "A new species would bless me as its creator," he says to Captain Walton in the opening pages of the novel. Shelley clearly sees this attempt to create life as connected to the creation of a species. Of course, Victor does not really create a new species at all; he creates a hybrid, a human being composed of the parts of other humans and other animals, since some of his raw materials come from the "slaughterhouse."
Frankenstein Shelley's creature presumably lacks a soul, at least in the minds of most of her 1818 readers. But when Victor considers the "race of demons" that might populate the world if he goes through with his plan to create a female companion for the "wretch," he clearly places monster reproductive biology at the center of his own anxieties. These anxieties however, point to wider issues and questions about the problem of speciation in the Romantic era. Of course, Victor Frankenstein's creature does not bless him "as its creator." In fact, the wretch turns on the creator and destroys him--as well as everyone he loves--not because the monster is inherently evil, but because the "monster" never receives love from his creator, or even a name. The human creator Victor never shows sufficient concern for the life he has made, much less for other human (or animate) lives around him. Shelley's argument points toward respect for life--all life--as a crucial aspect of Romantic natural history.
We often forget how recently humans have understood the basics of their own biological origins. Well into the nineteenth century, confusion abounded about the connection between human reproductiuon and other forms of animal reproduction, as well as the roles played by both parents in the origins of new individuals. Since Gregor Mendel's genetic research was not available to the scientific community until around 1900, even Charles Darwin had to admit only the fuzziest sense of how acquired characteristics might be passed on from parent to offspring. In addition, "monsters" and "freaks of nature" posed serious problems for any religious belief or scientific theory that demanded rigid consistency on the part of the natural system.The appearance of humans with confusing racial characteristics, much less conjoined twins or other developmental anomalies, caused fear and anxiety about the "souls" or the "purpose" of such beings. Few people wanted to believe that humans came into existence in the same way as chickens or lizards; even fewer wanted to admit that the process of "soul-making" was partly "genetic."
continued As a result, strange theories abounded: "freaks" were seen as divine punishment for the sins of the fathers (or mothers); the mother's (or father's) state of mind at the moment of conception was said to determine the sex or the personality of the child; mysterious "liquors" were described mixing in mysterious ways with a human egg, human homunculi (fully formed sperm creatures), or combinations of matter and "spirit" to produce a new human animal.
Romanticism The word conveys notions of sentiment and sentimentality, a visionary or idealistic lack of reality. It connotes fantasy and fiction. It has been associated with different times and with distant place. Historians and critics as well as European historians have been quarreling over the meaning of the word Romanticism for decades The expression Romantic gained currency during its own time, roughly However, even within its own period of existence, few Romantics would have agreed on a general meaning. Romanticism appeared in conflict with the Enlightenment. It reflected a crisis in Enlightenment thought itself, a crisis which shook the comfortable 18th century philosophe out of his intellectual single- mindedness. The Romantics were conscious of their unique destiny. In fact, it was self-consciousness which appears as one of the keys elements of Romanticism itself.
Romanticism (con) One of the fundamentals of Romanticism is the belief in the natural goodness of man, the idea that man in a state of nature would behave well but is hindered by civilization (Rousseau -- "man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"). The "savage" is noble, childhood is good and the emotions inspired by both beliefs causes the heart to soar. On the contrary, urban life and the commitment to "getting and spending," generates a fear and distrust of the world. If man is inherently sinful, reason must restrain his passions, but if he is naturally good, then in an appropriate environment, his emotions can be trusted (Blake -- "bathe in the waters of life"). The idea of man's natural goodness and the stress on emotion also contributed the belief that what is special in a man is to be valued over what is representative (the latter oftentimes connected with the conventions imposed on man by "civilized society."
Romanticism the Romantics yearned to reclaim human freedom. Habits, values, rules and standards imposed by a civilization grounded in reason and reason only had to be abandoned. Whereas the philosophes saw man in common, that is, as creatures endowed with Reason, the Romantics saw diversity and uniqueness. That is, those traits which set one man apart from another, and traits which set one nation apart from another Impt to remember that the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, thus adding entirely new social concerns. The old order -- politics and the economy -- seemed to be falling apart and for many Romantics, this raised the threat of moral disaster as well. Men and women faced the need to build new systems of discipline and order, or, at the very least, they had to reshape older systems.
References Andrew Hadfield, Dominic Rainsford, and Tim Woods. (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1998), Berlanstein, Leonard R. The Industrial Revolution and Work in 19th Century Europe. New York, Briggs, Asa. The Age of Improvement, New York, Caldwell, Janis McLarren. "Sympathy and Science in Frankenstein." In The Ethics in Literature, eds. Dale, Henry. The Industrial Revolution. New York, Hughes, Kristin. Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England, Mellor, Anne K. "Possessing nature: the female in Frankenstein.” Romanticism and Feminism, ed. Anne K. Mellor. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988 Prickett, Stephen, ed. The Romantics: Context of English Literature. Holmes & Meier Pub Rauch, Alan. “The Monstrous Body of Knowledge in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Studies in Romantic Literature, 34:3 (Summer 1995): Stearns, Peter N. Interpreting the Industrial Revolution. Washington, Swisher, Clarice. Victorian England, Turning Points in History. Greenhaven Press, 2000