EUROPE AND AMERICA. Forces for Change, 1890-1914. Major Forces for Change. More education for more people Industry overtakes agriculture Industrial growth – prosperity and labor Shortened distances and faster communications Growth of “scientific knowledge” European empires. UNITED STATES.
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Forces for Change, 1890-1914
Europe was divided by many nations, ethnicities and ideas.
Queen Victoria, Britain, 1837-1901, by 1900 was the grandmother of many European monarchs.
George V, King of Britain in 1914 (right)
Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia, in 1914 (left)
Wilhelm (William) II, the Kaiser of Germany, ca. 1910 – first cousin to both Nicholas II and George V
The Aristocracy controlled much of the wealth, more of the power, in Europe
Mass education – expanded opportunity for more people
Women particularly benefited from larger school expenditures – literacy of woman more than quadrupled from 1860-1900 in Europe, tripled in U.S.
Schools were important for teaching Nationalism – France, rather than Loraine, etc.
Industrial growth meant greater production but also major changes in society
A rising middle class reflected the growth of a nation’s economy
Middle class – clerks, businessmen, sales force – more leisure time
What only the wealthy once enjoyed, middle class now had
Factory values exceeded agricultural wealth in many countries
Industrial labor force – major change in societies that had been largely rural
Labor forces (such as this 1870s shoe factory) contained adults and children – poor families resisted the enforcement of child labor laws
Photography documented the hard lives of many workers
German immigrant Jacob Riis – photos of poverty in New York
Riis photos ran in newspapers and in his book, prompting new efforts at “social justice
There was still considerable poverty, and beggars were common sights on the streets of major cities and towns.
In 1891, Leo XIII, a conservative, issued the Rerum Novarum – a call for “just wages” and the recognition of trade unions. Laborers called him the “Workers’ Pope.”
Marxism called for the violent overthrow of wealth and capitalism and the establishment of a “workers’ state.”
Various forms of “gradual socialism” were proposed in place of Marxism – creating a better society through political parties, voting and government regulation of the state and the economy
Marxists and socialists generally opposed war, arguing that military costs prevented the improvement of the economy.
British battleship, HMS Dreadnought
Politics was now influenced by mass communications; newspapers could alter public opinion and government policies.
The war in Cuba made a national hero (and eventually president) of Theodore Roosevelt
Modern armies could be speedily deployed by trains and directed by telegraph
U.S. had “territories rather than colonies
Absolute faith in modern technology was seriously shaken in 1912.
In 1904, tensions between Russia and Japan (over China) led to war.
Russia’s defeat in the war shocked the entire world
Authority derived from faith or ancient wisdomBehavior a matter of good and evilThe universe was a matter of mechanics – “laws of motion”
Old wisdom is now questioned, frequently discardedBehavior is a matter of “hidden, biological impulses” The universe is much more complex and “chance” plays a a large part in it – Does God play dice with the universe?
Since the 1860s, Darwin’s theories of evolution had frightened the traditional basis of western religion.
The research of Freud questioned the traditional “good-evil” basis of behavior
Bohr’s concept of the atom, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and the idea of “quantum mechanics” made understanding the universe difficult