Responses to Industrialization: c. 1750 - c. 1900

AP Concept: 5.1 Industrialization and Global Capitalism
Key Concepts
  • Changes in the global economy led to major changes in social structures
  • There were a variety of responses to global capitalism
Changes in Social Structures
  • Industrialization and global trade contributed to social changes within nations
    • The factory system, in which factories employed large numbers of workers and power-driven machines to mass-produce goods, altered gender roles and families
    • Previously self-sufficient families now moved to urban factories, where they worked for wages outside the home
    • Women and children took on greater economic roles as cheap labor in factories
    • In middle-class families, men remained primary wage-earners, and their work came to be seen as more important than domestic work because it earned them a living
    • Middle-class women were encouraged to stay home and conform to "the cult of domesticity," which glorified their work as wives and mothers
    • The factory system also led to a decline in slavery, since slaves could not consume industrial products in the same way free wage-earners could
    • The rise of global trade also contributed to major social changes between nations
    • As industrial nations demanded greater numbers of raw materials from less modernized countries, a global division of labor developed
    • Countries in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia became dependent on exporting cash crops to industrialized nations
    • They industrialized little or not at all, leaving wealth concentrated in the more industrialized nations
Reactions to Global Capitalism
  • Enlightenment ideas of tolerance and equality influenced a number of reactions to global capitalism and industrialization
  • Socialism arose in the 1800s as a reaction to the appalling conditions that factory workers experienced
  • These revolutionary movements critiqued the money economy and advocated for a utopian society in which workers, not wealthy owners, ran the economy
  • Karl Marx advocated overthrowing the moneyed classes and setting up a workers' state
  • The union movement advocated for the organization of workers so they could negotiate for better wages and working conditions
  • Workers and factory owners often clashed in violent conflicts, as factories tried to prevent workers from unifying
  • Some workers became more radicalized and violent in response
  • Liberalism grew as the middle class did, and believers traditionally benefited from the new capitalist economy
  • They argued for written constitutions based on separation of powers, and for the importance of natural rights
  • Typically they were opposed to monarchies


Related Links:
AP World History Quizzes
AP World History
AP World History Notes
New Patterns of Global Trade: c. 1750 - c. 1900


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