During the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution made a significant political, economical, and social change throughout Western Europe. The Industrial Revolution was brought on, partly, due to the English civil war. During the Industrial Revolution, England experienced major advances in transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing, which spread throughout Europe. By the 1830s most European countries started railroad construction and the mechanization of manufacturing (Hunt, 654). One of the most significant changes that occurred during this time period was the shift of labor from small farms in rural areas to large factories in urbanized cities. The technology developed during this period, including the seed drill, threshing machinery, the stocking frame, and the steam engine made a major impact on agriculture and transportation. Work was done more efficiently than before with the help of new technology.
The Industrial Revolution changed "the west" politically as a result of the change in social classes. Land owners moved to cities to work in factories, becoming part of the working class. The working class became the majority. Politicians depended on the ordinary men of the working class for their votes. This time period is also referred to as an "age of ideology" associated with the ideas of liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and free market economics. The Boss System was in effect by the Second Industrial Revolution. Politicians, running for office, used immigrants to bolster their own position by offering them incentives or promising them jobs in factories. In return immigrants voted for these politicians. This enabled the political party in power to maintain power. Politicians were very corrupt and were often "lining their own pockets". The Second Industrial Revolution eventually led to the 18th amendment, passing prohibition, and the 19th amendment, legalizing women's voting rights. During this period the idea of communism was developed by Karl Marx. This was the positive supersession of private property as human self-estrangement (Karl Marx: Scientific Socialism). Social Democracy signified the entrance of socialists into traditional politics. Socialists formed political parties and ran for elections.
The Industrial Revolution significantly changed Western Europe socially. There was a major change in the social class structure, with a shift from the working class owning "the means of production" to the bourgeoisie owning the "the means of production". This meant the bourgeoisie became the upper class, owning factories, land, and all resources. This was a result of the feudal crisis. Workers no longer had independent means of subsistence. Instead, workers were dependant on wages earned working for factory owners. Workers lived hard lives. Their living conditions were horrible....