The Great Exhibition Of 1851 Essay

1587 words - 6 pages

The Great Exhibition of 1851 sought to provide the world with the hope of a better future. After Europe’s struggle of two decades of political and social upheaval, the Exhibition hoped to show that technology was the key to a better future. The Europeans were excited to display their new innovative technology and show off their progress of industrialization and economic changes. The most popular exhibit was the Crystal Palace; the first monumental structure in Britain that was constructed of uniquely from metal and glass (93). The promoters of the Palace said it will be known and remembered for ages across Europe. Just as the Liberals thought that Liberalism would stay forever due to their breakthrough so did the promoters think the same thing would happen with the Crystal Palace. However, both ideas were illusions and in just a few centuries both would fall. The promoters also thought that nothing would ever be greater than the Palace (94) which is what the Liberals thought of other non-Liberal groups, and like the Palace fell, so did the Liberal’s fall as well and they would be replaced without hesitation. They viewed the world as if it was in the palm of their hands, across Europe the societies were becoming more and more progressive and industrialized while putting the past turmoil they had encountered behind them.
There was an extensive celebration of Liberal achievements and throughout both articles Liberalism is always articulated of with a positive connotation behind it. The Liberals boast constantly about the Crystal Palace and its greatness due to its help to move forward the history of industry. They were so certain that it would be a success that they predicted not only the wealthy to soon start and embrace the style then apply it to their own homes but ordinary homes would take in the new look as well. They also thought that because of the cheapness of the materials and wholesome design of the structure that it would improve the houses of the poor (95).
Just as the Liberals believed that both the rich and the poor would adopt the new glass and cast iron structure creating a sense of equality, they also thought the same thing when railways first became the new way to travel prior to the exhibition. “The poorest would be obligated to use them, and the rich would have nothing better… if the richest can have no better houses, the poor will have them also” (95). These two instances show the Liberal’s celebration of becoming closer to reaching social equality in their society and their enthusiasm of having it continue with the help of the Exhibition. They had already observed changes among all the classes in the form of respect and improvement in their manners and actions towards each other, all as a result of their equalization. The Liberals thought that because of the gathering of the nations across Europe in London because of the Exhibition, they helped create a sense of peace in the minds of the men and secured political...

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