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The Middle Class Essay

10798 words - 43 pages

The Middle Class

Between 1000 and 1750 AD, the population of the
world has increased by 480 million people, of which 21 %, or about 102 millions lived in
Europe. Between 1750 and 1800 AD the world's population has grown by 190 millions,
which is not much by later standards, and of which Europe's share was 27 % that adds
up to 51 million people. That was the first time in history that Europe's share, which
included North America and Oceania, surpassed the world's population's increase. 27
% to Europe, 23 % to the rest of the world. The accuracy of the figures is very much in
doubt, so is the ratio between them, but it is not in doubt that the western world was
poised at the edge of a major demographic explosion. The trigger to the demographic
explosion was probably an improvement in public health services, inoculation of
children against contagious diseases that drastically lowered children's mortality rate. It
is a historical fact that between the years 1800 and 1950, the number of the people of
the western world has grown much faster than in the rest of the world. After 1950, the
tendency was reversed, and between 1950 and 2000 AD the increase of the Third
World was an astounding 179 %, while the western world still kept a respectable 48 %.
The estimate is that between 2000 and 2050 AD, the demographic change of the
western world will be 0 %, while the rest of the world will still have 57 %. That increase is
the residual effect of the improvement in health service in colonial times.

Between the years 1750 and 1950, at the height of the demographic explosion of the
western world, the Middle Class has replaced the old elite. There is no doubt that there
is a correlation between the two events. Most historians point to the French revolution
as the event that triggered the change. This study claims that the French Revolution was
the culmination of a process that has started much earlier and the French Revolution
has only caused it to come out to the open in a violent manner. There are a number of
arguments to support this view.

The Industrial Revolution has predated the French Revolution. It was previously shown
that the Industrial Index of the United Kingdom and India were about equal in the year

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