The 19th Centuary Essay

1049 words - 4 pages

In the first half of the 19th century the processes known as Industrialization and Urbanization started to transform Europe. It affected and changed every aspect of life of every citizen of every European nation. The notorious results of these changes were the horrible living and working conditions of the working class, who made up the majority of the society. Great Britain was involved most profoundly in this Industrial Revolution as it led the way in the development of railroads and factories. We find a lot of documents from that time period describing working conditions in Britain during that era. As a response to those changes created by Industrial Revolution many sought reforms to confront those social problems. Karl Marx was one of those reformers proposing and arguing for the reforms in his Communist Manifesto. There are a number of direct correlations between the descriptions of working conditions in 19th century Britain and Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.
While reading one of the many articles describing working conditions in Britain during the Industrial Revolution I noticed that it has a very close links to the work of Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto. The things that Marx talked about in general in his work are reflected as a specific case in that article. The article I am talking about is Leeds Woolen Workers Petition, 1786. There are a lot more articles such as this one that are associated with the Communist Manifesto just as strong. But for now I want to stop my attention on this one in particular and analyze it at first to show what exact correlations it has with the work of Karl Marx. The Leeds Woolen Workers Petition was an article written as a complaint about the effects of the Industrialization on the previously well-paid skilled workers. In particular it talks about the employment of the machines and the effects it had on those workers. They complain how this new instruments of production will replace workers and leave "eight thousand hands deprived of the opportunity of getting a livelihood" . According to Marx: "The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society." As we can see revolutionazing the production was distinguishing trait of the bourgeois and of the Industrial Revolution, that had a devastating effect on the working class as they were replaced and pushed into powerty by the machines and new methods of production. The workers are asking for the self interest to be laid aside and appealing to the "sensible part of mankind, who are not biased by interest" to pay attention to their petition. But as we read in Communist Manifesto: "The bourgeoisie left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment." It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in...

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