Transportation, the Second IR, and Industrial Society
Transportation, the Second IR, and Industrial Society Railroads While mostly steam powered until the 20th century, railroads grew massively in Europe, Russia, and the US Most were built to connect major industrial sites (coal, timber, iron mines, etc.)
large-scale industrial cities (London, Liverpool, Manchester, etc.) and financial cities (London, NYC, Berlin, etc.) In the West, railroad expansion was almost completely built by private companies and investors (Union Pacific Railway) In Russia and Japan, the expansion of railroads was funded more heavily by the government (Trans-Siberian Railroad)
British Railways Trans-Siberian Railway 1891-1916 Transcontinental Railways 18631880s Canals Additionally, steam engines were used to power steam boats that could carry passengers and cargo more efficiently Like railroads and electric lines, large-scale private investment was used
To navigate, canals were constructed to make more direct and efficient routes, as well as wide, deep, and stable channels for the boats Large-scale canals made it possible to connect major industrial centers with trade and raw materials (Erie Canal, US) Additionally, made for more efficient and quicker trade routes,
such as the Suez Canal built in Egypt by the British Suez Canal 1860s Erie Canal 1820s Second Industrial Revolution (18701914) While Britain was the primary initiator of the coal-based (First) IR, Germany would be the initiator of the Second IR
After 1870, technology and machinery improved dramatically Germans (and others) harnessed and developed new chemicals such as petroleum (gas), better steel, and more efficient machinery Tech: better guns, cars, drills, telegraphs/phones, and railways All of these new products, factories, and concepts would
also spread from Western Europe to the U.S., Russia, and Japan New Materials and Tech With high investment opportunity, companies were able to rapidly expand new methods of communication and transportation The Bessemer Process for mass producing steel, and sealing of copper wire processes enabled railroads and communication lines to spread across the West
Early telegraphs (1850s and onward) and telephone systems were in place in Europe and the US by the end of the 19th century By 1902, all Western countries were connected by telegraph or telephone Middle Class
The term middle class was first used in the 18th century to describe a new level to the social classes in between the nobles and peasants While not of noble birth, this class was growing massively in political and economic power These were mostly factory owners, plantation/mine owners, bankers, and merchants (upper middle class)
While they held great economic power, they were looked down upon by the quickly-weakening land-owning noble classes The 18th and 19th centuries would be defined by a struggle for power between the old elites (land-owning nobles) and the new elites (middle class) Working Class With the advent of the middle class, and manufacturing life, many of the
former peasants were forced to find money through manual labor Whether this meant staying on agricultural land (now enclosed), or working in factories, these were the poorest and most exploited class These were mostly poor, unskilled laborers who suffered low wages, long hours, dangerous work, and awful living conditions in 19th-century cities
While they were increasingly urban and manufacturing based, they were certainly still the peasant class (urban peasants) Stopping strikes caused the working class to form their own identity vs. the middle and gov Family Changes (1750-1900) These new classes transformed European society by bringing cultural change, as well as calls for reform In the middle class, family life changed dramatically from the past: men were
often gone at work, while women were left home to raise the children properly To have a working wife meant you were low class and the husband was a failure In the working class, families were also impacted by the new factory life: specialized labor meant separated families
Many of these working class families were forced to live in small, dirty Neighborhoods, usually is single-room tenement housing
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