2.b.17 – There were also political and social consequences?

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February 4, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti


There were also political and social consequences?

The rich industrial bourgeoisie soon became a social class apart, destined to be separated by the dominated people and to enter into direct competition with the nobility, mainly formed by wealthy landowners who held political power as a ruling class; industrialists were now richer than nobles and did not bear the traditional subordination to them. In the past, in case of political crisis, a king or a duke could be deposed by a popular uprising or a coup d’etat, but was then replaced with another king or a duke; now the supremacy of the nobles was instead contested in principle and considered a arrogance rather than a divine right; in short, there was the need for a new socio-political model and the new industrial culture supported democracy in opposition to aristocracy. This irreconcilable rivalry for the domination of society led to a series of uprisings and wars that covered Europe with blood, the most famous of which is the French Revolution of 1789; it was a troubled period during which the bourgeoisie came out a winner, albeit with considerable effort, and several nations took democratic Governments and institutions.
Another important result of the industrial economy was the sunset of slavery and serfdom. The category of workers culturally descended from that of craftsmen who always, good or bad, were paid for their work;  was also interest of the industry that the operators at the machines had a minimum education to be able to handle increasingly complex equipment and to specialize in specific tasks. The slaves, like those of the United States, were not paid, but maintained; the cost was roughly the same, but first they had to be bought at a price determined by previous owners, while the workers were engaged at no cost; slaves could not be dismissed, but only sold to another master and this was paradoxically beneficial to the slaves as assured survival, while it was inconvenient for owners who had to find a buyer (a form of dismissal even existed for slaves and was the killing of the same, but involve a significant economic loss); slaves were necessarily have an educational level equivalent to zero and their instruments were to be particularly simple and robust as many tended to damage them to vent their anger against the work and this made it difficult use them as laborers. With the serfdom, consisting of the masses of peasants at the service of the noble landowners, the situation, although improved, was very similar; peasants were not bought or sold, but otherwise had the same role of slaves and retained similar characteristics, were therefore also part of a very old economic system, which was now seen as an obstacle to progress.
The result of this incompatibility was the terrible war of secession in the U.S. around 1860, as a result of which slavery was abolished, at least formally. To the ancient agricultural economy, it was  sought to replace an industrial agriculture based on industrial model, the fields too were flooded by machinery therefore, the need of peasants was reduced and these had to convert into workers, similarly to artisans. The world of work was so shocked by the industrial economy and with it all the society and culture, just think of the great migration and the rapid and disorderly creation of large urban agglomerations.




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