Problems With Industrialization

Author: Heinrich Heine. A german writer who was notorious in the 1800’s due to many of his writings being banned in Germany. Most of his writings were very critical about Germany and was considered a radical individual. He was born of Jewish decent but converted early in his life to Christianity.

Context: Around the time of this writing, there was unrest for the German people, more specifically, the German workers who were facing unfair conditions and had a terrible standard of living and pay,(1844). This piece was written fresh off the Industrial Revolution.

Language: The tone set in the writing gives off a sense of disdain for how Germany treated their workers post industrial revolution.

Audience: The target audience for the writing is for the workers in Germany who are facing hardships by the German factory owners. Many of the people who are reading this are factory workers who want change and to improve their experience in the factory.

Intent: The intent of this writing is to provoke change in the conditions of the factories.

Message: People of Germany should be disappointed in how they have allowed their fellow man to be treated poorly while they slave to produce things they need. Heine emphasized in the poem regardless, there will be an inevitable change within Germany that will allow the workers to flourish.  In 1848 there was a revolution in Germany.

2 thoughts on “Problems With Industrialization

  1. About the context, the uprising of weavers at Silesia in 1844 is a good example. After Prussia got Silesia at 1740s, upper Silesia began industrization process. And because of the social structure of Prussia, which included both captialist and Junker, the labours have to sustian multiple exploit. Along with the harsh pirce competition with other countries textile industries, Silesia weavers’s income and working condition worse and worse.

  2. Heine refers to Germany in various places throughout the poem. In the first stanza he wrote, “Germany, we weave your funeral shroud” in reference to how industrialization has caused the country’s own downfall. Heine also refers to to Silesia as his “father-nation,” eluding to some sense of a united Germany. Since Germany did not become a consolidated nation until the Kaiserreich of 1871, perhaps this language can best be explained by how the exploitative nature of industrialization caused the German workers to develop a unified voice and a sense of cohesion.

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