Problems with Industrialization

Author: Heinrich Heine was born in 1979 into a Jewish family in Rhineland. In 1825 he converted to Christianity. Many of his works were banned by German authorities because of their potentially revolutionary and radical views.
Context: Inspired by a protest against working conditions in 1844 Germany. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution around 1820, the revolution was fully underway and people were beginning to become more aware of the problems and abuses that they were experiencing.… Read the rest here

Marx on Estranged Labour

Karl Marx is a German author who is most famous for writing the Communist Manifesto with Fredrick Engels. He was a German who wrote on the final socialist revolution after the industrial revolution began to take off in the mid 19th century. Marx also wrote specifically on the plight of the worker from which he derived his Manifesto. Estranged Labor is essentially a treatise on how the worker is treated in the new industrial society.

Marx begins to talk about how the worker has power over his job as he is specialized into his field, however the better he does his job, the more power he is giving to his bosses.… Read the rest here

Socialist Opinions in an Industrial Society

Robert Owen

Author

  • Robert Owen
  • English cotton manufacturer
  • “Utopian” socialist and workers’ rights advocate
  • Headed England’s Revolutionary Trades Union movement in 1830s
  • Worked in America/England

Context

  • Industrial Revolution is booming
  • Working conditions are not good and there are few laws in place to protect them
  • In United States, President Andrew Jackson defunded Second Bank of U.S. on March 28 (much to many peoples’ disapproval)

Language

  • Negative opinion on the flaws of the system
  • Persuasive with extended flowery (yet still understandable) language

Audience

  • Literate upper/middle class
  • Voters, landowners, business owners (people of everyday influence)
  • Great Britain’s people

Intent

  • Explain why the current system is so flawed
  • Incite change in a bloodless revolution

Message

  • Unite as Consolidated Union
  • By holding a strong moral influence, help man reach its full potential outside the evil grasps of the current flawed system

Karl Marx

Author

  • Karl Marx
  • Wealthy middle class
  • When this was published he was working as the editor to a paper in Paris

Context

  • Industrial Revolution
  • Very poor conditions for workers
  • France during the July Monarchy

Language

  • Very philosophical… breaks down each basic element and defines/redefines to reach a certain conclusion
  • Rational
  • Easy to understand and follow

Audience

  • Workers
  • Lower classes of Paris

Intent

  • Reach the workers and convince them of a socialist system where they are not devalued

Message

  • Political economy based on greed and competition
  • Workers are objectified, estranged, and treated poorly in a system based on greed
  • People are alienated from their products by the system which contradicts their nature
  • Private property causes this estrangement

Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon

Author

  • Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon
  • Scientist, businessman, and theorist
  • Writing had more influence after his death

Context

  • France under Napoleon’s constitutional monarchy
  • Industrial rev with poor working conditions and a lot of angry, hungry workers

Language

  • Emotional and persuasive
  • Many questions

Audience

  • Working class and middle class

Intent

  • Offer an opinion against laissez-faire economics

Message

  • Personal and social interests do not always coincide, which is why laissez-faire economics don’t always work
  • Those at the top become corrupted while those at the bottom suffer
Read the rest here

Early Socialist Thinkers: Owen, Saint-Simon, and Marx

1.) “The Legacy of Robert Owen to the Population of the World”

Author: Robert Owen. Welsh cotton manufacturer. Utopian socialist and a founder of the cooperative movement. Founder of (failed) New Harmony colony in the U.S. Had a vision of an ideal society.

Context: Great Britain, 1844. Industrial Revolution. Many of the Factory Acts were in place, including many that regulated child labor.

Language: Persuasive, confident, hopeful

Audience: The Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of Great Britain and Ireland

Intent: To persuade listeners to begin a bloodless revolution driven by morality and wisdom.… Read the rest here

Consequences of Industrialization

In H. Heine’s “The Silesian Weavers” he writes “A curse on this lying father-nation where thrive only shame and degradation, where every flower’s plucked ere it’s bloom and worms thrive in the dank rot and gloom- we’re weaving, we’re weaving!”

This passage exemplifies the poor working class man’s view of the industrial revelation. I chose this passage because it is a curse to the father-nation that is taking advantage of the these workers. The passage shows the feelings of hopelessness and anger that these people had towards their nation.… Read the rest here

“We’re weaving, we’re weaving!”

In H. Heine’s poem “The Silesian Weavers” he writes “Their gloom-enveloped eyes are tearless, They sit at the spinning wheel, snarling cheerless: “Germany, we weave your funeral shroud, A threefold curse be within it endowed-We’re weaving, we’re weaving!”  This is of course in reference to the awful conditions for factory workers during the Industrial Revolution.  This poem pertains to the workers in Silesia, a Prussian Province.

This stanza in the poem is more impactful when taking into account the other two readings.  … Read the rest here

The Division of Labor

Adam Smith’s Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, and gives his descriptions of the things that are responsible for helping to build a nations’ wealth at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The first chapter speaks about the Division of Labor, which Smith states has been the cause of the greatest improvement in the increased productivity of labor. He gives the example of the pin-makers and their ability to increase productivity and output with a division of labor.  … Read the rest here