Friday, October 9, 2009

Age of the Empire

In this week's readings Hobsbawm discusses the rise of the masses in politics. Following the industrial revolution, many people changed their professions, from farming to a different type of labor, such as working in factories. This lead to an up roar by the hard working middle class, in search of better conditions and higher wages. The masses were tired of being looked over, as if their opinion didn't matter, so a change was inevitable. With the proletariat's demanding more power and a voice, things were no longer run by the bourgeois. This was done by unionization.

The transition of power lead to a change of government. Democracy was introduced, giving everyone a voice. Of course the old leaders were not going to turn over all their power to this new majority. The government remained corrupt and many elections were staged. Over time this majority of the working class, grew to be too large and the corrupt officials could no longer keep them down.

What I find interesting about this is the US's non involvement. In today's society I feel like the US is apart of every major world development. So why at this time were they so late to conform to democracy?

-Justin Lovett


  1. The United States was a new nation at the time. We just finished fighting with the British for our independence to be recognized as a new nation. The task of creating a government out of the post war confusion was a monumental task. Our Constitution was adopted in 1791, which was actually an earlier practice than most systems in place today throughout Europe. The United States model has aided in shaping democracy for modern societies.

  2. I agree with Dan, but definitely find it interesting how you bring up the topic of how the U.S. is so consumed with many of the world issues. It seems now that the the US of A is very integrated in their efforts to be connected with many political and economic structures of the other major countries' systems. I also find it interesting how the evolution of the media has impacted the involvement of the UNited States in foreign affairs.

  3. I'm not sure how much the U.S. has actually "helped" nations establish democracies, but I agree with Dan's point about us being behind because we didn't even have a independent nation for awhile let alone an established democratic government. I wanted to point out as well that, while our consitution may have come comparatively early, younger democracies have already elected female presidents, such as Chile and Argentina. Equal representation for our democracy has been slow moving despite our early start.

  4. I would ahve to agree with everyone above me, especially Liz. I am not quite sure how much the US has really helped anybody. So, our non-involvement may have actually been a good thing at the time. We certainly were a slow rising country, and the same could even be said for today. How many things are there that other countries have now that we don't? But i guarantee we'll be doing in a few years from now.

  5. The US is of course a slow rising country, well contributed to revolution in technology allowing for settlement. I do agree with everyone regarding it's lack of involvement, which was a good thing. I have to disagree on the US non-involvement issue though. The US is plays a large under cover part, as any democracies do regarding stability of their nation.