Thursday, October 8, 2009


This week's portion of the class reading dealt with the masses gaining political power. In previous ages, the masses were kept down and largely unthought about, for they had no place in politics. This rise of the working class was seen in the post-industrial revolution, when this body of people started assembling and uniting. This unification was only possible because of the inhumane treatment the workers dealt with personally. This treatment motivated them to seek better ways to live, and overthrow those who treated them badly. This motivator forced people to set aside differences and connect to become a powerful force, seeking out upward mobility and a different class system where the previous rulers could not keep them down.

I enjoyed the talk of mobilization in the reading. It is interesting that with peasants moving to urban areas came the mobilization of new ideas, and the stirring of the masses. It makes sense that as the lower classes moved closer to each other that ideas spread more quickly. Not to mention the birth of mass media, that led all information to be passed even faster.

I wonder why it was only at this point that the working conditions became unbearable. Serfdom was not better, and yet the peasants before this time had no thought to unite and overthrow their rulers. Was this a completely new idea? Are new ideas even possible?

--Arielle Parris

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking along the same lines as you, what made now (19th century) the time when people finally wanted to make change? In class we came up with some possible conclusions, although none of these answers are particularly satisfying to me, they are definitely somewhat important factors.
    • Since never before did people try to change politics or work (hereditary in most cases) there were no examples, people didn’t think to do it.
    • Industry let people see that they could use capitalism to move up, rather than hereditary hierarchy
    • Politics became an out for people to change their way of life and the future
    • Literacy rates increased as well as publications such as newspapers, and pamphlets which sparked change
    • Less religious emphasis