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Chapter 24 - The Crisis of European Culture, 1871-1814

2nd Industrial Revolution

  • 1896 increased $ supply resulting from the discovery of new gold fields in South Africa and the Klondike
  • Fueled the electrical and chemical industries
  • Internal combustible engine drove electrical industries
  • Chemical: fertilizers, synthetic fibers and gasoline distillation


1. Completed the process of creating a “mass” society

  •  Europe had embraced a “mass culture”

2. Allowed countries without strong coal / iron resources to industrialize
3. Increased international competition

  • tariffs continent wide, Japan entered the market place as an industrial power

4. Ottoman Empire became more attractive to European Imperialists (Oil)
5. Industry became increasingly capital intensive
6. New social, economic, and political tensions arose throughout Europe

European Economy and the Politics of Mass Society

1872-1914 – rate of urbanization continued to boom

  • Urban centers came to dominate provincial culture as centers of production, distribution and communication

1873-1895 – Series of Economic slumps (falling prices and production) became termed as the “great depression” of the 19th century

Period of economic fluctuation rather than sustained recession

  • Agricultural boom increased recessionary cycles
  • Fertilizers created greater output – drove down prices – increased unemployment
  • Bust periods were increasingly seen as dangerous of the large amounts of capital required to enter industrial growth (electrical / chemical industries)
  • Lesson: Business cycle needed to be regulated
  • Solution: Regulation through cartels

Cartels: Combination of firms who work together to set prices and production levels

  • Oligopoly
  • Vertical Consolidation - all aspects of production
  • Horizontal Consolidation - all firms who perform same task
  • Consortiums: group of banks who pool resources to set fees and provide greater amounts of capital at a decreased risk to each member
  • Tariffs were used to protect domestic industry throughout Europe (England was the exception)
  • State: Russia used state sponsorship to start industry.

Business generally welcomed greater State regulation to offset increased risks resulting from the massive capital demands and nature of heavy industry.

European Industrialization broke down into distinct geographical regions:

  • North / West = industrial
  • South / East = Agricultural

Mass Democracy Breaks form Liberalism

Trade Unions

England - 1900 declining standard of living led to the development of trade unions

  • included both skilled and unskilled labor
  • James Keir Hardie began the Labour Party to represent workers in Parliament
  • 1892 won election as a member of the House of Commons
  • 1906 Labour Party had 26 seats
  • Fabian Society - moderate Socialists who sought to create a Socialist state through reform (Intellectuals)
  • Beatrice Webb, Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw, Annie Besant, H.G. Wells
  • Supported the Labour Party

Impact of Fabian Society and Labour Party was to force the Liberals to reform

  • "New" Liberals led by David Lloyd George, elevated the House of Commons and expanded Govt. Welfare services
  • Trade Unions continued to grow as mistrust of the "Regulatory State" developed, Irish home rule and women's suffrage remained unsolved

Political Struggles in Germany

  • Bismarck supported a continually weak Reichstag (Iron Chancellor)
  • Worked with Liberals to attack foreign elements
  • Kulturkampf: Attack on any foreign influence (Papal influence)
  • Expelled Jesuits, removed priests from state posts, attacked rel. education and created Civil Marriages
  • Met opposition - forced to abandon program
  • Early example of German Nationalism turned exclusive

Social Democratic Party - Marxists

  • Attacked by Bismarck, by 1890 held 20% of the seats in the Reichstag
  • Bismarck began with repressive legislation and even presented social welfare programs as a means of weakening the Social Democratic Party
  • Bismarck's failure eventually led to Kaiser Wilhelm II to remove him from office
  • Revisionism within the Social Democrats focused on the eventually failure of Capitalism
  • Edward Berstein
  • Revisionism failed because Trade Unions continually achieved higher standards of living for their membership, while new political parties provided assimilation into the political process.
  • Labour Party and Social Democrats – acceptance of welfare reform
  • In Germany the right united industrial and agrarian interests to defeat the Social Democrats
  • With the rise of the Right the Kaiser kept authoritarian power

Mass Politics in France

Third French Republic (after the 1870 defeat)

  • Created a single national culture
  • Compulsory Education
  • Compulsory Military Service
  • Technology – mass transportation and communication
  • Marianne – Female symbol of the French State
  • Rocked by two subsequent national scandals

Boulanger Affair

  • General George Boulanger – came to national prominence as he reformed the Army
  • “The Man on Horseback” – used romantic military imagery to increase Fr. patriotism
  • Attempted to win election with the backing of conservatives and reinstate authoritarianism
  • Accused of treason and forced to leave the country


1. Success was tied to rising nationalism

2. Left behind a strong conservative movement

  • Right wing of the political spectrum became increasingly powerful

Dreyfus Affair (1894)

  • Commonly known as “the affair”
  • Dreyfus was an Alsatian Jew accused of selling secrets to the Germans, put on trial and found guilty (sentence to life on Devil’s Island)
  • Example of Nationalism leading to xenophobia
  • Case was tried in the media – demonstrated the power of mass communication
  • “the affair” came to identify one’s political ideology:
  • Pro-Dreyfusards = Left / Liberals
  • Anti-Dreyfusards = Right, Traditional Institutions – Catholic / Military
  • 1905 Dreyfus was exonerated


1. Mass Media became a real and practical check on govt. authority

  • Emile Zola: “I Accuse”, supported Dreyfus in the media

2. New interest groups gained a foothold in govt. affairs


Vienna was the capital and center of the Austrian Empire

  • Rrugstrasse “

Ring Street

  • ” was built up in the 1860’s – became a symbol of Bourgeois power
  • “New Right”: 1900, began to challenge the rise of Liberalism and the emerging Bourgeois power
  • Characterized by authoritarianism and nationalism based on a sense of “pan-Germanism”, anti-capitalism and anti-Semitism (exclusionary in nature)
  • 1895 Karl Luegar elected to mayor of Vienna on an anti-Semitic platform
  • Early example of “scapegoat” politics

Rise of Mass Politics

  • Characterized by the growing power of public opinion as a political force
  • As mass politics developed, minority groups became increasingly identified as “outsiders” or “foreign influence” and pushed to the fringes of society
  • Ethnic minorities, Jews and Women commonly id. as outsiders
  • In response, some fringe groups sought assimilation and others sought to destroy the system

Women in the 19th Century

  • Industrial Revolution led to the development of the Bourgeois “culture of domesticity”
  • Assigned women to the home & child rearing
  • Limited women’s rights – effectively removed women from public roles
  • Women’s pay 1/3 to ½ of men for the same labor
  • Unequal divorce rights
  • Denied educational and economic opportunities
  • Denied the right to vote and participate in the political process
  • Middle Class women (self identified as “feminists”) began to push for equal rights
  • Embraced mass movements and interest group politics
  • Attacked by conservatives as immoral
  • 1878 International Congress of Women’s Rights marked the beginning of a permanent establishment of women’s interest groups
  • Most feminists were women, but most women were NOT feminists


1. Movement tended to fragment around a series of related concerns (suffrage, education, economic opportunity)

  • Two camps developed: suffrages / broader emancipation

2. Represented a challenged to established societal value system

  • Feminists were labeled as not being “respectable” or ”real” women

3. Blocked from joining established political interest groups

  • Trade Unions and Political Parties alienated women’s groups

Movement for the Vote:

  • Mass politics and popular support became a model for change
  • Developed independent organizations that rivaled Trades Unions and Political Parties
  • Hubertine Auclert – French Feminist leader
  • Emmeline Pankhurst – British Feminist leader (and Daughters)
  • Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), created by Pankhurst and her daughters became a model for the women’s movement throughout Europe
  • 1908 the WSPU sponsored a rally of 250,000 women in Hyde Park
  • November 18, 1910 – Black Friday – a women’s march on Parliament turned violent as protestors and the “bobbies” fought for six hours
  • Marks a change in the women’s movement – increased militancy
  • “Suffragettes” became a derisive term for militant feminists
  • Militant feminists were willing to use violence
  • Focused attacks on personal property
  • Met arrest with passive resistance – hunger strikes while imprisoned
  • Parliament passed laws supporting forced feeding
  • Cat and Mouse Act 1913- Free women until they began to eat and then throw them back in jail

Right to Vote:

1918: England and Germany

1920: United States

Post-WWII: France

Social Reform

  • Sylvia Pankhurst (Emmeline’s daughter) led the social reform movement in England
  • Worked against “double oppression” = Work and domestic life
  • Women were increasingly excluded from Trades Unions, who supported the domestic ideal of womanhood


German had the largest Women’s Socialist movement

  • Clara Zetkin was successful in uniting feminism and socialism in an attempt to create reform

The Jewish Question and Zionism

1868-1914 saw the movement of roughly 2,000,000 Jews from Eastern Europe towards the west (reversing a centuries long trend)

  • Response to economic downturns which sparked scapegoating of Jews, discrimination, oppression and govt. sponsored Pogroms

The term Anti-Semitism (1879), which means hostility towards Jews, was created in an attempt to develop a pseudoscientific legitimacy to bigotry and prejudice against Jews.

  • Easter Europe: Pogroms (govt. sponsored attacks against Jews) were common in response to local problems
  • Pogroms often turned from mob violence into massacre
  • Western Europe: Drove mass populations of Jews out in earlier centuries, legally assimilated the remainder in the early 19th century
  • As the ravages of the IR continued, economic fluctuations created greater hardship on the people and mass emigration from Eastern Europe occurred Anti-Semitism reemerged
  • Georg Von Schonerer (Austria) blamed Jews for economic downturn (Scapegoats)
  • Assimilated Jews in Western Europe grew in success the drew a backlash from society
  • Pogroms reemerged in the West


Zionism: a Jewish nationalist movement aimed at creating an free and independent Jewish state in the area of Palestine

  • Theodor Herzel (1860-1904), Austrian Jew, wrote The Jewish State (1896)
  • by 1914 roughly 90,000 Jews had emigrated to Palestine
  • Many Western European Jews opposed Zionism, greater support in Eastern Europe

Impact of the development of mass politics

  • Minority groups increasingly became identified as opposition groups
  • Nationalism became increasingly defined on exclusionary terms
  • Rise of xenophobia throughout Europe

Workers and minorities on the Margins

  • Propaganda became increasingly important to the political system


Ravachol – Parisian anarchist / bomber, whose trial captivated France

  • Reactionary against Industrial / mass society

Mikhail Bakunin – Russian anarchist, influenced by Proudhorn

  • Became the voice of European anarchists

Prince Petr Kropotkia – Joined communism and anarchism

  • Stressed interdependence instead of competition

Anarcho-syndicalism: French movement centered in Trades Unions

  • Militant group who supported the overthrow of Bourgeois society in response to poor working conditions
  • Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence 1908
  • “Direct Action”: activities aimed at increasing problems in society as a means of preparing for the overthrow
  • Encouraged minor acts of sabotage as a means of reminding workers of the impending doom of capitalism society

Anarchism mainly impacted western Europe

  • Popular with those who suffered most in the Industrial society
  • Popular with political groups increasingly pushed to the margins of society
  • Anarchists posed little threat to increasingly centralized government systems

*All political movements will be temporarily silenced by War in 1914.

Shaping the new Consciousness

The Authority of Science

  • - Science became the new source of knowledge in society
  • - pseudoscience became a very real danger to "outsider" groups

Physical Sciences

  • James Clerk Maxwell - identified the relationship between electricity and magnetism
  • Led to the discovery of the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Radio / Television
  • Periodic Table established in 1869
  • Marie Currie and husband Pierre discovered radium and polonium
  • Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and Niels Bohr challenged classical physics of absolute and determined principles - creating physics based on relativity and uncertainty.
  • Quantum Theory (Planck) - Theory of Relativity (Einstein)


  • Louis Pasteur - developed methods of inoculation to prevent the spread of disease
  • Gregor Mendel - geneticist (peas) - Mendelian laws of inheritance


1. Improved general levels of public sanitation

2. Beginning of medical science

Noble Prizes: Physics, medicine, chemistry, literature and peace.

Social Sciences


  • Heinrich Schliemann: German, discovered city of Troy
  • Sir Arthur Evans: English, Crete


Leopold von Ranke: German, emphasized objective basis for history - "scientific" emphasis


  • Neo-Classical school developed under the leadership of Alfred Marshall
  • Emphasized importance of the individual in the market place
  • Theory of Marginal Utility


  • Wilhelm Wundt: First scientific attempt to psychology
  • Ivan Pavlo: Identified conditioned behavior
  • Sigmund Freud: Examined the importance of the unconscious
  • Gustave Le Bon: Psychology of Crowds (1895), examined irrational behavior of mobs


  • Cesare Combroso: The Criminal Man (1876), attempted to identify attributes of criminals
  • Widely disputed
  • Emile Durkheim: father of modern sociology, paired psychology and environmental factors to understand behavior

Biological Determinism: Hereditary traits determine one's behavior and potential, became increasingly popular due to the impact of pseudoscience

  • IQ tests were developed to measure "intelligence"
  • The Descent of Man (Charles Darwin) 1971, argued that due to evolutionary trends men had developed superior mental faculties to women (women needed protection from men - men had to evolve faster and become superior - women's dependence made them inferior)
  • Marks the advent of "social proofs" to support biological determinism
  • "Social Darwinists" applied "survival of the fittest" to social settings
  • ex. Paul Broca: French social Darwinist tied intelligence to skull size
  • Biological Determinism became tied to racial and gender divisions in society

"New Women": a reaction against the cult of domesticity

  • Characteristics include intelligence, strength and sexual desire
  • Birth control emerged as a central issue of control and female sexuality

New Consumption

  • Lev Tolstoy - Russian novelist, condemned materialism of European society
  • Disposable Income: Extra money
  • Bon Marche Department store (France) became a symbol of consumerism
  • Leisure time:
  • The Theory of Leisure Class (Thorstein Veblen) 1899
  • Rise of spectator sports, re-establishment of the Olympics and increased prominence of urban ascetics
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