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Expansion of the Middle

Classes
By Portia Considine & Rishi Garg
The New Middle Class
“Century of the middle class”

Many different levels:

 Affluent merchants & bankers (elite)

 Professionals - lawyers, doctors, government

officials, writers (still important)


 Shopkeepers (lower)
Decline of Aristocracy
Middle class grew in wealth
& population
More productive than ever
Middle class placed in
position of power due to
economic growth
Enabled middle class
leaders to assert power,
take control of government
Middle Class Drive for Power
Britain, France, & Low
Countries:
 Gained power of
government by 1830-1840
Central Europe:
 Gained power of
government later in the
century
Drive for power was
unstoppable, European
leaders were forced to
recognize middle class
Nonconformity of Artisans
Artisans did not fit into any specific group

Possessed specific traditional skills

Normally worked independently or with other

artisans to create full product


Differed from regular factory workers

 Were able to create a full final product, as

opposed to only contributing one step toward a


product
Displacement of Artisans
Many unaffected by IR
Sometimes,
industrialization
competed with
artisans’ skills
Artisans couldn’t
always compete with
industrial efficiency
Many riots/revolutions
were caused by
artisans
Mechanization of Everyday
Life
Rhythm of Work
In Britain, by 1850, only 20% of population was
employed in agriculture
Steady shift of population from countryside to
cities
Work schedules were governed by the clock
Employers used strict time-keeping to control
their workers
Middle class employees carried pocket watches
Time itself became standardized – Greenwich
Mean Time (GMT) was adopted as a universal
base zone for the world
The Advent of Railways
Europeans had mixed

views about railways


Medical risks?

King Frederick William III

of Prussia was one of the


first major leaders to
begin using railways
regularly
New Inventions
 The 1851 Great
Exhibition showcased
Britain’s
accomplishments
 Held in the Crystal
Palace:
 Huge iron and glass
building
 Covered 19 acres
 Reached a height of 108
feet at its peak
 Over 14 months, more
than 14,000 exhibitors
displayed more than
100,000 objects
 More than 6 million
Alleviation of Famine
 Industrialization helped stop

hunger
 European countries used to

suffer from famine:


 In 1847, Prussia and Germany

 Between 1845 and 1851, more

serious in Ireland

 Since 1850s, Europe has been

mostly free of famine because


of:
 Increase in overall prosperity

 Improvement of transportation

networks