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Western Civ 9 - The Liberal Response to the Industrial Revolution

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Margaret Peacock

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of Western Civ 9 - The Liberal Response to the Industrial Revolution

The Liberal Response to the Industrial Revolution
What was the effect?
First Response
Adam Smith
Essay on Population, 1798
Thomas Malthus
Unhealthy workers die,
The workforce
Low wages lead to
unhealthy workers
More workers can be
Paid less, because
They can always be
More children create
More workers
Healthy Workers have
More children
High wages lead to
Healthier workers
Worker population is
Employers must pay
High wages
The “Iron Law of Wages.”
Many in the middle class used these theories to justify unchecked greed or, at least, to neglect problems of the new urban poor.
David Ricardo
Workers find that they have no recourse against ill-treatment and starvation wages.
The Luddites
The Frame Breaking Act
No Recourse
Classical liberal theorists are then
challenged by the utilitarians.

Jeremy Bentham outlined the basic tenets of utilitarianism in The Principles of Morals and Legislation in 1789.
The Utilitarians
A fabric mill dormitory
On Liberty of 1859
Advocates suffrage, laissez-faire economy, elimination of constraints on people.
Principles on Representative Government
He changes course and argues for government intervention into the lives of workers.
This includes free education, housing and healthcare to be provided by the government.
Mill represents a new type of liberal
John Stuart Mill
Luddites smash a large loom
The Peterloo Massacre
Parliament responds to unrest with the Six Acts.
1820 –British politicians start to wipe away these measures, passing the Great Reform Act allowing more middle class men to vote.
The struggle to get the vote for the working class takes longer.
1830s Agitation for a National Charter
Liberalism took some time to have an effect on politics and society and, when it did so, it was mostly classical liberalism (not John Stuart Mill) and mostly in industrialized Western Europe (Britain and France).

The effect of Liberalism: Britain
Charles X painted in his full regalia
Louis XVIII painted working without his royal robes
By 1815, France was on its way to industrialization.
The legislature is divided between conservatives, the Ultras, who want absolutism, and the Liberals.
Louis XVIII is a conciliatory king, but his successor, Charles X, is a reactionary who dissolves the legislature and imposes censorship. He passes the Five Ordinances (1830).
The Effect of Liberalism: France
Louis Phillipe, the citizen king
1830, Paris breaks out in a second Revolution. The king abdicates for his cousin, Louis Phillipe, the “citizen king.”

Louis Phillipe appoints capable ministers, approves a liberal constitution. Workers still get little (their support would come from another movement).
The Effect of Liberalism: France
The Thames Iron Works Factory
By the 1830s, Liberalism has largely satisfied the middle classes in Britain and France.

Workers continue to be denied the franchise and political power.

In the meantime, radical philosophers fill the void.
Liberalism helps some, not others
Full transcript