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Impacts of and Responses to Classical Liberalism
Transcript of Impacts of and Responses to Classical Liberalism
By: Kendra Hines
an unscrupulous plutocrat, especially an American capitalist who acquired a fortune in the late nineteenth century by ruthless means.
The robber barons of the 19th century were merciless in their conquest for a fortune. They benefited from the idea of Classical Liberalism because they were allowed to raise the prices of goods and pocket the profit with only taking a little amount of money out to pay their workers. They were able to have a free market and let their workers pay the price of it. The robber barons benefited heavily from the ideology of classical liberalism.
Evolution of Individual and Collective Rights
Individual rights and freedoms have changed. Individual rights and freedoms were non-existent when classical liberalism was around except for the wealthy. The poor were forgotten without any rights. The government did not start to introduce individual rights and freedoms to everyone until the beginning of modern liberalism. The change over from classical to modern liberalism caused a change in everyone's life. it improved the quality of life greatly for all the people who were once left alone and cold in the streets.
Charles Dickens' view of the Industrial Revolution
The ideology of classical liberalism allowed for the value of the individual to increase and the necessity of government involvement to decrease. This allowed for individual entrepreneurs to grow their businesses without the controlling hand of the government. This however would later create the problem of little to no regulations such as child labour, poor working conditions, work place accidents long hours and minimal to no pay. This also reintroduced a class system, which was not beneficial to those of a lower class who had to work for scraps. Classical liberalism in the industrial revolution provided ground for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer or killed. If there had been more government they could have provided for more regulations to be introduced into the new factories but because of the lack of government involvement the poor were left to fend off the wealthy. They were left alone in dirty factories where their arms or legs could be chopped off at any moment. If the government was involved they could have saved their citizens and provided a chance for everyone to get ahead.
What impact did classical liberalism have on society?
Classical liberalism affected society by helping to make everyone equal. It rescued the people who were struggling to provide enough food for their families. Classical liberalism introduced a new status quo to French society. In Western societies the idea of classical liberalism was not introduced until the late 18th century. Classical liberalism allowed for people of previously different classes to now have the same rights as others. The idea of classical liberalism allowed for everyone to benefit therefore allowing freedom to speak out against cruel employers or to worship in a church. This allowed for society to grow together.
Challenges of the Working Class
The working class was not able to provide for their families because of the robber barons taking all their profits from the goods they made. The cost of living was very high because the plutocrats were able to pay for it with their high profits. Majority of the working class was unable to pay for a home so they were forced into the streets where the sewer was being dumped down. The working class could never get ahead because they kept on having road blocks put in their way such as inflated prices of goods and services.
Labor unions provided the workers with a voice against the wrongdoings being done to them by their employers. The labor unions provided the employees with "safety net" to fall back to when something went wrong. When classical liberalism was popular the idea of labor unions were rejected as unnecessary but when the idea of modern liberalism started to became more popular more people, especially workers, thought the idea of labor unions were valuable.
Children were forced to work when the cost of living got too high and their parents could no longer provide with their measly paychecks. If the government would have been involved then theses children could have been in school getting an education that would help provide them with a chance to get ahead.
The Welfare State
The welfare state was a catalyst for modern liberalism. The welfare state allowed for the poor of the society to get the help they needed from government paid for social programs. The social programs helped people of a lower class get back on their feet. Social programs helped for people who were without food to be able to feed their children for the week. The government created the welfare state to compensate for the wrongs that the government had done when it had allowed for the ideas of classical liberalism. Welfare was created because people who were using credit to buy their basic needs.
Income Gap and Cost of Living
The income gap during the time of the industrial revolution directly correlated to social status. If you were a worker in that time you were barely making minimum wage while the government and factory owners were able to make a huge profit and pay for the basic cost of living. The workers often times could not afford to pay for the cost of living and were often forced to take their children out of school and put them to work just to be able to provide their younger children with food and a roof over their heads.
Charles Dickens' was vehnemently opposed to the idea of an Industrial Revolution. He did not like the idea of people losing out to that of machines and workers. He believed that revolutionizing would create a loss of necessary individualism. He predicted that there would be a great struggle with child labor and a loss of standards.
How did liberalism evolve over time?
Liberalism had changed from a more classical viewpoint to a more modern one. Classical liberalism was all about less government involvement and a free market economy, the more modern way was more government involvement and a market economy that was beneficial to all those involved.
Factory acts were introduced in early 1880's. They were new sets of regulations that did not allow for factory owners to take advantages of their workers any longer. Regulations such as: maternity leave, 8- hour work days recognition of unions, a 10-20 % increase in pay, and fringe benefits. This was "the square deal" it was introduced by President Theodore Roosevelt. This deal made people feel like they were getting what they were owed. This changed minds across the globe. People needed to be treated as human beings and the government should be the one to make sure that it happened.
Early Feminism was brought on by the thought of modern liberalism. Modern liberalism brought on individual rights and freedoms and when these were introduced all people were created equally and that they all deserve the same rights. People were against it for a while thinking that women were not supposed to be equal that they were supposed to be at home with the children modern liberalism helped to allow the women the chance to be seen as equals.
Protection of Human Rights
While the change from classical liberalism to modern liberalism was happening people were still struggling to maintain their individual rights and freedoms. So when their rights were being challenged by the classical liberalist they had to make sure that their rights were being protected.
To what extent did classical liberalism meet the needs of society?
Classical liberalism did not meet the needs of the majority but instead only met the needs of the wealthy. Classical liberalism was valuable before the Industrial Revolution to the wealthy aristocrats. People who were rich were able to get richer and those people who were poor either stayed the same or were worse off. The switch from classical to modern liberalism allowed for everyone to be comfortable. Classical liberalism was unable to meet everyone's needs therefore the switch to modern liberalism was much easier fro the poor.