CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN


STUDY QUESTIONS
  1. Define "class consciousness." To what extent is it a useful concept for understanding Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century?
  2. Why was there a decline in the standard of living in many rural areas of Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century?
  3. Explain how changes in European agriculture in the early nineteenth century reflected the impact of a capitalist economy. What negative effects did improvements in communication have upon rural populations?
  4. How did agricultural conditions in Russia contrast with those in England? In what ways was French agriculture different from the others?
  5. What factors promoted the growth of cities between 1800 and 1850? Why was this growth "one of the most important facts in the social history of that period"?
  6. What hazards to health and welfare resulted from the rapid urban growth that accompanied industrialization? Where might you find their parallel in the world today?
  7. What elements of the nineteenth-century European population are included in the term "middle class"? In what sense did these diverse groups constitute a social class?
  8. Why was mobility between the lower and middle classes difficult?
  9. Describe Victorian middle-class family life. How do you account for its seeming peculiarities?
  10. How do explain the differences between middle- and lower-class women in standards of sexual behavior? What contradictions do you see in the roles assigned to women?
  11. How did the urban working class differ from that of pre-industrial eras?
  12. How did the factory system affect the conditions of labor?
  13. What were the chief elements in the thought of the classical economists of the nineteenth century?
  14. To what extent were the teachings of the classical economists compatible with the ideals of the Enlightenment? In what ways did they differ?
  15. How did Ricardo's subsistence theory of wages comport with Malthus's theories of population?
  16. How did the ideas of Malthus help "shift the responsibility for poverty from society to the individual"? Why did this shift appeal to the middle class?
  17. How did Bentham's doctrine of utilitarianism enable the industrial middle class to "cut both ways" in pursuit of their objectives?
  18. What contradictions developed within the middle-class creed of laissez-faire individualism?
  19. How did John Stuart Mill depart from the teachings of the classical economists?
  20. To what extent is middle-class ascendancy reflected in nineteenth-century art?
  21. How did Louis Blanc's proposed reform program differ from the utopian projects of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier?
PROBLEMS
  1. "Did the standard of living rise or fall in Europe during the first half-century of the Industrial Revolution?" Prepare a brief to support your argument in this ongoing debate.
  2. Read a novel of Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist, Dombey and Son, or David Copperfield) and compare his description of lower-class conditions with available historical records.
  3. Investigate some aspect of English mid-Victorian middle-class society, such as the status of women, sex mores, education of children, recreation, or relations with and attitude toward the lower classes.
  4. Study John Stuart Mill's thought in relation to the ideas of the utilitarians, the classical economists, and the socialists.
  5. Read Mill's essay On Liberty to determine to what extent it vindicated and to what extent it challenged the prevailing middle-class creed.
  6. Investigate any of the following:
      a. Auguste Comte's positivism
      b. Charles Fourier's scheme of society
      c. Robert Owen's experiments with utopian communities
      d. the career of Louis Blanc


ResourceResearchReference


W.W. Norton
REVIEW: World Civilizations
http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralstu27.htm
Page created by Thomas Pearcy, Ph.D. and Mary Dickson.
Direct questions or comments to Webmaster.
Last revised April 1, 1997
Copyright (c) 1997. W. W. Norton Publishing. All Rights Reserved