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Lecture 9

HIS241 Lecture 9 - November 5, 2013

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November 5, 2013 Lecture 9 Last Week’s Review - Karl Marx 1818-1883 - Manchester: Center of industrial revolution - Very against capitalism - Capitalism: Economic system where the mode of production is based on unequal private means of production  Small group of people own means of production and they essentially create a highly unequal society  A society where some people own a lot of stuff and where a lot of people don’t have anything and they can only sell their labor. - Bourgeoisie own means of production  “When you control the tools, you control the work”  Accumulate profit based on labor of proletariats - Workers converting raw materials/making services that are sold for profit - Bourgeoisie spending money on building factories, new manufactured goods being produced, and most importantly conspicuous consumption. - Marx draws upon ideas of Hegel when writing about Communism - George Hegel writing about the dialectical stages of the development of ideas  Talking about a science of human history  Hegel was a philosopher interested in the philosophy of ideas  Talks about ideas in motion  Argued that each age is characterized by a dominant set of ideas  This dominant set of ideas is called the thesis.  Creates thesis, antithesis and synthesis  Thesis produces the antithesis (opposing set of ideas)  Both ideas (thesis and antithesis) are engaged in struggle for dominance  They then produce an opposing set of ideas and after a while a synthesis emerges between these two ideas  Two ideals in constant conflict with one another and over time they produce a synthesis - Marx applies Hegel’s ideas to his own concept of human history - He says that class struggle characterizes world history  French Revolution: sees this as an instance where the lower class overthrows the feudal aristocracy  Believes this is a moment when synthesis is being created  Through FR we see synthesis being the domination of bourgeoisie - He’s calling for the workers to come together and overthrow the bourgeoisie so they could create a society not characterized by inequality and exploitation Base/Superstructure - Economic Base: affects everything-determines education, mass media, produces superstructure November 5, 2013  How might capitalism influence the way we approach education, religion, etc.?  Education is instrumental in how it can advance an individual’s career - 1873 there’s a great depression in Europe  Cost of goods rose by 50%  Cost of labor lowered  Depression rooted in success of industrial revolution - Cheaper transportation costs opens up breadbaskets of US  Transporting goods around the world negatively affects world economy  As a result of industrial revolution, new markets opening up around the world  Creating context in which prices for goods start to drop like crazy  Farmers on edge of subsistence b/c they don’t have enough money to purchase manufactured goods  Therefore, people with those manufactured goods have no one to sell them to  Mass-consuming culture hasn’t emerged yet  US starts to get involved in the economy - 1880s state-owned transportation companies, The First Industrial Revolut
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