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Lecture 1

History 1401E Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Second Industrial Revolution, Infant Mortality

Course Code
HIS 1401E
Karen Priestman

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History 1401 - Lecture 1
The Dawn of the Twentieth Century
- Birth rates and infant mortality rates were dropping due to more widespread knowledge of
methods of birth control (not just upper class)
- Helps to free women from the cycle of child rearing
- Separation of drinking and sewage water
- Hygiene became more prominent - daily washing
The Second Industrial Revolution
- C. 1870-1914
- Focuses more on steel, electricity, chemicals, petroleum, etc (refinement of earlier ideas)
- Germany particularly benefitted
1. they missed the first Industrial Revolution (this is their first)
2. Unifies in the midst of the new revolution (1871)
3. Invests a lot in research and development
- Germany is competing with the U.S. (remarkable because they started their revolution whilst US
had already had their first revolution)
- Changes in Germany happened extremely quickly - led to Germans feeling threatened by the
new changes and so they lashed out at minorities as a scapegoat
- Common when country is facing turmoil (often economic)
- Jewish population is the focus of this attack
- Real wages increased at least 50% across Europe
- Leisure time
- Political awareness was more widespread
- Tools - the ultimate need for skilled workers
- The massive increase in production means that more workers are needed (a lot of work, but it is
- Since they are in demand they have more power and are more easily unorganized
- Typically formed unions (within their trades) but now unskilled workers would unionize
- In Germany, they were politically active workers but were not organized into unions in the same
way that they were in Britain
- The Workers Party in Germany - organized itself in 1875 (one of the earliest politically organized
expressions of workers power)
- By the 1880s it was already making significant political gains
- Became the most popular party by 1912
- In Britain, the working parties were not making gains until the early 1900s
- As a result of the increasing organization, they began to demand more of their employers and
achieved it (i.e. shorter working hours, more social security, etc)
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