The Affluent Society Historical Context

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The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was not a political revolution but rather a conglomeration of significant historical changes that took place in the economic, social, and political spheres of European culture over the course of the nineteenth century. The changes most commonly associated with the Industrial Revolution were in the transition from primarily agrarian economies, employing farm labor, to primarily industrial economies, employing factory labor. Significant advances in technology also characterize the Industrial Revolution—from transportation technology to energy sources to labor- saving machines. The creation of an urban working middle-class led to new political trends emphasizing reform and increasingly democratic political systems. The Industrial Revolution began in Britain, developing between the years 1760 and 1840. In the early nineteenth century, it began in Belgium, reaching France by mid-nineteenth century and Germany in the late-nineteenth century. The twentieth century saw the United States and Japan take the lead in...

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This section contains 588 words
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The Affluent Society from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.