Effectsof agriculture urbanization and revolutions on european social classes in the 18th and 19th centuries
The era of the agrarian revolution brought with it a form of several types of social inequalities that changed the functioning of the social structure of the society. These social inequalities were brought about by the fact that the agrarian revolution followed by the industrial revolution altered the way people were living hence causing several social classes that were a subject of condemnation from leading social science disciplines. Similarly the urbanization and industrial revolutions did not make the situation any better as they resulted to social inequalities that also were subjects of condemnation by various social critics.
The main classes that wherefore after the agrarian revolution was the development of the class of the land owners and the workers. The land owners were a small number of the elites that had immersed a lot of wealth as far as the means of production were concerned. They were also called the bourgeoisies or simply the owners of the means of production. Due to the sizes of their lands as well as other means of production these people had to hire for labor from those who did not own the means of production.
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The first relationship between the bourgeois and the proletarians was that the proletarians were hired as a source of labour to the bourgeoisies. In retaliation, they were rewarded with an income. The main aim of the owners of the means of production was always to reap the greatest benefits from there means of production while the workers’ main aim was to get the best payment for their investment. This caused a serious tension between the two groups as each tired to get its own way.
However, due to the limitations of economic power of the proletarians, the bourgeoisie always won the battle and thus the workers had to continue working at the existing market rates (McKay et al 356). These differences were worsened during industrial revolution when Europe underwent a systematic process of industrializing and slowly turning away from the normal agricultural based production. This led to people being concentrated together in urban centers. The bourgeoisie owned the industries while the proletarians had to work in those industries in order to earn a living for themselves.
The concept of profit maximization led the owners of the means of production to engage into the measures of cost saving which greatly advocated for reduced salaries for the proletarians in order to improve the income from these industries. They further led to greater economic diversity between the two groups. The rich bourgeoisies continuously accumulate their wealth at the expense of the poor working class. The result of this marginalization was a growing trend of hostility between the two main groups as each tried to advance its ideals.
However, the lack of both political and resource power made the proletarians to lose the battle the few land and capital owners. However, it was common sense to the land owners that any rebellion that would turn to be bloody would interfere with their wealth and thus a compromise was needed to ensure that the relationship between the two groups was always maintained at a manageable level (McKay et al 398). This realization led to the rise of another group, the middle class, mainly composed of people who sought to utilize the concept of either utilitarianism or Evangelism to strike a balance between the two main classes.
The middle class therefore introduced the concept of maximization of pleasure and came up with the working formulas for the group to effectively co-exist. To maximize the reward from their investment, the concept of pain must be measured accurately. The bourgeoisie had to inflict pain in form of work to the proletarians and pay for the pain with the little pleasure as possible (pay). This was from the realizations that when pain is less than pleasure, the workers would comfortably work and shall not result to any form of revolution (McKay et al 394)
The middle class also sought to make they working class continue working and had to convince the working class that pleasure can only be gained through pain, and thus there was need to accept some form of pain. This meant that so long us the work was rewarding you, the ethical thing is to continue working. The working class therefore continued to receive the pain from the bourgeoisie since the reward of the bourgeoisie was way above the pain they were getting from the working for them. In conclusion, it is evident that the two main classes during this era were always not in good terms.
The minority class was the rich people and owned the means of production while the majority was the poor proletarians. Connecting the two classes was a middle class of scholars whose theories were crucial in ensuring that harmony was maintained among the leading social classes. When people moved into urban centers, special living patterns also characterized the social classes that existed in the Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. Work Cited McKay et al “A History of Western Society” 7th Edition, New York Wadsworth Publishing; 2002)