Europe keeps on transforming. From the period of reconstruction up to roughly the end of nineteenth century, the continent experienced a significant period of economic transformation that came along with growing and mature economy, expanding businesses, and the development of agriculture in large scale. Social change was evident in the growth of families, labor unions, the growth of social classes, and urbanization that was also an aspect realized from this transformation. Also, both technological and industrial advancement were evident, as well as the growth of economically dominant societies that was stemming out as the most revolutionary outcome. Most importantly, industrialization empowered all sectors.
Indeed, the greatest cause of imperialism was industrialization. It changed the mindset of how people think about each other. It was one major aspect that contributed to the creation of social class. It is the cause that Voltaire criticizes in Candide in that it erodes the reason of human pity, such as seen in El Dorado. People would grab as much as they can without a concern for the others. In like manner, the government was not left behind in controlling these developments. Supervising of tax systems, licensing, and management of labor unions were major governmental tasks. Creating cohesive merchandise schemes and prevention of the concentration of nation’s capacities of production to concentrate on fewer hands were also government’s duties. Moreover, it created a hands-off business attitude and also did not interfere with the free markets as it believed in and advocated for Laissez-faire economies.
In connection, imperialism and industrial revolution are interrelated concepts. The first one further resulted to racial oppression due to labor demands. Indeed, as the countries progressed economically, they saw the need to create big empires for them to have places to grow raw materials and captive markets to sell the products from their factories. Most notably, the growth of industries enabled the countries to have empires, and due to better weapons, they were able to increase their military strength, hence gained more control. Similarly, industrial revolution made it easier for the countries to have better ships that could reach target places at a faster rate that wasn’t possible during the pre-industrial era. With that advantage, European countries were able to subdue and conquer their areas of interest with ease and exploit them as they wished.
Regarding industrialization, different groups responded differently to these developments. There was an emergence of wealthy individuals who proved to be vital and influential in society revolution through their input and belief. They had a great role in championing others to become affluent and to change their cultures. Unfortunately, it led to social divisions and the racism, the worst of all aspects. Racism had far-reaching changes in many ways concerning people’s lives. For instance, there was enforcement of new laws and various constitutional amendments that significantly changed government systems and the definition of citizenship. Nonetheless, many changes just came in place to ensure the socially oppressed remained a subject of the wealthy.
For instance, the natives and immigrants in Europe did not enjoy equal rights and fair treatment as the whites. Racial aspect influenced many decisions. As a result, their primary concern was to have a government through which they could enjoy equal treatment. They had a reason to enforce measures to ensure they established themselves and enjoyed freedom. More so, due to industrialization, many African Americans were pulled into forced labor, especially during the slave period. Regarding that, the practical way to handle such issues was the introduction of a more gradualist approach to extending rights of the minorities that the system oppressed. Unfortunately, it never happened.
Racism also influenced socialism. Before the industrial revolution, people could work conveniently, and there was no oppression based on race. However, with the effect of the industrial revolution, employees found themselves working under force and unpleasant conditions. Different timetables emerged, and people no longer enjoyed working for themselves or having control over their lives. The need to rise against the new job conditions became imperative, hence the emergence of socialism as a backlash to restore the previous working conditions.
With no doubt, the aspect that connects people to live harmoniously is the social pity. When it erodes, people become distinct elements that have little regard of their colleagues. Just like the case of Candide in Bulgaria when even the familiar institutions change to accommodate absurdity. After that, the society becomes an avenue of social oppression that paves the way for mistreatment and great social oppression. In reflection scenario, in the United States, many African Americans served in the Congress, but the advent of them in political power positions fueled a break with the country’s customs and beliefs that as a result drove bitter hostility from those opposed to such positive developments. Consequently, such initiatives powered other governments into adopting such strategies, hence the development of racial division increased.
In conclusion, due to European industrialization, it was hard to avoid the rise of imperialism. Likewise, it fueled capitalism that was a way to make some people rich at the expense of others. Its main characteristic, however, was the employment of black workers at low wages, hence the necessity to rise against such oppression. Indeed, the objective of socialism was to transform the private ownership of wealth to a public way and enable workers to have economic freedom and earn accordingly to the magnitude of their labor. It wasn’t easy, hence the increased racial hostility throughout the continent and the most robust industrial centers.