Today in Social Science we have to do the exam of unit 4. There were five questions.
The first question is to match each figure with what he/she did:
-Mijail Bakunin--> One of the main Anarchist thinkers
-Charles Fourier--> French utopian socialist, who proposed the creation of phalanstères
-Count of Saint Simon--> French utopian socialist who proposed the abolition of inheritance
-Henry ford--> Introducer of mass production in car industry
-Jethro Tull--> Inventor of the seed drill
-James Watt--> Inventor of the steam engine
-Robert Fulton--> Inventor of the steamboat
-Antonio Meucci--> Inventor of the telephone
In the second question we have to choose two of the following question and answer:
A) Define Industrial Revolution and explain its main stages and its consequences.
B) Explain the Demographic and the Agricultural revolution.
C) Explain the main inventions and innovations of the First Industrial Revolution and the industries that developed in this period.
I choose A and B.
A: Definition and stages of the Industrial Revolution
A big change in the way of producing which led to important changes in economy and society.
- FIRST INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: It developed between the last decades of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. It started in Great Britain and it spread to continental Europe and North America.
-SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: It developed between the 2nd half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. Great Britain lost its initial advantage and other countries, such as the USA, Germany and Japan, became big industrial powers.
B: The Demographic and the Agricultural revolution:
-Demographic: From the 18th century there were less wars, hygiene and medicine improved and people were better fed. This led to a reduction of mortality rates, while birth rates continued to be high. This produced a strong population growth. Life expectancy also increased. This population growth created a high demand for all kind of products.
-Agricultural revolution: As there was more demand for agricultural products, prices increased and farmers introduced innovations to produce more:
- More land was cultivated. Many communal lands (commons) were enclosed in Great Britain (enclosures) and became private.
- Introduction of the Norfolk four-field system of crop rotation: it was a crop totation system that didn't leave any part fallow. Turnips and fodder crops (clover and ryegrass) rotated with wheat and barley, increased the land fertility (they fixed nitrogen) and contributed to have better fed cattle and more natural fertilizers (manure) for the land.
- Some inventions made the mechanization of some works possible: the seed drill, invented by Jethro Tull, distributed seeds more efficiently, the Rotherham plough, an iron plough, lighter than the mouldboard plough, the threshing machine and so on.
- Selective breeding improved stockbreeding.
All these changes led to an increase of production, a richer and more varied diet and a surplus of farmers in the countryside. They had to migrate to cities in search of job.
In the third question we have to explain the main features of industrial capitalism:
- Economy is based on self interest and search of the maximum profit.
- The different interests of the people meet in the market and they interact naturally according to the law of supply and demand.
- The means of production (land, factories, businesses) are private property of a reduced group of people (the ones who own capital, that is, money: capitalists) and the people who don't have properties (proletarians) have to work in exchange for a salary to survive.
- The State doesn't have to intervene in economy. Its only role is to guarantee private property and free interaction between individuals.
In the fourth question we have to explain the main ideas of Scientific Socialism/ Marxism:
- Class struggle and proletarian revolution
- Proletarian impoverishment
- Trust in industrial workers only peasants were considered conservative and counter-revolutionary
- Workers' alienation
- Suplus value
- Workers' organization
Class struggle: History of humanity: continuos fight (struggle) between opressors and oppressed.
19th century: class struggle between the bourgeoisie (oppresors) and the workers (oppressed). The hard working conditions and explotation of workers would lead to a workers' revolution.
1st stage (dictatorship of the proletariat). Workers would make a revolution and take the State and used it to private property into collective.
2nd stage (communist society). Society without classes, State and private property.
Proletarian impoverishment: the evolution of capitalism would result in a deterioration of the living and working conditions of workers: they would live worse. It seemed that Marx and Engels failed with this prediction, because the labour movement achieved the improvements of the worker's conditions, but now it seems that they were right: the workers conditions all around the world are getting worse and in developed countries workers are losing many of the rights they got.
Organization of workers:
Marx and Engels considered that workers had to organize themselves, creating parties and unions, to get ready for the revolution, but also top articipate in politics. Differents socialist parties were created following Marxist ideas: Socialdemocratic Party (Germany), SEIO (France) and PSOE (Spain).
Profit workers produce with their work, but they don't enjoy, because it serves to increase the capitalist's wealth.
Workers' Alienation, according to Marx and Engels:
Monotonous work kills creativity and the worst alienation is the need workers have for selling their work (and part of their lives) in exchange for money.
In the last question we have to define four of the following concepts, including their chronological and geographical context:
Luddism, Anarcho-syndicalism, Mutual benefit societies, Chartism, Propaganda by the deed, International workingmen's association.
The exam is very long for my classmates, but for Gonzalo and me is very short, because we don't study sufficient. See you in the make up exam!!!