The experiences of everyday life were shaped by industrialization, depending on the level of industrial development in a particular location.
Industrialization promoted the development of new socioeconomic classes between 1815 and 1914. In highly industrialized areas, such as western and northern Europe, the new economy created new social divisions, leading for the first time to the development of self-conscious economic classes, especially the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. In addition, economic changes led to the rise of trade and industrial unions, benevolent associations, sport clubs, and distinctive class-based cultures of dress, speech, values, and customs. Europe also experienced rapid population growth and urbanization that resulted in benefits as well as social dislocations. The increased population created an enlarged labor force, but in some areas migration from the countryside to the towns and cities led to overcrowding and significant emigration overseas.
Industrialization and urbanization changed the structure and relations of bourgeois and working-class families to varying degrees. Birth control became increasingly common across Europe, and childhood experience changed with the advent of protective legislation, universal schooling, and smaller families. The growth of a cult of domesticity established new models of gendered behavior for men and women. Gender roles became more clearly defined as middle-class women withdrew from the workforce. At the same time, working-class women increased their participation as wage-laborers, although the middle class criticized them for neglecting their families.
Industrialization and urbanization also changed people’s conception of time; in particular, work and leisure were increasingly differentiated by means of the imposition of strict work schedules and the separation of the workplace from the home. Increasingly, trade unions charged themselves as the protectors of workers and working-class families, lobbying for improved working conditions and old-age pensions. Increasing leisure time spurred the development of leisure activities and spaces for bourgeois families. Overall, although inequality and poverty remained significant social problems, the quality of material life improved. For most social groups, the standard of living rose; the availability of consumer products grew; and sanitary standards, medical care, and life expectancy improved.
3.2.1: Industrialization promoted the development of new classes in the industrial regions of Europe.
3.2.1.A: In industrialized areas of Europe (i.e., western and northern Europe), socioeconomic changes created divisions of labor that led to the development of self-conscious classes, such as the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
3.2.1.B: In some of the less industrialized areas of Europe, the dominance of agricultural elites continued into the 20th century.
3.2.1.C: Class identity developed and was reinforced through participation in philanthropic, political, and social associations among the middle classes, and in mutual aid societies and trade unions among the working classes.
3.2.2: Europe experienced rapid population growth and urbanization, leading to social dislocations.
3.2.2.A: Along with better harvests caused in part by the commercialization of agriculture, industrialization promoted population growth, longer life expectancy, and lowered infant mortality.
3.2.2.B: With migration from rural to urban areas in industrialized regions, cities experienced overcrowding, while affected rural areas suffered declines in available labor as well as weakened communities.
3.2.3: Over time, the Industrial Revolution altered the family structure and relations for bourgeois and working-class families.
3.2.3.A: Bourgeois families became focused on the nuclear family and the cult of domesticity, with distinct gender roles for men and women.
3.2.3.B: By the end of the century, higher wages, laws restricting the labor of children and women, social welfare programs, improved diet, and increased access to birth control affected the quality of life for the working class.
3.2.3.C: Economic motivations for marriage, while still important for all classes, diminished as the middle-class notion of companionate marriage began to be adopted by the working classes.
3.2.3.D: Leisure time centered increasingly on the family or small groups, concurrent with the development of activities and spaces to use that time.
3.2.4: A heightened consumerism developed as a result of the second industrial revolution.
3.2.4.A: Industrialization and mass marketing increased both the production and demand for a new range of consumer goods — including clothing, processed foods, and labor-saving devices — and created more leisure opportunities.
3.2.4.B: New efficient methods of transportation and other innovations created new industries, improved the distribution of goods, increased consumerism, and enhanced the quality of life.
3.2.5: Because of the continued existence of more primitive agricultural practices and land-owning patterns, some areas of Europe lagged in industrialization while facing famine, debt, and land shortages.