Industrial Revolution: How Did the Industrial Revolution Give Rise to New Philosophies?

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  • Topic: Marxism, Karl Marx, Socialism
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  • Published : October 28, 2006
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4. How did the Industrial Revolution give rise to new philosophies?
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain because social, political, and agricultural conditions there were particularly favorable at that time. More importantly a stable govt. in Britain meant that monarchs and aristocrats were less likely by chance to seize income or impose taxes on people. As a result, earnings were safer, and ambitious businessmen could gain wealth, social status, and power more easily than in other parts of Europe. As a result this, many thinkers tried to understand this staggering changed that took place.

In addition, Britain's government pursued a relatively "hands-off" economic policy. This free-market approach was made popular through British philosopher and economist Adam Smith and his book The Wealth of Nations (1776). The "hands-off" or laissez-faire policy permitted new methods and ideas to flourish, which meant that the government could not interfere in relations between workers and business owners. In his book, Smith argued that private competition free of regulation produces and distributes wealth better than the government regulated markets. His arguments were to justify capitalism and discourage government involvement in trade and exchange. Smith believed that entrepreneurs seeking their own businesses organize the economy most efficiently.

Smith's ideas were supported by economists Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo. Their ideas would be the foundation of capitalism (1). Like smith, Thomas Malthus writings on population shaped economic thinking for generations to come. He predicted that population would outpace food supply and suggested that getting involved in wars would help to keep check on population. He's ridiculous! People actually though he was smart…now that means they were brainless like him too. However, he claimed that as long as population increases the poor would suffer, so he urged families to have fewer children. David Ricardo...
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