Shift in Economic Thinking Effected Working Class

Topics: Laissez-faire, Classical liberalism, Adam Smith Pages: 2 (645 words) Published: May 13, 2013
DBQ Rewrite

The shift in the different working systems led to a shift in economic thinking. Adam Smith’s Laissez Faire policies were thought to be the key factor in a controlled economy. Agriculture shifted to the cottage industry and then the cottage industry shifted to the factory system. Thus, decreasing opportunities for both urban and rural working classes. Due to this, the quality of life, also known as the standard of living, had shifted. Population increase, mostly due to the disappearance of the plague and the availability of medicine had many people desperate for jobs. In the 18th and early 19th century, the shift in economic thinking provided a more liberal economy, which later turned out to affect the different working classes in aspects such as conditions and regulations, ultimately, lowering the standard of living. Population increase helped allow economic prosperity but other factors later mitigated that theory. A shown in Document 1, the increase in population was enormous in all the countries of Europe. This rise in population led to the rise in competition, which is always good for the economy. Due to the agriculture system less jobs are needed and villages start to become tourist sites for those interested in leading a rural lifestyle. In addition, the increase in population certainly implies a better standard of living but factors such as lack of regulation say otherwise. In Document 5, the factory system is introduced and Elizabeth Bentley, a doffer, is testifying to long hours and poor working conditions. Parliament is in a way testifying under oath by asking questions. They notice that the lack of regulation is harmful to people. Population increase meant a better standard of living but lack of regulation soon depleted that standard. The shift in working systems negatively affected women and children by shifting gender roles. In Document 3, labor is distributed indifferently between both sexes. It is very disgusting that little...
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