Working Conditions During The Industrial Revolution
Topics: Marxism, Communism, Karl Marx / Pages: 5 (1672 words) / Published: Mar 18th, 2016

Chiderah Onyeukwu
Professor Henry Clark
HIST 1220
13 April 2014
Paper Option B The characterization of working conditions during the Industrial Revolution has been a source of great debate for many since the early nineteenth century. Some have argued that working conditions during the period were despicable and unhealthy while others claim that the mere presence of factories was an indicator of social and economic growth, a welcome change to the agriculturally based and less affluent society of the past. No matter what side of the argument one falls under, everyone can agree that the technology of this period affected everything from the political and legal systems of Europe to the daily choices the average worker was forced to make. To better understand two of the opposing viewpoints on this argument, we will take an in-depth look on the writing of the communists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as well as the liberal theorist Frédéric Bastiat. First, we will look at the writings of Marx and Engels in the Manifesto of the Communist Party written in 1848, which was during the height of the Industrial Revolution and specifically a time in which factories were becoming an integral part of European society. To begin with, Marx and Engels defend their credibility by protecting their communist views against apparent previous efforts to “exorcise” them as radical or off base:
“It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself (Marx and Engels Introduction).”
By doing this, Marx and Engels are claiming that although everybody looked down on their views, from the “Pope and Czar” to the “French radicals and German police-spies”, they were still in a position to have an unbiased opinion on the plight of the factory worker during the period. In Part 1 of the Manifesto, entitled “Bourgeois and

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