Industrialization in Europe

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The last half of the 19th century is characterized by discussions about the ways of industrialization and modernization of Europe. The debates between its political leaders were especially heated during the interwar years. At that time, the first concepts of industrialization were formulated. These strategies were designed to focus on the economic issues that could arise from the economies established after 1945. According to the outlined strategies, clear goals were set. The major aim was to boost new economies, so that they were as developed as those of Western Europe.

The problem was that the tangible outcomes made the modernization course absolutely unclear. The arguments concerning the establishment of European economies were still controversial. However, there was a common consensus about the fact that before 1940, no considerable industrialization progress was achieved. It resulted in self-sustaining growth of economies in Southern Europe, including such countries as Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Greece. Moreover, there were no clear signs of rapid economic development. The countries in the Balkan area were not able to fill the gap in the Gross Domestic Per capita (GDP) between that of Western Europe. Lampe and Jackson said that the 19th century was characterized by “growth without development”.

Someone described the process of industrialization in 19th century as “dependent growth”. The thing was that the growth of export to Southern Europe and Middle East was considerable if to take the course of the globalization into account. As a result, industrialization and structural changes were prevented. Despite these fallbacks of industrialization, the consensus was still reached. It was stated that during the process of industrialization of 19th century, there was significant modernization progress in all regions of Southern European. It should have facilitated the process of industrialization before the end of WWII (1945).

The level of poverty among different social classes was very big. Nevertheless, industrialization has still a positive influence on the European region. Surely, the owners of shops, plants, factories, etc., were the richest. They belonged to the middle class that was constantly growing. Thus, it was comprised of rich farmers, experienced workers, and businesspeople. This social class changed the structure of the developing European economies. However, dominant positions in the society have been occupied by aristocrats and landowners before. After the period of industrialization, some owners of banks, firms, and factories became even richer than wealthier than the landowners and aristocrats.

Even though there were some problems during the process of industrialization, some positive changes were made as well. There were created more working places for immigrants and citizens. It helped develop the region and increase the production of goods. As a result, the living standards were improved. However, the most important was that industrialization gave hope to common citizens for better life. In addition, a lot of educational opportunities were also provided.

Industrialization created material prosperity to the middle and upper classes. As to workers and immigrants, they also felt positive results of industrialization. However, it took more time than for the above-mentioned classes. Surely, different movements and revolutions caused a lot of problems. Nevertheless, there were beneficial changes in the development of European economies.

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