Social Reformation During the 19th Century

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Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto has proved to be one of the most profound economical and political pieces ever printed. Written in 1848, the twenty-three paged pamphlet analyzed the various problems of capitalism and the capitalist means of production. Yet Marx and Engel’s interpretation of class development is arguably the most important section of the Communist Manifesto, for as stated, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” (Marx. 324). Although it is important to recognize how much of history is made up by class conflict, it is imperative to understand how social classes coped with struggles and eventually developed. The transformation of social classes during Marx and Engel’s time was triggered by the mark of the Industrial Revolution, and it was sustained by a newfound sense of self-interest, along with a lasting social gap between classes. The Industrial Revolution signified the change of class structure and empowered the middle class. The Communist Manifesto begins with Carl Marx’s theory of the history of class formation. Based on this theory, the formation of classes occurred because of the continual development of the industry and the growing demand of the middle class. So as the industrial middle class transformed into wealthy, industrial individuals, the feudal system collapsed and changed to a primarily two-sided classification- the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Since the bourgeoisie predominantly owned the factories during the time, they were able to gain wealth and economic power; their economic power also gave them a lot of political sway. Additionally, unlike any other time before, the power that the industrial development brought the bourgeoisie changed the way people viewed their services. Before, those in power were able to manipulate the workers of the feudal system through religious
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