Chapter 5 - Chapter 5 OVERVIEW The process of...

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Chapter 5 OVERVIEW The process of industrialization has been called a revolution because it introduced rapid, significant, and dramatic changes into everyday life. Overall, and over time, it gave most people a better life by improving their economic condition, facilitating their control over the physical environment in which they lived, and providing a way out of their utter dependence upon the vagaries of climate and nature. Changes in the means by which manufacturing took place and new techniques of production increased efficiency and productivity, which in turn increased national wealth. Profound social and political changes emerged from the exigencies thrown up by industrialization: a society based on class came into being and, informed by ideologies engendered by the conditions of industrialization and class society, new forms of government responsive to new constituencies appeared, often compelled by revolution. Municipalities had to find ways to accommodate extraordinary population growth and the problems attending it: the need to address poverty, water, sanitation, pollution, housing, public health, lighting, transportation, fire and police protection, education—all these and more would drive the creation of new urban institutions designed to make cities manageable. Unification of Germany And Italy Unlike France or Britain, where national boundaries could be established by natural limits like oceans or mountain ranges, Germany possessed virtually no geographical delineations, apart from the Alps and the Bohemian mountains to the south. The land consisted of one great plain separated by four rivers, the Rhine, the Elbe, the Oder, and the Vistula. Rather than containing Germans within their banks, the rivers divided them, keeping them separate from one another. Every potential German border, therefore, was artificial, and thus impermanent, a situation that helps to explain the relative lateness of political nationalism. It also suggests why landscape and environment have proved central to the creation of a German national identity; in the absence of obvious natural boundaries, German thinkers seized upon places through which they could fashion a story of the nation that would serve to unite rather than divide German peoples spread out across a vast territory in a variety of political units governed by sovereign rulers. The Rhine played a central part in this narrative, ultimately characterized in the nineteenth century as the site where German national consciousness burst forth. In ancient times, the river had served as the border separating the Roman empire on the west and Germanic tribes in the east; in modern times, nationalists claimed, Germans had forced Napoleon’s troops back across the Rhine, squashing French assertions that the river constituted France’s “natural border.” When in 1840 the French government threatened to encroach upon the waterway—futilely, as it turned out—Max Schneckenburger was moved to write “The Watch on the Rhine” (Die Wacht am
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2009 for the course HIST 1020 taught by Professor Vavara during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.

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Chapter 5 - Chapter 5 OVERVIEW The process of...

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