18th Century Europe - Economy and Society

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    Scientific Revolution

    Scientific Revolution
    The Scientific Revolution began in the 16th century, but spanned pretty much until the end of the 18th century. New discoveries and explanations of nature gave more people a logical mindset when focusing on the world round them and society as a whole. Peope stopped relying completely on religion as the explanation of everything. This is an important social change, as it's really a shift from total religion to science.
  • Agricultural Revolution

    Agricultural Revolution
    From 1700-1750, Europe saw a boom in their agricultural industry, moreso than their industrial industry. This led to many different social and economic changes in itself. It was mostly concentrated in certain European economies. In these certain parts, new farming techniques and agrarian institutions came about, however, other parts of Europe saw little change from the agricultural revolution.
  • Birth of the Cottage Indusry

    Birth of the Cottage Indusry
    During the Cottage Industry, people produced goods on a very small scale from their homes. This took place before the Industrial Revolution. Small workshops would produce, dye or spin garments to sell or trade. England was really the birthplace of the Cottage Industry. Manufacturing continues on a larger scale during the Industrial Revolution.
  • Education Accessibility

    Education Accessibility
    New books, magazines, and journals published by prolific scientists of the era, as well as new academies and schools, paved the way for a more scientifically literate society. People depended on religion instead of education, but we finally see the ropes of where that ends, and people turns to science or logic. This is a big social change of the time, because before, education was for the most elite, and then it becomes slightly more accessible.
  • The Decline of Monarchical Power

    The Decline of Monarchical Power
    Moarchs throughout the 18th century sought to increase their power. This created some social unrest and turned people away from monarchs. The American Revolution is an example of a group of people who were bothered by the unruly king and became indepedent to start their own government, a democracy.
  • Industrial Revolution

    Industrial Revolution
    While the Agricultural Revolution was more widespread and helpful
    during the first half of the century, the Industrial Revolution changed the economy in the latter half. Manufacturing became even more popular and industries expanded and relocated throughout the century. More industries popped up throughout the century, aswell. Like the Agricultural Revolution, though, only certain areas saw drastic change.
  • Adam Smith's Economic Ideas

    Adam Smith's Economic Ideas
    Adam Smith's economic ideas led to the development of a consumer society, aka capitalism. While capitalism wasn't necessarily implemented in the 18th century, we can see the roots of it beginning. It really began to grow when the Industrial Revolution allowed mass manufacturing of items. Capitalism is different from the feudalist economy Europe had at the time.
  • Women's Rights

    Women's Rights
    During the early 18th century, women began to work, but still saw many inequalities. They were not allowed to vote, own land while married, go to a university, earn equal wages, enter most professions, and could not report abuse. Women who spoke their minds could find themselves dealing with humiliating public penalties. Feminism sparked during the 18th century in Europe to fight for equality and change.
  • The American Revolution

    The American Revolution
    The American Revolution sparked quite a bit of social unrest. The colonists were tired of being pushed around by the king, as they had no governmental authority. Rules and laws, such as the Stamp Acts, were being placed on the colonists non-stop, and finally they had enough of it. The Declaration of Independence was written and sent, and soon the Revolutionary War broke out. This led to the colonists being free from British rule, meaning they started their own government.
  • The French Revolution

    The French Revolution
    Enlightened thinkers believed that the government should promote he greatest good of everyone, not just the elitist interests. They did not appreciate how much power the Catholic Church had in terms of government. They also favored a different type of government. This altogether sparked social unrest, much like in the American Revolution.