Historical Interpretation of Economic-Social Change Essay

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Historical Interpretation of Economic-Social Change

The problem when looking at historical interpretations of economic-social change is that it is very difficult for the historian to comment without any of his or her personal political bias, it is for this reason that both sides of the standard of living debate must be looked at side by side. Historians commenting on the standard of living debate can be classified into two categories, the 'pessimists' who believe that the conditions for the working classes deteriorated, and the 'optimists' who hold the view that conditions improved with industrialisation. Historians when writing about the standard of living debate, attempt to explain the
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Engels' writing is a very descriptive account of Industrial Manchester and does not compare the housing of the working classes with housing of pre-industrialisation but it describes the horror he felt when seeing the conditions of the people. The description of the workhouse poignantly emphasises the hopelessness of the working classes and the only alternative open to them.

Friedrich Engels directed Karl Marx's attention to the working class, and together they produced one of the most well known primary sources we can look at commenting on capitalism and industrialisation. The Communist Manifesto first published on 21st February 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels was written from a pessimistic viewpoint. The work was commissioned by the Communist League and laid out the purposes of the League and also suggested a course of action to overthrow capitalism and bring about a classless society. The policies of the Communists at the time included the abolition of land ownership and the nationalisation of the means of production. The Manifesto was addressed to the common workers and it gives an understanding of the motives and policies of the Communists at the beginning of their movement,

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