Chapter 4: Changing Class Structure Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 4: Changing Class Structure Deck (19):

What was the traditional class structure?

Based on a small, wealthy, landowning elite comprising the monarch and the aristocracy in authority over the rest of the population.


Why was the traditional class structure becoming less relevant?

Due to rapid developments in trade and industry. Industrialisation, the effects of agricultural change and the shift of the population to the growing urban centres disturbed the traditional bonds which had existed for centuries in rural communities and small towns, and created new social divisions or classes. This huge increase in population also blurred old social divisions.


Where did the middle class emerge?

Within the growing urban centres.


Where did a middle class outlook already exist?

Among comfortably off merchants, tradesmen and professional people.


What effect did Industrialisation have on the already middle class outlook?

Brought extensive opportunities for entrepreneurial men to invest and grow new businesses and increase their wealth. The new Industrial world was organised and run by this emerging middle class.


What did the new middle classes begin to question?

The wealth and privileges of the old order. They were competitive and hard working, and many became successful manufacturers, and were eager to enjoy the new wealth they helped to create.


How were the middle classes similar to the upper classes?

They built and furnished substantial town houses and adopted a pattern of social behaviour that mimicked the upper classes.


Who were the middle classes?

Successful manufacturers and the professional class e.g lawyers, who provided services for them. By 1800, they made up approximately 25% of the population.


Who came to be known as the working class?

The majority of the population in urban centres. Most of them were employed in the new factories. This industrial workforce comprised skilled craftsmen and unskilled labourers and they received an hourly wage.


Who was better off; those working in the factories or agricultural labourers?

Factory workers received a higher wage.


How did the majority of the urban, labouring class live a hand to mouth existence?

They were dependent on a job and wage from those in the middle class. As long as the economy was booming they had a regular wage, but too often if there was an economic downturn, wages were lowered or they ere temporarily 'laid off'.


How would the skilled craftsmen (wc) protect themselves?

To an extent, by subscribing to Friendly Societies which paid out in hard times.


What were the disadvantages of the new trading and manufacturing class?

Brought deep divisions in society and problems for the working population.


What was the disadvantage shared by all classes of this urban society?

A lack of political rights, resulting in new enlightened ideas flourishing and providing the scope for radicalism, popular disturbances and demands for reform in towns and cities. Both emerging classes questioned the privilege and monopoly of the political power of the ruling class, but it was some years before a real challenge was mounted.


When the time came to change the political power structure, what were the different demands of the working and middle classes?

Working classes demanded the overthrow of the existing political system, whilst the middle class sought to modify it in order to include them.


What was the situation regarding the social class structure in the countyside?

Less evident in the countryside than in the cities. For those who remained in rural areas, the landowning classes controlled most politics, economic and social activity in the district. They had inherited title and land and had been made wealthier by enclosure, agricultural improvements and excavation of mineral deposits (iron ore and coal ) on the land.


What was the social structure in the rural areas?

Landowners at the top, continuing their privileged, sheltered existence with greater opportunities for consumerism (spending lots of money) from industrial production. Below them were the tenant farmers, now fewer in number but more prosperous and carrying some local and political status, and below them were the yeoman class.


Who were the economic victims of the process of enclosure?

The Yeoman class. They were small, independent farmers who farmed their own land. They were not wealthy and their numbers were dwindling. The generally-held view is that they were economic victims of the process of enclosure, as they were unable to meet the costs and sold out to large landowners.


Who were the lowest paid?

The majority of the rural population, largely made up of landless agricultural workers. They were resentful of the privileges of their landed proprietors and the prosperity of the tenant farmers; also resented their high rents, payment in kind and the restrictive Game Laws which prevented hem from supplementing their basic diet. They were often forced to fall back on poor relief.