AP European History Notes

Chapter 24: Life in the Changing Urban Society

  1. Taming the City
    1. Industry and the Growth of Cities
      1. European cities had been centers of government, culture, and large-scale commerce and people were packed together almost as tightly as possible within the city limits
        1. People were always more likely to die in the city than in the country more people died each year than were born and urban populations were able to maintain their numbers only because newcomers were continually arriving from rural places
        2. As industry grew, already overcrowded and unhealthy cities rapidly expanded 
      2. The number of people living in cities of 20,000 or more in England and Wales jumped from 1.5 million (17%) in 1801 to 6.3 million (35%) in 1851 and reached 15.6 million (54%) in 1891 (other countries duplicated the English pattern)
      3. In the 1820s and 1830s, people in Britain and France began to worry about conditions and the number of British cities were increasing by 40 to 70 percent each decade
      4. Buildings were erected on the smallest possible lots in order to pack the people
        1. Many people lived in small, often overcrowded cellars or attics
        2. Highly concentrated urban populations lived in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions
      5. Open drains and sewers flowed alongside or down unpaved streets and because of poor construction and an absence of running water, the sewers often filled
      6. Toilet facilities were primitive in the extreme and as many as two hundred people shared a single outhouse, which filled up rapidly and since they were infrequently emptied, sewage often overflowed and seeped into cellar dwellings
    2. The awful conditions were caused by tremendous pressure of more people and the total absence of public transportation and another factor was that government in England, both local and national, was slow to provide sanitary facilities and establish adequate building codes - caused by need to explore and identify what should be done
      1. Legacy or rural housing conditions in preindustrial society combined with appalling ignorance was most responsible for the awful conditions (housing was not propriety)
    3. The Public Health Movement
      1. Edwin Chadwick was a commissioner charged with administration relief to paupers under the revised Poor Law of 1834 (Benthamite, follower of radical philosopher Jeremy Bentham, taught that problems ought to be dealt on a rational, scientific basis
        1. He saw that problems of poverty and welfare budget was caused by disease and death because a sick worker was an unemployed worker (clean up environment)
        2. Chadwick collected reports from local Poor Law officials on the sanitary conditions of the laboring population and reports published in 1842
        3. The key to the energetic action Chadwick proposed was an adequate supply of clean piped water was essential for hygiene, bathhouses, cleaning, and industry
        4. Chadwick correctly believed that the excrement of communal outhouse could be dependably carried off by water through sewers as less than one-twentieth the cost of removing it by hand (iron pipes and tile drains would provide running water)
      2. In 1848, with the cause strengthened by the cholera epidemic of 1846, Chadwick’s report became the basis of Great Britain’s first public health law, which created a national health board and gave cities authority to build modern sanitary systems
      3. The public health movement won support in the United States, France and Germany
      4. In Great Britain, governments accepted at least limited responsibility for the health of all citizens and they adopted programs of action that broke the high morality rates
    4. The Bacterial Revolution
      1. In the nineteenth century, reformers were handicapped by the prevailing miasmatic theory of disease—the theory that smells cause disease (empirical observations)
      2. Observation by doctors and public health officials in the 1840s and 1850s suggested that contagion was spread through filth and not caused by filth
      3. The breakthrough was development of the germ theory of disease by Louis Pasteur
        1. People used fermentation to make break and wine that would spoil mysteriously
        2. Pasteur, a French chemist began studying fermentation in 1854 and found that fermentation depended on the growth of living organisms and that the activity of these organisms could be suppressed by heating the beverage (“pasteurizing” it)
        3. The implication was that specific diseases were caused by specific living organisms—germs—and that host organisms could be controlled in people
      4. In the middle of the 1870s, German country doctor Robert Koch developed pure cul-tures of harmful bacteria, described their life cycles and over twenty years, researchers—mainly Germans—identified the organisms responsible for disease after disease, led to a number of effective vaccines and emergence of modern immunology
      5. English surgeon Joseph Lister noticed that patients with simple factures were much less likely to die than those with compound fractures, in which the skin was broken and internal tissues were exposed to the air and after Pasteur in 1865 showed the air was full of bacteria, applied a chemical disinfectant to a wound dressing (sterilizing)
      6. In the 1880s, German surgeons sterilized everything that entered the operating room
      7. Mortality rates began to decline dramatically in the European countries by 1910, the death rates for people in urban areas were generally no greater than in the rural areas
    5. Urban Planning and Public Transportation
      1. Important transformations significantly improved the quality of urban life
        1. Urban planning after 1850 was revived and extended and France took the lead during the rule of Napoleon III, who sought to stand above class conflict and promote welfare of all his subjects through government action (Second Empire)
        2. Napoleon III believed that rebuilding much of Paris would provide employment, improve living conditions, and testify the power and glory of his empire
        3. Napoleon placed baron Georges Haussmann, an aggressive, impatient Alsatian in charge of Paris who was an authoritarian planner capable of facing opposition
      2. Haussmann and his fellow planners razed old buildings in order to cut broad, straight, boulevards through the center of the city, which allowed for traffic to flow freely
        1. New streets stimulated the construction of better housing and small neighborhood parks and open spaces were created throughout the city; the city also improved its sewers and a system of aqueducts doubled the city’s supply of good fresh water
        2. In city after city, public authorities mounted an attack on many of the related problems of the urban environment (better water supply and waste disposal)
      3. Zoning expropriation laws allowed a majority of owners of land in given quarter of the city to impose major street or sanitation improvements on a reluctant minority
      4. The development of mass public transportation improved urban living conditions
        1. In the 1870s, many European cities authorized private companies to operate horse-drawn streetcars to carry the riders, developed in the United States
        2. Then in the 1890s, European countries adopted another American transit innovation, the electric streetcar, which were cheaper, faster, and dependable
        3. Each person used public transportation four times as often in 1910 as in 1886
      5. The new boulevards and transportation gave people access to new, improved housing and still-crowded cities were able to expand and become less congested
      6. On the Continent, many city governments in the early twentieth century were building electric streetcar systems that provided transportation to new public and private housing developments in outlying areas of the city for the working classes
  2. Rich and Poor and Those in Between
    1. Social Structure
      1. A great change was an increase in the standard of living for the average person
        1. The wages of British workers almost doubled between 1850 and 1906 and similar increases occurred in continental countries as industrial development quickened
        2. Greater economic rewards for the average person did not eliminate hardship and poverty, nor was the income of the rich and the poor significantly more equal
        3. The poorest 80 percent—the working classes, including peasants and agricultural laborers—received less altogether than the two richest classes
      2. ​The great gap between rich and poor endured, in part, because industrial and urban development made society more diverse and less unified but did not split into two
      3. Rather, economic specialization enabled society to produce more effectively and in the process created more new social groups than it destroyed
      4. In an atmosphere of competition and hierarchy, neither the middle classes nor the working classes acted as a unified force (economic inequality remained intact)
    2. The Middle Classes
      1. At the top stood the upper middle class, composed mainly of the must successful business families from banking, industry, and commerce (beneficiaries)
        1. People of the upper middle class were drawn to aristocratic lifestyle; genuine hereditary aristocracy retained wealth, prestige, and political influence, especially in central and eastern Europe where the monarch continued to hold power
        2. The number of servants was an important indicator of wealth and standing
        3. The topmost reaches of the upper middle class tended to shad off into the old aristocracy to form a new upper class (5% of the population with 33% of wealth)
        4. Wealthy aristocrats tended increasingly to exploit their agricultural and mineral resources as if they were business people (marriages to American heiresses)
      2. Below the wealthy upper middle class were much large, much less wealthy, and increasingly diversified middle-class groups (industrialists, merchants, professionals)
      3. Below them were shopkeepers, small traders, and manufacturers (lower middle class)
      4. The traditional middle class was gaining two particularly important additions
        1. The expansion of industry, technology created growing demand for experts with specialized knowledge and most valuable became solid middle-class professions
        2. Architects, chemists, accountants, and surveyors first achieved professional standing in this period and established criteria for advanced training and certifi-cation and banded together in organizations to promote and defend their interests
        3. Management of large public and private institutions also emerged as a kind of profession as governments provided more services and corporations came about
      5. Industrialization also expanded and diversified the lower middle class
        1. The number of independent, property-owning shopkeepers and small business people grew and white collar employees, who did not own land and earned no more than skilled workers, were committed to the ideal of moving up in society
        2. Many white-collar groups aimed at achieving professional standing and the accompanying middle-class status (school teachers, nurses, dentistry)
      6. The middle classes were loosely united by a certain style of life and food was the largest item in the household budget, for middle-class people liked to eat very well
        1. The English were equally attached to substantial meals, which they ate three times a day and consumed meat in abundance (25% of income was spent on meals)
        2. Spending on food was big because the dinner party was this class’s favored social occasion and dinners were served in the “French manner” (8-9 separate courses)
      7. The middle-class wife could cope with this endless procession of meals, courses, and dishes because she had both servants and money at her disposal; the employment of at least one helpful full-time maid to cook and clean was the single best sign that a family had crossed the vague line between working classes from the middle class
      8. A prosperous English family, with 10,000 dollars a year, in 1900 spend fully 25 percent of its income on a hierarchy of ten servants (second largest item on budget)
      9. The middle classes were also well housed by 1800 and many quite prosperous families rented, rather than owned, their homes (apartment living)
      10. By 1900 the middle class was also quite clothes conscious and the factory, the sewing machine, and department store helped reduce the cost of the variety of clothing
      11. Education was another growing expense as the middle-class parents tried to provide their children with education (keystones of culture were books, music, and travel)
      12. The middle classes were loosely united by a shared code of expected behavior and morality and laid great stress on hard work, self-discipline, and personal achievement; middle class people were supposed to know right from wrong and act accordingly
    3. The Working Classes
      1. About four out of five people belonged to working classes at the turn of the century, people whose livelihoods depended on physical labor and who did not employ domestic servants were still small landowning peasants and hired farm hands (east)
        1. In Great Britain, less than 8 percent of the people worked in agriculture in 1900
        2. While in Germany only 25% and less than 50 % in France depended on the land
      2. The urban working classes were less unified than the middle classes
        1. Economic development and increased specialization expanded the traditional range of working-class skills, earnings, and experiences (semiskilled groups)
        2. Skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled workers developed widely divergent lifestyles and cultural values, and their differences contributed to a keen sense of social status and hierarchy within the working classes (variety but limited class unity)
      3. Highly skilled workers (15%) became a real “labor aristocracy,” earning about 2 pounds per week in Great Britain, about twice the earnings of unskilled workers
        1. The most “aristocratic” of the highly skilled workers were construction bosses and factory foremen; the class also included highly skilled handicraftsmen makers of scientific and musical instruments, cabinetmakers, potters, jewelers, bookbinders, engravers and printers (under pressure as factory methods expanded)
        2. The labor aristocracy was enlarged by growing need for highly skilled workers such as shipbuilders, machine-too makers, railways locomotives and spinners; labor elite remained in a state of flux as crafts and individuals moved in and out
        3. To maintain standing, the upper working class adopted puritanical values and was strongly committed to the family and to economic improvement
        4. Families in the upper working class saved money regularly, but viewed them-selves as the natural leaders of the working classes (self-discipline and morality)
        5. The upper working class frowned on heavy drinking and sexual permissiveness
      4. Below the labor aristocracy stood semiskilled and unskilled urban workers
        1. Workers in established crafts, carpenters, bricklayers, pipefitters, stood near the top and a large number of the semiskilled were factory workers with good wages
        2. The unskilled workers included day laborers, people who had skills and performed valuable services, but were unorganized and divided
      5. One of the largest components of the unskilled group was domestic servants and in Great Britain, one of every seven employed persons was a domestic servant in 1911
        1. A great majority were women and domestic service was still hard work at low pay with limited personal independence (babysitting, shopping, cooking and cleaning)
        2. In great households, the girl was at the bottom of a rigid hierarchy (servant above)
      6. Domestic service had real attractions for country girls with hands and skills
        1. Marriage prospects were better in the city and wages were higher
        2. Many young domestics made transition to working-class wife and mother but such a woman often had to join the working women in the “sweated industries”
        3. Some women did hand-decorating but the majority made clothing (sewing machine) and these women accounted for inexpensive “ready-made” clothes
      7. The urban working classes sought fun and recreation and turned to drinking, the favorite leisure-time activity of working people (curse of the modern age)
      8. The heavy problem drinking declined in the late nineteenth century and this decline reflected in part the moral leadership of the upper working class; social drinking in public places by couples became accepted and this participation of women helped civilize the world of drink and hard liquor
      9. Two other leisure-time passions of the working classes were sports and music halls
        1. Cruel sports declined throughout Europe by the late nineteenth century and their place was filled by modern spectator sports (soccer and racing most popular)
        2. Music halls and vaudeville theaters, the working-class counterparts of opera and classical theater, were enormously popular throughout Europe
        3. Drunkenness, sexual intercourse and pregnancy before marriage, marital difficulties, and problems with mothers-in-law were favorite themes and songs
      10. Religion and Christian churches continued to provide working people with solace and meaning and German Pietism and English Methodism carried over into the century
      11. In the last two or three decades of the nineteenth century saw a decline in both church attendance and church donations; it appears urban working classes in Europe did become more secular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
        1. Part of the reason for the change was the construction of churches failed to keep up with the rapid growth of urban population
        2. Throughout the nineteenth century, Catholic and Protestant churches were normally seen as conservative institutions defending social order and custom and working classes saw “territorial church” as defending what they wished to change
        3. The pattern was different in the United States as most churches also preached social conservatism but church and state had always been separate and people identified churches much less with political and social status quo
        4. Churches thrived in the United States as means of asserting ethnic identity
  3. The Changing Family
    1. Premarital Sex and Marriage
      1. By 1850, the preindustrial pattern of courtship and marriage was gone among the working classes and in its place, the ideal of romantic love had triumphed
      2. Economic considerations in marriage remained important to the middle classes after 1850 and in France, dowries and elaborate legal marriage contracts were common
        1. Marriage was for many families one of life’s most crucial financial transactions
        2. The preoccupation with money led many middle-class men in France and else- where to marry late and chose women younger and less experienced (tension)
        3. The romantic life of a young woman of the middle class was supervised by her mother who schemed for marriage and guarded her daughter’s virginity like credit
        4. Middle-class boys were watched but by the time they reached late adolescence, they had usually attained considerable sexual experience with maids or prostitutes
      3. There was an “illegitimacy explosion” between in 1750 and 1850 and by the 1840s, as many as one birth in three was occurring outside of wedlock in many large cities
      4. The pattern of romantic ideals, premarital sexual activity, and widespread illegitimacy was firmly established by mid-century among the urban working classes
      5. In the second half of the century, the pattern of illegitimacy was reversed and more babies were born to married mothers (growth of puritanism is unconvincing)
      6. The percentage of brides who were pregnant continued to be high and showed almost no decline after 1850 and unmarried people almost certainly used cheap condoms and diaphragms the industrial age had made available to prevent pregnancy (protestant)
      7. Unmarried young people were engaging in just as much sexual activity but pregnancy for a young single women led increasingly to marriage and the establishment of a two-parent household; this reflected growing respectability of the working classes
    2. Prostitution
      1. In Paris alone, 155,00 women were registered as prostitutes between 1871 and 1903, and 750,000 others were suspected of prostitution in the same years
      2. Men of all classes visited prostitutes, but the middle and upper classes supplied most; though many middle-class men abided by the code of puritanical morality, others indulged their appetites for prostitutes and sexual promiscuity
      3. My Secret Life, an autobiography written by an English sexual adventurer from the servant-keeping classes, revels the dark side of sex and class in urban society
      4. Men of the comfortable classes often purchased sex and even affection from poor girls both before and after marriage; brutal sexist behavior that women detested
      5. For many poor women, prostitution, was a stage of life and not a permanent employ-ment and they usually went on to marry men of their own class and establish families
    3. Kinship Ties
      1. Within working-class homes, ties to relatives after marriage (kinship ties) were strong
        1. For many married couples after 1850, ties to mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, were more important than ties to nonrelated acquaintances
        2. People turned to their families for help in coping with sickness, unemployment, death and old age; although governments generally provided more welfare service by 1900, unexpected death or desertion could leave people in need of financial aid
      2. If a couple was very poor, an aged relation often moved in to cook and mind the children so that the wife could earn badly needed income outside the house
      3. Often the members of a large family group all lived in the same neighborhood
    4. Sex Roles and Family Life
      1. After 1850 the work of most wives became more distinct and separate from that of their husbands while husbands became wage earners, wives tended to stay home and manage households and car for children (hiring entire families in factories declined)
      2. As economic conditions improved, married women tended to work outside the home only in poor families and strict division of labor by sex appeared (see above)
        1. The division of labor meant that married women faced great injustice if they tried to move into the man’s world of employment outside the home
        2. Married women were subordinated to their husbands by law and lacked many basic legal rights; wives in England had no legal identity, didn’t own property and the Napoleonic Code enshrined female subordination (property, divorce, custody)
      3. Some women rebelled because the lack of legal rights proceeding on two main fronts
        1. Following in the steps of women such as Mary Wollstonecraft. Organizations founded by middle-class feminists campaigned for equal legal rights for women as well as access to higher education and professional employment (suffrage)
        2. Women inspired by utopian and Marxism socialism argued that the liberation of working-class women would come only with the liberation of the entire working class through revolution (won some practical improvements in Germany)
      4. As home and children became the typical wife’s main concerns, her control and influence became increasingly strong throughout Europe and began to manage money; all major domestic decisions were the women’s decision
        1. Women ruled at home partly because running the urban household was a complicated, demanding, and valuable task (full-time occupation)
        2. The wife also guided the home because a good deal of her effort was directed toward pampering her husband as he expected and the women’s guidance of the household corresponded with the increased emotional importance of family
      5. By 1900 home and family were what life was all about for people of all classes
      6. Married couples also developed stronger emotional ties to each other and marriages in the later nineteenth century were based on sentiment and sexual attraction
      7. Affection and eroticism became more central to the couple after marriage; Gustave Droz saw love within marriage as the key to human happiness and urged women to follow their hearts and marry a man more nearly their age
      8. Many French marriage manuals of the late 1800s stressed that women had legitimate sexual needs and the rise of public socializing by couples in cafes and music halls as well as franker affection suggests a more pleasurable intimate life for women
    5. Child Rearing
      1. Emotional ties deepened within the family with the growing love to their tiny infants
        1. In preindustrial Western society, indifference, unwillingness to make sacrifices for the welfare of the infant, began to give way among comfortable classes
        2. Mothers increasingly breast-fed their infants, involved sacrifice, and this surge of maternal feeling gave rise to specialized books on child rearing and hygiene
        3. Gustave Droz urged fathers to get into the act and pitied those who could not
        4. Another sign from France of increased infection was that fewer illegitimate babies were abandoned as foundlings after 1850 and the practice of swaddling disappeared—instead, mothers allowed their babies freedom of movement
      2. There was a greater concern for old children and adolescents
        1. European women began to limit the number of children they bore in order to care adequately for hose they had and birthrate continued to decline until after WW II
        2. The most important reason for this reduction in family size (well-educated classes took the lead) was parents’ desire to improve their economic and social position
        3. The growing tendency of couples in the late nineteenth century to use a variety of contraceptive methods reflected increased concern for children
      3. Many parents, especially in the middle classes, became too concerned about their children many of who came to feel trapped and in need of greater independence
      4. Prevailing biological and medical theories led parents to believe in the possibility that their own emotional characteristics were passed on to their offspring; moment the child was conceived was thought to be of enormous importance
      5. Another area of excessive parental concern was the sexual behavior of the child
        1. Masturbation was viewed with horror and viewed as an act of independence and defiance and diet, clothing, games, and sleeping were carefully regulated
        2. Attempts to repress the child’s sexuality were a source of unhealthy tension, often made worse by the rigid divisions of sexual roles within the family; usually mother and child loved each other easily but relations between father and child were difficult as his world of business were far removed for the maternal world
        3. Fathers were also demanding, often expecting the child to succeed where he himself had failed and making his love conditional on achievement
        4. Russian Feodor Dostoevski’s The Brothers Karamazov epitomizes idealism
      6. Sigmund Freud, the Viennese founder of psychoanalysis, formulated the most striking analysis of the explosive dynamics of a family in the late nineteenth century
        1. Freud noted that the hysteria of his patients appeared to originate in bitter early childhood experiences wherein the child had obliged to repress strong feelings
        2. One of Freud’s most influential ideas concerned the Oedipal tensions resulting from the son’s instinctive competition with the father for the mother’s affection
        3. Freud postulated that much of human behavior is motivated by unconscious emotional need where nature and origins are kept from conscious awareness by carious mental devices he called “defense mechanisms” (sexual energy)
      7. Working classes probably had more avenues of escape from such tensions than did the middle classes, working-class boys and girls went to work when they reached adolescence and could bargain for greater independence within the household
  4. Science and Thought
    1. The Triumph of Science
      1. Breakthroughs in industrial technology stimulated scientific inquiry as researchers sough to explain theoretically how such things as steam engines actually worked and the result was an huge growth of fundamental scientific discoveries after the 1830s
      2. The translation of better scientific knowledge into practical human benefits was the development of the branch of physics known as thermodynamics
        1. Thermodynamics investigated relationships between heat and mechanical energy
        2. The law of conservation of energy held that different forms of energy could be converted but neither created nor destroyed (physical world governed by laws)
      3. Chemistry and electricity were two other fields characterized by scientific progress
        1. In 1869, Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev codified the rules of chemistry in the periodic law and the periodic table (chemistry subdivided into many branches)
        2. Researchers in large German chemical companies discovered ways of transforming useless coal tar into beautiful, expensive synthetic dyes for fashion
        3. The basic discoveries of Michael Faraday on electromagnetism in the 1830s and 1840s resulted in the first dynamo (generator) and opened the way for subsequent development of electric motors, electric lights, and electric streetcars (1880-1913)
      4. The triumph of science and technology had at least three significant consequences
        1. Though ordinary citizens continued to lack scientific knowledge, everyday experience and popularizers impressed the importance of science on popular mind
        2. As science became more prominent, the philosophical implications of science formulated in the Enlightenment spread to broad sections of the population
        3. Methods of science acquired unrivaled prestige after 1850 and for many, the union of careful experiment and abstract theory was the only reliable rout to truth and objective reality (“unscientific” intuitions of poets and saints seemed inferior)
    2. Social Science and Evolution
      1. After the 1830s, many thinkers tried to apply the objective methods of science to the study of society—efforts simply perpetuated the critical thinking of the philosophes
      2. The new “social scientists” had access to massive sets of numerical data that govern-ments had begun to collect and developed new statistical methods to analyze these facts and supposedly to test their theories (systems of social scientists unified—Marx)
      3. Another influential system builder was French philosopher Auguste Comte, disciple of the utopian socialist Saint Simon, Comte wrote System of Positive Philosophy
        1. Comte postulated that all intellectual activity progresses through predictable stages; the Theological (fictitious), the Metaphysical (abstract), and the Scientific
        2. Comte noted that the prevailing explanation of cosmic patterns had shifted from the well of God to the will of an orderly nature to the rule of unchanging laws
        3. By applying the scientific or positivist method, Comte believed sociology would discover the eternal laws of human relations (chief priest of religion of science)
      4. In geology, Charles Lyell discredited the view that earth surface had been formed by sort-lived cataclysms and instead according to Lyell’s principle of uniformitarianism, the same geological processes that existed slowly formed the earth’s surface long ago
      5. Jean Baptiste Lamarck asserted that all forms of life had arisen through continuous adjustment to the environment but his work was flawed in that he believed in the principle of acquired characteristics; he prepared the way for Charles Darwin
      6. Charles Darwin was most influential of all nineteenth-century evolutionary thinkers
        1. Darwin came to doubt the general belief in a special divine creation of each species of animals and concluded that all life had gradually evolved from a common ancestral origin in an unending “struggle for survival”
        2. He summarized his theory in his work On the Origin of Species by the Means of Natural Selection in which Darwin argued that variations that prove useful in the struggle for survival are selected naturally and spread through reproduction
        3. Darwin was hailed as the “Newton of biology” and his findings reinforced the teachings of secularists such as Comte and Marx, who dismissed religious belief
      7. Many writers applied the theory of biological evolution to human affairs, such as Herbert Spencer, English disciple of Comte, who saw the human race driven forward by specialization and progress by the economic struggle (popular with upper class)
    3. Realism in Literature
      1. In 1868 Emile Zola, the giant of the realist movement in literature, defended his criticized first novel against charges of pornography and corruption of morals
        1. Zola’s literary manifesto articulated the key themes of realism which had emerged in the 1840s and continued to dominate Western culture and style until the 1890s
        2. Realist writers believed that literature should depict life exactly as it was; they deserted poetry for prose and emotional viewpoint for scientific objectivity
      2. The major realist writers focused their power of observation on contemporary everyday life and began with a dissection of the middle classes from which, many realists eventually focused on the working classes (urban working classes)
      3. Unlike the romantics, realists were strict determinists and believed that heredity and environment determined human behavior; good and evil were just social conventions
      4. The realist movement began in France, where romanticism had never been dominant and three of its greatest practitioners, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola were French
        1. Honore de Balzac wrote The Human Comedy, portraying more than two thousand characters from all sectors of French society struggling for wealth and power; in Le Pere Goriot, a poor student surrenders his idealistic integrity to greed
        2. Madame Bovary, the work of Gustave Flaubert, tells the ordinary story of a frustrated middle-class housewife who has an adulterous love affair and is betrayed by her lover; Flaubert portrays middle class as petty and hypocritical
        3. Zola is most famous for his seamy, animalistic view of working-class life and like many later realists, Zola sympathized with socialism, evident in Germinal
      5. Realism spread quickly beyond France
        1. In England, Mary Ann Evans, under the pen name George Eliot, wrote Middle-march: A study of Provincial Life that examines the ways in which people are shaped by their social medium as well as their own inner conflicts and morals
        2. Thomas Hardy was more in the Zola tradition and his novels, “Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Return of the Native, depict men and women frustrated by fate
        3. The greatest Russian realist, Count Leo Tolstoy combined realism in description and character development with an atypical moralizing; his greatest work was War and Peace, a novel set against Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and Tolstoy probed deeply into the lives of a multitude of unforgettable characters
        4. Tolstoy developed his fatalistic theory of history and his central message was one of human love, trust, and everyday family ties are life’s enduring values
      6. Thoroughgoing realism (“naturalism”) arrived late in the United States and appeared in the work of Theodore Dreiser and his work, Sister Carrie, a story of an ordinary farm girl who does well going wrong in Chicago
      7. The United States became a bastion of literary realism in the twentieth century after the movement had faded away in Europe

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Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 24: Life in the Changing Urban Society" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 04 Jan. 2014. Web. 13 Jul. 2024. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/european-history/outlines/chapter-24-life-in-the-changing-urban/>.