Week 4 Discussion Prompt: Slavery and Labor Power

Part 1: Chapter 4 of Origins of the Modern World gives an historical account of European industrialization. In what ways were colonialism and slavery central to these processes of industrialization? How can we connect this history to the articles by Coates and Wiencek?

Part 2:  In this opening section of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels also give an account of industrialization. What do they mean by “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” and how are these concepts  central to their description of industrialization?

74 thoughts on “Week 4 Discussion Prompt: Slavery and Labor Power”

  1. Part 1: Chapter 4 of Origins of the Modern World gives an historical account of European industrialization. In what ways were colonialism and slavery central to these processes of industrialization? How can we connect this history to the articles by Coates and Wiencek?

    Colonialism and slavery was central to the process of industrialization because of the need for labor and land to keep up with the demands. Britain imported hundreds of thousands of pounds of raw cotton from its colonies in the New World, which was pivotal in the process of industrialization. Marks further explains, “The point is this: without coal or colonies, the dynamics of the biological old regime would have forced Britons to devote more and more of their land and labor to food production, further constraining resources for industrial production and snuffing out any hope for an industrial revolution, much as what happened to China in the nineteenth century”. (111) The demand for labor was needed, cheap labor to be exact. Slaves were used to work the land to keep up with the economical demand for raw resources such as cotton. We can connect this history to the articles by Coates and Wieneck, Wieneck explains how slaves were used to keep up with the industrialization in America. Jefferson owned over 600 slaves and even trained his slaves from childhood until they were adults. He started working children to work on the tobacco plantations, nail factory for the boys, and spinning and weaving operations for the girls. Slaves were not paid but were able to move up in the hierarchy of slaves and sometimes given double the food ration if they were nailers, only white boys were paid. Jefferson was only successful because of the slaves who produced profit, Jefferson states, “a nailery which I have established with my own negro boys now provides completely for the maintenance of my family.” (Wienick, 5) Coates goes on to explain that as life span increased in the colony, plantation owners found slaves to be an efficient source of cheap labor. Although there were poor white people who worked the land, African slaves were fit for “maximum exploitation” and capable of minimal resistance.

    Part 2: In this opening section of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels also give an account of industrialization. What do they mean by “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” and how are these concepts central to their description of industrialization?

    The Communist Manifesto which was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels gives an account of industrialization, they introduce the concept of “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat”. The working class, proletariat, are fighting the class struggle against the bourgeois, which are the owners. These concepts are central to the description of industrialization because industrialization created a social hierarchy and structure between the rich and the poor. The reason in which bourgeois existed and exploited the proletariat with low wages was because they had private property. During that time period there was a need for labor because of the available resources that needed to be exported, and the bourgeois used this opportunity to exploit the proletariat with low wages.

    1. Sharon I enjoyed reading your post and thought you did a good job of explaining the main points of the readings we had this week. I also found that your use of quotes help strengthen your description. Your description for part 2 was similar to mine, in you making the point that the bourgeois exploit the proletariat.

    2. I enjoyed reading your comments, what intrigues me was how Jefferson was able to exploit so many individuals without up risings. The slaves easily out numbered the white exploiters, but i guess his method of brain washing the children and incentives to work hard prevented that.

    3. Hi Sharon!
      I enjoyed reading you post I like how you cited a reading from the book to make your post stronger. I agree with you that if it wasn’t for the slaves the revolution would not have happened. Good job!

    4. I enjoyed reading your post and thought you looked at the right aspects on the main parts of our prompt. I liked how you concentrated some parts of Wieneck’s article that brought to light somethings that I did not think about until I read your post. I thought it was specifically interesting how you referred to the slave hierarchy as a sort of payment method, because now that I have thought about it, I definitely agree with you.

    5. Sharon,
      You provided a good explanation of European industrialization and its connection to the articles by Coates and Wiencek. However, one point in your response caught my attention where you stated, “Jefferson was only successful because of the slaves who produced profit”. Although, there is no doubt about the fact that Jefferson made a significant profit out of his slaves, do you think that slavery was the only reason for his success?

    6. Hi Sharon,
      I really liked your post, you were very detailed. I am glad you pointed out the fact that Jefferson owned more than 600 slaves. I was very shocked with this number as well. When reading the article it was really sad that Jefferson had started putting young kids as young as 10 to work in nail production, so they can earn him money.

      1. Hi Sharon,
        It was a very detailed post. I agree with you that bourgeois exploited the proletariat with low wages because they needed labor for the available resources to be exported.

  2. Part One

    Marks’ argues that without colonies and coal, England’s Industrial Revolution could not have occurred. However, this economic dynamism was dependent on the “ghost acres” (of the American Colonies) and slave-produced cheap cotton for its survival. England needed the US for two reasons: both as an exporter of cheap cotton but also a large market for English goods like the finished cotton textiles, wine, tea, etc.

    Coates’ article is really interesting when taken together with Marks because he stresses the financial importance of slaves to the early US. He names slaves as the largest financial investment and asset in the colonies other than the land itself. This is important because not only did slavery allow cotton to be produced cheaply enough to fuel England’s industrialization, it also provided the US with enough revenue to declare and sustain autonomy from England.

    The Wiencek article is interesting because it provides another side to this story. Although Thomas Jefferson declared his desire for both Monticello and the nation to be as self-sufficient as possible, his taste for imports necessitated cash for trade purposes (as well as for taxes). Thus why the nailery and the unbelievable cruelty required to keep it running as efficiently as possible were financial necessities for Jefferson. What is incredibly upsetting about reading this article in tandem with Marx is that Jefferson’s ideals that he is so well known for were clearly not deep held positions. They were at least not as dear to him as the money that could be produced from his extensive plantation and slave holdings.

    Part Two
    Marx and Engels define the bourgeoisie as a mercantile class that began with the burghers, the first town inhabitants. As feudalism progressed, this class became a full blown autonomous merchant class. By the Industrial Revolution, this class has become “the leaders of whole industrial armies.” They define the proletariat as the class of laborers who are dependent on that labor to survive but are only valued as much as they add to the capital of the business.

    These concepts are central to their depiction of industrialization because without a cheap labor source to exploit, the industrialization couldn’t happen. Marx also raises the point that because the industrialization was encouraged with the production and exploitation of new technologies, the worker is thus valued less. This point really stood out to me because after reading Marks’ comment that although workers in India and China were paid less, the cost of living was so much cheaper than in the UK and that was why India held the comparative advantage in cotton for so long. To see this system of Indian workers producing cotton and still earning a decent living versus the terrible conditions that overtook the British cotton mills just seemed to fit right in with Marx and Engels’ thoughts on industrialization.

    1. I agree that since the bourgeoisie had to improve their instruments of the production, the labor of proletariat became less important and this made proletariat to compete for work which made the labor to be cheap. This certainly allowed the industrialization and made the exploitation of cheap labor possible.

    2. I enjoyed reading your post and thought you shed light on aspects that I did not particularly go in depth with. I thought it was interesting, and very true, that Jefferson was particularly only concentrated on the money made rather than the people (whipping for example). I also liked how you directly compared the Manifest with Marks’ words. It gave me a clear overall summary of the two works in relation to each other.

    3. I think you did a good job of teasing out meaning out of these articles that a lot of us may have otherwise overlooked – and you are able to summarize them very succinctly. Your conclusion on Marks and Engels thoughts on industrialization, and the comparisons of the cotton industry in India, Britain, and China was insightful as well I thought.

    4. I agree. Europes success was piggybacked because of the U.S. The slave trade is what really threw the early U.S. into high gear. It’s unfortunate that it all happened that way, its a dark past.

  3. Industrialization in European countries and the United States relied on colonialism and slavery to move the process rapidly. Colonialism was essential to industrialization because it allowed the industrializing nations to specialize on manufacturing. The natural resources that would be manufactured comes from the colonies directly to the mainland. These natural resources then are used either to aid the manufacturing process or to replace the food lost due to people who are working in factories instead of farming. Slavery is also essential to the industrialization process because it gave the colonies free labor to extract the raw materials. Since slaves did not need to be paid and cost the owners very little to keep, the financial gains made were used to continue the mercantile system. This connects to Coates and Wiencek articles because they discuss the prevalence of slavery in the United States during the Industrial revolution. Despite the common belief that Thomas Jefferson was completely against slavery, Jefferson used slaves to work on his plantation to profit from his land. This is important to know because it confirms the truth behind one of the United States founding fathers past with slavery and the importance of slavery during the United States industrialization. The second article describes the difficulties that former slaves had in regards to obtaining reparations, including some opposition that they faced. As depicted by this article, many people in the United States were very accepting of the slave culture, even to the point where some people believed that slavery did African Americans a favor for “civilizing” them.
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto during the industrialization period and were very critical of it. The proletariat, according to Marx and Engels, are the working class citizens who the bourgeoisie (upper-class) oppressed and exploited for profit. Marx and Engels believe that the proletariat will revolt against the bourgeoisie to create the communist state, where. These two classes are very similar to the European industrialization economy since they both describe a hierarchical society that has two social groups, the oppressor and the oppressed. The proletariat and the colonized people both are exploited by paying low to no wages for hard labor to create the maximum profit. The colonists and bourgeoisie both profited from the materials created or extracted from their counter parts through a market-driven society. Similarly, the most of the colonized people eventually rebelled and gained their freedom, though most did not enter the communist state like Marx and Engels would have predicted.

    1. Mathew I think you did a good job with your description of industrialization and how it connects to the Coates and Wiencek articles. I also liked the comparison you make of the proletariat and the colonized people and how they both faced exploitation. And then the colonist and bourgeoisie.

    2. I thought you had a great answer for the reading questions! It was interesting that historians decided to leave out the truth about Jefferson. Jefferson realized that slaves could be used as loans and were a “financial” asset. As sad as it is it’s true that the backbone of our nation was built on slavery, and we try to bury and erase that part from our history. From what we learned in class almost all of our founding fathers owned slaves, including George Mason. What surprises me is that although United States was built on the idea of freedom, slaves were exempt from it and were not even given freedom after their masters passed away.

    3. I thought your summary and concepts were really clear and concise. The only question I have that your reading brought to my mind is the argument between whether the process of industrialization was moved more quickly by slaves as you said, vs. the argument that the industrialization would have never had occurred at all at the it did without slaves. . . perhaps without them, it would have occurred at a delayed rate, at a later time – with the later working class proletariat to exploit. Perhaps there would have been less value in colonizing America, and everything we know today would be different . . .

    4. The way they described the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat isn’t much different in what we see today. Bottom hard workers get low wages while the ‘vision seekers’ get all the big bucks! Nice write up!

      1. It was a very clear response, I agree that the colonists and bourgeoisie both profited from the materials created or extracted from their counter parts through a market-driven society. It benefits both sides minus the colonists have less rights.

  4. Part 1:
    Colonialism and slavery proved to be essential to the beginnings and successes of industrialization. As highlighted in chapter 4 these two factors were what set the West apart from their other competitors during this time, i.e. India or China. Because Colonialism provided more land to clear and use for means of industry it gave the West more resources to work with. Slavery, especially after events like the Great Dying, provided very cheap labor, since slaves only cost the bare minimum to be kept alive to work. This can be related to the articles by Coates and Wiencek because it is clear proof that industrialization relied heavily upon the use of slavery. Without the use of slave labor industrialization just could not have taken place as productively as it did. As was seen in China, when a society must rely solely on its own people for production means it oftentimes becomes a lot more challenging to produce beyond the nations own needs. Wiencek’s article is a good example of just how heavily slaves were relied upon. It was so drastic that Thomas Jefferson’s discovery that he made a yearly 4% profit from his slaves having children was enough to make him supposedly abandon his fight for abolishing slavery. And even though he himself was an advocate of freedom to all, his whole lifestyle depended desperately on the work of slaves. Coates also notes that despite all of the exploitation and injustices that were faced by slaves even after they were freed they faced more and were not provided with any reparations.
    Part 2:
    The “proletariat” was described as the new working class of laborers who depended largely on their ability to find work and because of this were subject to the market. This means that their value lies in their ability to work and find work. The “bourgeoisie” in contrast makes up the part of society that owns the means of production (i.e. factories that the proletariat would work in). These concepts are essential to the description of industrialization because the bourgeoisie as the wealthier upper class use the proletariat class as a means to an end. This makes a social structure where one exploits the other simply because they have the ability to; “the strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must”.

    1. I think your example of the hardship China faced while trying to match the production of the rest of the world while only using its own people is a very interesting one, as makes you wonder how strong the US would have been if it had either not used slave labor, or had ended the practice of slavery much early than the 1860’s.

    2. Hi Kseniya, I think you did a great job on making connection between the theories and examples, esplecially you mentioned China. From a Chinese perspective, although there were many internal political problems attributing to the fall of China, closing the international market is still regarded as a main factor causing the situation.

  5. Marks remarks at the end of the chapter that if China or Japan had colonies and access to coal perhaps history would have been different. Britain’s rise to power was contingent on their colonies, the deposits of coal conveniently located near London, the development of technologies like the cotton gin, and other events happening to other civilizations in Asia. “Britain’s New World colonies provided additional ghost acres beyond its borders that allowed the first part of the story of industrialization,” (111) Britain being a small country, it needed colonies like those in the new world and in India to help produce commodities, to make money, and to support a growing population. The triangular trade allowed the country to receive lots of products from the new world, while making the new world dependent on Britain’s exports which resulted in more money for the country. The last point of the triangle was Africa where Britain got slaves to work in the new world for free, allowing the country to save money on the cost of production. “Slavery, mercantilist colonial legislation, and then expansion of cotton plantations in the American South after independence created a very large market for British cotton textiles” (108)
    Slaves were not only laborers, but were also thought of as commodities as shown in the article, “The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson,” by Wiencek. Jefferson realized that he made a 4% profit every year on the birth of slave children; it was about this time that he changed his opinion of abolishment of slavery. This laid the foundation for slavery to become more than just laborers, but also human capita. Before the civil war, the value of slaves in the country was the second highest out of any commodity which just goes to show how much slaves added to the overall wealth of the nation, and Britain before it. In the article, “The Case for Reparations,” the author Ta-Nehisi Coates, talks about how after slaves were free they fought for the idea that they were owed reparations for their work, “In 1860, slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America’s manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together.” (3) For all of the technological advancements made, it would seem that slavery of Africans was one of the biggest if not the biggest factor for the West’s rise to power. However, was it just African’s who were slaves, or were the common people slaves in their own right to those in power?

    Marxism is the belief that society is characterized by a constant class struggle, which has resulted in two classes, the bourgeoisie, and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie class owns the means of production, and the proletariat is the working class who are subjected to the rule of the bourgeoisie. “It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation,” free trade is free for those in power, but have resulted in those of the working class to become commodities in themselves that fight for employment and who can be seen as expendable. Marx argues that the bourgeoisie continuously revolutionizes the means of production, in the sense of industrialization; this was an evolution in the means of increasing their power at the expense of the working class. Marks makes the point in his book that the rise of Britain’s cotton industry resulted in a decline in India’s, in essence a de-industrialization, which allowed them to be easily controlled by Britain to further their goals at the cost of India’s. A similar case can been seen in the new world which eventually resulted in the American Revolution which was arguably so Americans could be free or so the “American bourgeoisie,” could be free from the British bourgeoisie and start their own order in America.
    “No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc,” Marx believes that industrialism and capitalism has resulted in an endless cycle of exploitation in which the proletariat is commoditized in order to get work and with the money they earn from the work from the individual bourgeoisie they use it to pay for the cost of living to other individual bourgeoisie. While they may have freedoms that slaves did not, at their essence they are slaves to the industrial order that has been established by the bourgeoisie. Marxism argues that the working class must revolt against the bourgeoisie and capitalism and transcend to the final stage of human government, communism. This brings to mind the question, was industrialization only possible through this form of class struggle and exploitation, or could this technological progress have been made with a system like communism?

    1. My answer to your question is that from my understanding so far, industrialization was sparked by the increase in demand, the growth of markets, and the manufacturing output was too slow. So they created more factories and needed to employ more workers so they had to pay them low wages. They did that to keep up with the booming industries and continually expand. Also the class struggle rose out of the feudal system and just became simpler with just the middle class taking advantage of the increase in demand.

    2. I really like your analysis on Karl Marx’s thoughts on Commodities and labor, products that consumers in the early capitalist economies focused on. Your response about Thomas Jefferson parallel my own in many ways. I knew he was a slave owner, but I was not aware of the true extent of it.

    3. Hey Ryan,
      I really liked your analysis and appreciated how much time you spent drawing connections between slavery and the working class. In my mind, industrialization could have been achieved through another system but it could not have happened as rapidly. Some aspects of the abhorrent working conditions of this period were going to happen regardless (environmental degradation, unsafe work environments) but I don’t think that low wages was a necessity for this system to function.
      Your clear understanding of the Marx piece was really insightful!

    4. The economic principles championed by Marxism are fundamentally flawed in many areas including notions of price, production, and markets. Industrialization would have been severely stunted under such a system for a multitude of reasons. Take the economic notion of entrepreneurship as an example. An entrepreneur is able to find better ways of meeting the needs of a market for a good or service through the hope of gaining profit and by using subjective prices as an indicator to find an area of potential. Marxism states that prices are objective and that profit is the result of exploitation by the bourgeoisie. This would stunt the ability of entrepreneurs to make allocation of resources more efficient, significantly slowing progress.

    5. Hi Ryan, your question interests me a lot. In my opinion, I think that each idea has its own way to pass with different characteristics. For example, Chinese communist party is implementing a “mixed regimes”, which means having a capitalist economy while having socialism in politics.

  6. Marks described slavery and colonialism as playing a crucial role in the process of industrialization, because the product they were producing was in high demands. Europeans (British) were able to “import hundreds of thousands of pounds of raw cotton to the United States” (111). Due to the vast amount of importation of the goods came along the slaves, who were brought to the United States or the “new world” to work. Slavery was cheap, fast, as well as efficient for the Europeans to meet the demand for the production of cotton. Since the demand was so high and the more and more markets began to emerge, slavery played a pivotal role in the growth of colonialism. The articles by Coates and Wieneck can be connected to this history because as per Wieneck that slaves were the reason for why the industrialization was booming. He also stated that Jefferson “owned over 600 slaves”, and many of them were started as a young kid and worked all the way through their adulthood until they died. Coates states once the agriculture and the industrial started to rise, having slaves in the plantation was the cheapest way to produce goods in the market, and they needed to be taken advantage of as much as possible. Slaves were not paid well; they were not given proper housing food or shelter. They worked until they died and the had zero freedom. So because of that the production and labor was very cheap, and the owners profited from the hard work of their slaves.

    The Communist Manifesto by Friedrich Engles and Karlx Marx give an account of industrialization. In there they introduce the concept “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat”. The bourgeoisie are the owners and the proletariats are the working classes. These two concepts are introduced in the account of industrialization because higher class/lower class, rich and poor were all created at his time. Social hierarchy became very important. Due to this concept of bourgeoisie and proletariat, the hierarchy system was formed. Those that were in the working class were given lower wages, worked in terrible condition, and had very limited opportunities to grow as well as freedom to better themselves.

    1. I was very surprised by the number of slaves that Jefferson owned. I think the formula that Jefferson came up with which is that one slave would equal four percent of profit mainly contributed to changing Jefferson’s mind. I think this shows how weak human beings are when it comes to money and profit.

    2. Hi!
      I’m not sure why he owned so many slaves if all along he was against slavery. I did like how he “raised” his slaves from birth to adulthood and he trained them. i do think if we didn’t have slaves the revolution would not of happened. I do not agree with how they were treated no money, not getting treated right etc. good post enjoyed reading it!

    3. Hello there! I enjoyed reading your post,the part about the slaves is sad but true,I was getting really depressed reading how they lived back then and how they were treated however this fact is vital information that everyone must know.I am so glad this is not happening anymore.

    4. It’s sad that slave owners thrived during this time period while slaves didn’t benefit at all. Thomas Jefferson owned 600 slaves and worked them since they were children until they died, and made it seem almost as if they weren’t there. His wealth was dependent on his slaves, which correlates to Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Proletariats worked while the Bourgeoise reaped the benefits, which resulted in the gap between the rich and the poor.

    5. Alisha,
      I enjoyed reading your post and respectfully disagree with the statement of “These two concepts are introduced in the account of industrialization because higher class/lower class, rich and poor were all created at his time.” I believe different social classes existed before industrialization. Think about Persian Empire, Roman Empire, and Egyptian Empire as a few examples of ancient societies with higher-class citizens (kings and the royal family) and lower-class citizens (workers and slaves).

    6. Hi Alisha,
      I really like your analysis. I think you connected Mark’s chapter with the Weincek and Coates articles really well and by you providing the number of slaves, it really was eye opening to be reminded of that fact and reading the other points you made in your analysis.

  7. During the seventeenth century, the English imported large amount of cotton from India because it had high quality and it was cheaper to buy from India than to produce it on homeland. Due to efficient agriculture in India, the living costs were much lower and it allowed India to have comparative advantage over English. On the other hand, the agriculture in England was not as efficient in India and it led to higher living costs due to higher food prices. As a result, English were at a comparative disadvantage. However, this course of event changes as Britain makes Americas into colonies and brings slaves into the Americas to work for cash crops.

    Due to slavery and mercantilist colonial legislation in the New World, Britain was able to grow and establish Manchester as a center of cotton textile manufacturer. In the New World, there were many plantations where slaves worked to produce raw materials. The colonial legislation made sure that the New World would only produce the raw materials and these raw materials would be sent to England to be made into industrial products. Thus, the New World was the source of cheap raw materials for the British which allowed Britain to convert the course of comparative disadvantage to comparative advantage. Moreover, New World needed food and clothes as they did not produce fish and grain and there were many slaves to feed and clothe. Therefore, the New World became the growing market for British where they could export their products. Along with these two factors, the invention of cotton gin allowed American cotton to become cheaper and steam power and coal enabled British to out-compete the Indian textile with lower prices. Thus, it can be said that colonialism and slavery were central to the processes of industrialization in Europe.

    The first article, “The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson” by Henry Wiencek illustrates how Jefferson took advantage of slaves and how they were the central part of his wealth. Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and it is true that he first opposed slavery. However, he becomes the master of slaves and is known that he owned more than 600 slaves in his lifetime. He turns his back on antislavery as he comes up with a formula that said one slave would equal four percent of profit and even advised others to invest on slaves. Jefferson made his entire annual grocery costs with the two months of nailery production by enslaved boys aged from 10 to 16. Thus, it can be seen that as the British had gained wealth by their colonies, the whites in the New World earned their profits through slavery. The second article, “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about the sad history of slavery and the difficulties in reparation of slaves. In the New World, there was boundless land while there was not enough cheap labor. As a result, many slaves were exploited to work until they died. However, after they have been freed, they faced many difficulties and were at disadvantage even if many whites had gained their wealth through exploiting them.

    Marx and Engels contend that there are two distinct classes in society which are the bourgeoisie and proletariat. Bourgeoisie is the upper class who controls the production and employs laborers to work for them. On the other hand, proletariat is the lower class who has no controls over the production and work as a laborer for the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie must revolutionize their instruments in order to increase their efficiency of their production. With these developed instruments, the labor of proletariat becomes useless and they continuously compete to get the work. Thus, the bourgeoisie who develops the production instruments and proletariat who competes for the job allowed the industrialization of the modern world with continuous innovations and cheap labor.

    1. I enjoyed the conclusion you came to in your discussion of the relationship between English industrialization and American industrialization. Just as the colonies served as boost to industrialization in Great Britain, so too did slavery serve as a boost in the United States. It makes you wonder if exploitation breeds exploitation, and if the colonized will always seek to become the colonizers if given the opportunity.

    2. I liked reading your discussion about how Great Britain looked to industrialize and expand its colonial holdings to help better compete economically, such as against Indian textiles, and yet in a few decades following that, Great Britain would start to rapidly colonize India itself. It makes you wonder if they did that both as a means to open new markets, but also to end competition to their own economic products.

    3. Hi Julia,
      I really like your analysis and how you summarized in your own words each article and chapter. I also agree that it can be concluded that slavery and colonialism were key to the processes of industrialization in Europe, which is what I also wrote in my analysis.

  8. The Industrial Revolution in Europe especially for Britain occurred with the reliance on colonies and slave labor. They used their coal extraction to enhance their capabilities in industrialization through steam power and enhanced military might. They also were able to use slaves to capitalize on cotton production and export it to Europe to be used in textile factories. In return Europe exported a lot of finished goods to the New World. The colonies were essential in extorting resources such as slaves from their homelands and forcing them to produce cotton and other raw materials in demand. Without slave labor and colonies to provide a cheap and efficient extraction of resource the industrialization probably wouldn’t have progressed at the pace it did. The history in Marks book directly relates to what Coates and Wiencek says in his book in regard to the processes of industrialization. Wiencek describes the manner in which Jefferson embraced slaves to empower the colonies and grow his businesses. He had over 600 slaves and promoted the use of them as a lucrative investment. He raised slave children to work in all aspects of his businesses from tobacco, nails, and cotton. Basically he created an efficient slave assembly line that would do whatever he said and at the pace he set without up rise. Coates also talks about the expansive use of slave labor, which became even larger in numbers as more slaves were imported to the colonies. As the colonies grew and began to become more sophisticated slaves were the cheapest and easily exploited form of efficient labor. All production became reliant on slaves and without them the colonies and Europe would have been different.

    The Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels highlights the simpler hierarchy, which came with the industrial revolution. The bourgeoisie are the rich and powerful, the “industrial millionaires” who rose to command the proletariat. The proletariat is the product of increased demand and market growths, the bourgeoisie created this class by paying them low wages and oppressing them because of their low worth. They basically created the idea that everyone should focus on their self worth and established wage positions that are the proletariats. These ideas created a split between what we would call today the rich and the poor. Industrialization was sparked by high demand and the growth of markets, manufacturing just couldn’t keep up so more factories were built and more people were employed. But they couldn’t pay all these people a lot of money as their businesses grew so they were paid low wages and were replaceable. Industrialization relied on continually expanding and innovating their processes for greater consumption and production without such mindsets they would die out. Which is why they expanded to other countries and promoted their capitalistic views to colonies to expand their corporations. The bourgeoisie massed wealth and power over the poor; the exploited proletariat’s maintained a simple living on low wages and relied on the rich.

  9. As the industrialization took place, it soon brought colonialism and slavery with it. Origins of the Modern World tells us that rich countries like England were looking for the countries that have earned great success from industrialization to colonize them and earn profit. Two main regions would be India and Americas. Moreover, countries also got into fights over colonizing regions, such as England fighting with Dutch and French in East and West Indies. With the increased technology and demand for the products, more labor was needed. This need was fulfilled by making African people slaves. With triangular trade, slaves from Africa were brought to Americas to work in the plantation and also with the new technology.

    The history that we studied in Origins of the Modern World can be connected to these articles. In order to fulfill the need of labor due to industrial revolution, slaves were brought from Africa. These slaves were treated harshly and were given brutal punishments, some examples of these punishments can be found in Wienceck’s article. As mentioned in the article, for example, a boy’s head was smashed to terrify the other children to work and “behave.” If the slaves will stop working, then the process of industrialization will stop and the owners will not be able to earn profit. Moreover, this article tells us that even our great leaders were not able to separate themselves being owners of the slaves, even if they said that everyone is created equally. In addition, Coates’ article talks about the reparations for the slaves or their families. The policy makers find it hard to make such reparations because there are not any clear standards as to who should be receiving and how much should be paid. The fact that harsh slavery during the industrial revolution should not be ignored and the relatives of or the people themselves should be given reparations.

    Bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production. This group has played a great role in the popularity and the advancement of the industrialization. Expanding market is their main goal which flourished with the growth of industrialization. They have divided the states; however, states are still bound together with different interests, yet under same law. Furthermore, they are responsible for the great increase in the urban population because they want people to come work for them in cities, in order to keep the factories working. Moreover, they support free trade.

    On the other hand, Proletariat is the working class or labor used by the Bourgeoisie. In the section, this class is also called as slaves of Bourgeoisie. Before the industrialization, this class had variety of jobs and did not only specialize in one aspect of the job. However, with the industrialization, Proletariats are only doing a one part of the job and the other parts of the job are done by the other labor. They are hourly paid employees for doing a one job over and over that becomes meaning less. Additionally, this class protests against Bourgeoisie and against this meaning less work with terrible conditions of work and low pay rate.

  10. As discussed by Marks in Chapter 4, colonialism and slavery were huge factors in allowing European countries, specifically Britain in Marks’ example, to industrialize, as they offered the raw materials and cheap labor needed by European powers to successfully set out on the road of industrialization. As Marks discusses, Britain most likely would not have been able to industrialize if it did not have the vast colonial holdings that it did, as the lack of land in Britain would not have been able to produce the raw materials necessary to make industrializing a profitable endeavor. With the ability to use lands in their colonies, such as America, as “ghost acres” as Marks puts it (111), the British were able to cheaply import raw materials, thus giving British manufacturers an economic incentive to seek to industrialize. As Marks discusses, the rising cost of labor in Britain, and the competition of cheap textile goods from places like India, led British manufacturers as seeing industrialization as the only way to undercut these cheap prices while still making money, and the raw materials from the colonies made this only more of a sound strategy (100). Slave labor was also key to the raw materials being produced in the colonies, as they provided colonists with an in a sense “free” labor source, allowing the raw materials to be produced and shipped out more cheaply, adding to the monetary incentive to industrialize. We can thus connect this history to the articles by Coates and Wiencek, because in both articles, the authors discuss the impacts that slavery had on the American economy and exportation of raw goods, because it was almost solely through the work of those slave laborers that American farmers were able to grow and produce the excessive quantities of raw materials that they did, and for such a cheap price. This “free” labor was thus such a huge economic incentive to keep around, that even thinkers and politicians such as Jefferson did not argue against slavery while even at the same time arguing for the rights and freedoms of the American colonist, as slavery was seen as too entrenched and too economically important for America for it to be wiped out or gotten rid of.
    In the Communist Manifesto, Marks and Engels discuss their view of the industrialized society, and how the class levels need to be shifted in favor of the hard working proletariat over the corrupt and rich bourgeoisie class. The terms “proletariat” and “bourgeoisie”, as discussed by Marks and Engels, are the two classes that exist in the industrialized society, with the proletariat the working class and the bourgeoisie the owners of the means of production. In their view of industrialization, the bourgeoisie makes their money off of the hard work of the proletariat, while doing none of their own, and only because they have been lucky enough to own the means of production necessary for industrialization. In Marks and Engels view, the proletariat should share in the wealth earned, as it is through their work that any money is made, not through anything that the bourgeoisie does.

    1. I liked how you brought up how, “slavery was seen as too entrenched and too economically important for America for it to be wiped out or gotten rid of,” I think this is an important aspect when analyzing the use of slavery. Some people like to use the excuse that they had to have slavery because the economy was dependent on, however the economy only ever became dependent on it because they started slavery. It was this narrow minded belief that allowed slavery to continue for as long as it did, and when slavery finally ended the U.S. economy did not completely collapse. This justification of poor economic practices by saying that they are necessary for success still goes on today in many different companies in different forms, example, minimum wage, its something like one in four jobs in America get paid under 10 dollars an hour, where as higher jobs get paid 6 to 7 digits a year.

  11. In chapter four of Robert Marks’ Origin of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century, Marks discusses how the Industrial Revolution surpassed the agricultural revolution. He also discusses how Europe’s textile manufacturers was nowhere near India and China’s textile manufacturers—India and China were known to sell high quality silk and calicoes for a cheaper price than what Europe could produce, which led to Britain to create their own market in where they could sell their goods while having a source of raw materials that would cost cheaper. In order for it to work, Britain needed unlimited land—their colonies in the Americas helped with this. With the unlimited land, they needed people that would work hard for cheap, in where they acquired and bought slaves from Africa that were taken to the New World to produce “sugar, tobacco, raw cotton [cheaply, that] were taken back to England” (Marks 100). The triangular trade and textiles powered the British shipping and market. Not only that,but with Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin, it enabled them to “use short-staple and much cheaper American cotton” (Marks 100). The development of the “…coal-fueled steam engine… further revolutionized cotton textile production” (Marks 101) in which led the products to cost cheaper that could eventually “undersell Indian textiles, not just in Africa but… in India as well” (Marks 101) giving Britain an advantage over India. This connects to Henry Wiencek’s “The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson” and to Ta-Nehisi Coates “The Case of Reparations” because according to Wiencek, Thomas Jefferson made profit from reproduction of slaves, not only that but he also monetized slaves in order to build Montello—thus can be seen as well during the Industrialization era in Europe, mainly in Britain, with accounts of the triangular trade and slave trade; they bought and sold slaves in order to make money and to have cheap labor. Though, Thomas Jefferson may have a few white workers, he had a majority of African slaves that were also paid less for hard labor. According to Coates, he argues that slaves worked hard and barely got less to none in return and how they faced injustices socially, economically and politically throughout the years.

    In the first chapter of Karl Marx and Frederich Engel’s Communist Manifesto, they state that throughout the years social history were struggles between the different social classes that were present at the time. According to Marx and Engel, during the modern industrial period there were two momentous social classes known as the: Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat—the modern Bourgeoisie society also known as the modern class of capitalists, owned the means of production, such as land, resources and factories; they employed labor workers to work in their factories and land. They simply made money from the Proletariats who worked for them. The Bourgeoisie “…constantly revolutionize[d] the instruments of production” (Marx and Engel 8). They also created cities that increased the urban population greatly compared to rural cities, creating “…massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.” (Mark and Engel 5). On page seven, the Proletariats were classified as the “modern working class” who were part of the lower middle class such as “small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants” they worked for wages in order to survive because the skills they were specialized with was no match with the new methods of productions. They were employed by the Bourgeoisie to work extensively using machinery to produce goods that would benefit the Bourgeoisie and the economy. The concept of having two distinct social classes such as the Bourgeoisie and the Proletarians are central to Marx and Engel’s description of industrialization because it can be seen that during the industrial period, the wealthy capitalists (the Bourgeoisie) ruthlessly exploited their labor workers (the Proletarians)—the goods that they produced were sold for more than the amount of money they earn, thus benefiting the Bourgeoisie greatly, making them wealthier, leaving the poor even poorer.

    1. Your argument perfectly ties with the Jefferson articles and the main idea that slave labor is a market in and of itself. I also appreciated that you clarified in part two by defining aspect of Marx’s perspective that he views it as a social context, and how he attributes commodity value to labor.

    2. I like your description and use of quotes about the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat – it’s very clear. I’m currently at the stage where I don’t have a concrete opinion about Marxism. Certainly, I am appalled at the huge disparities in these two social classes and think it’s despicable that one class exploits the other which creates this vicious division. It seems like capitalism does not truly lead to complete equality and freedom. However, I remain conflicted over how successful alternative systems can function.

  12. Part 1: Chapter 4 of Origins of the Modern World gives an historical account of European industrialization. In what ways were colonialism and slavery central to these processes of industrialization? How can we connect this history to the articles by Coates and Wiencek?
    Part 2: In this opening section of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels also give an account of industrialization. What do they mean by “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” and how are these concepts central to their description of industrialization?
    This chapter portrays how the most advanced societies across England and China were all busy and running into similar ecological Constraints of the biological old regime. First of all, only England was the combination of factors for a particular time and place that was able to escape from the development of the biological old regime. England was able to escape by drawing upon colonial resources and funds and then applying them to steam the power to industrial production and all the tools and equipment of the war. Britain afterward used those advantages against Asians, from India to Burma and then to China, shifting the global balance of power that hitherto had been in Asia’s approval. This article is connected with “The industrial Revolution and its consequences” because they both are the important parts of historical contingency which plays a main role in the history that had been developed. Colonialism was a process of industrialization because in the modern era we have machines that working for us, but in 1800 according to the article “The Dark side of Thomas Jefferson” they shut down the market for slaves. The main reason was the machines were invented and the United States citizens took advantage of the machines. Bourgeois has established new classes, new conditions of oppression, and a new form of struggle in place of the old ones. Bourgeois and Proletariat directly oppose each other. Bourgeois is described in this article as if the manufacturing was taken by the giant, modern industry the place of the industrial millionaires the leaders of the whole industrial corporations were called modern Bourgeois. Bourgeoisie is defined as the product of a way of development of a sequences of revolution in the means of production and of replacing it. This concept of Bourgeoisie has changed into the life of physician, lawyer, Priest, poet, and Scientist in to its paid gross income. All the old conventional national industries were destroyed or they were going to be destroyed. Bourgeoisie has formed huge cities which has compare urban population with rural population. These cities were more important than they already were. On the other hand, Proletarian is the modern working class who find work as their labour increases capital. Basically, modern industry has transformed workshop of the patriarchal master into the excessive kind of industrial capitalist.

    1. Hi Fatima,
      You post was good to read. You mentioned important point from the readings. I agree with your point about the shut down of slave market, and henceforth the invention of machines came along. I suppose that is one way to repress slavery.

    2. Hello Fatima,

      Very well written Fatima. I liked how you explained about Bourgeoisie and Proletariat that how these two classes have existed in the history and are still existing in changed forms.

  13. In chapter four of Origins of the Modern World, Mark explores the depth at which colonialism and slavery played a role in industrialization. Products were produced in colonized areas as opposed to in England, For example, cotton was imported from India not only because of the quality, but also because it was cheaper to extract it from India. Without the ability to utilize the colonies, England would not have been able to industrialize at the rate in which it did. With the rising cost of labor in Britain, the country strategically extracted raw materials especially with the use of slavery. Marks highlights that slave labor played a significant role in industrialization as it enabled the production of raw materials in the colonies. As the economical demand for labor and resources grew, slave labor and utilizing colonies became more and more appealing. The articles by Coates and Wieneck support Marks in his discussion as they explain the importance of slavery for industrialization in New World. Coates discusses the economic importance of slavery for Britain, in the form of goods, and in the new world, in the form of revenue. Wieneck specifically talks about Thomas Jefferson and his financial motive to have almost 600 slaves in his lifetime. Though an advocate of the free people, Jefferson was able to financially grow and thrive through the use of slaves in the tobacco, nails, and cotton industry. Despite what his belief about free people was thought to be, he used slaves for extreme exploitation versus using poor white people who were still paid a minimum amount. Additionally, as the colonies grew in size and the more slaves were brought to America, slave labor became more readily available and further helped the growth of England and the colonies.

    The Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels discusses the terms “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” in respect to industrialization. Bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production. The proletariat is the working class that allows for production with low to no wages for labor. In industrialization, the bourgeoisies were those that exploited the working class for profit. The importance of these terms lies in the social hierarchy that was created through industrialization. It was essentially the rich upper class versus the poor hard working class. Marx and Engels believed this would result in revolt and create a communist state and while it did not, it pushed industrialization to a step it would not have otherwise.

    1. It’s interesting that you say that this class divide, “pushed industrialization to a step it would not have otherwise,” I’m curious if you believe that the technological innovation that we have today would have been possible in a less competitive economic system. Another way to phrase this question would be, is technological advancement a result of competition and war, or the other way around, perhaps both? If we lived in a peaceful and cooperative society would there still be the massive strives in technology that we see now?

  14. Mark states that the coal and colonies were a big reason on why the revolution happened. Basically without those two things, the revolution would not have happened. Slaves helped with the cotton which met cheap labor. The slaves did not get paid, were treated badly, and only got basic essentials they needed in order to survive if they were lucky. It did not cost the owners much money to own the slaves at all.
    Wiencek said slavery was used to keep up with the industrialization in the US. Thomas Jefferson had as many as about 600 slaves training them from birth to adulthood. The boy slaves worked in nail factories and the girl slaves worked in weaving operations. The slaves did not get paid but they could get more food if they got promoted or advanced. Thomas Jefferson’s slaves helped make him successful. Jefferson had over 100 slaves that lived on the mountain at a time and a majority of them were treated badly. Slaves helped to produce cheap cotton which helped England’s industrialization. He wrote the Declaration of Independence and it states that all men are created equal. So my question is if all men are created equal why do we have slaves working for free and being treated horribly? Coats says that slavery was an effective source of cheap labor. Slaves were a financial investment as it allowed England to produce cheap cotton. The only white people that worked on the land were the poor.
    All of those articles basically say that without cheap labor and slaves, the revolution would not have happened. It wasn’t cheap labor but in my opinion it was free labor because they did not get paid anything. The only people that got paid was white men. Due to things getting industrialized, slavery was needed because the land needed to be maintained. The labor needed to be cheap so slavery was perfect to keep up with the cotton industry.
    Proletariat are a fighting class that struggles against the bourgeoisie. The bourgeois are the owners of the land or the company. The bourgeoisie owned the land meaning that the labor was needed to pay the proletariat low wages or no wages in order to get the work done. Bourgeoisies was accompanied by a political advantage because they owned the land. They needed the production in order to survive and the proletariat needed the money so they could survive so they had no choice but to work. The industrial revolution created a social hierarchy by the rich and poor which we still follow today.

    1. Hi Sofia! I loved reading your post, especially the part towards the end.I love how direct you were about who exactly were the Bourgeoisies and Proletariat.On top of that, you pointed out the hieracrchy created by the Industrial Revolution is still followed today.I find that interesting because this is something from so long ago but we still see it today.

    2. You made an interesting point on the relationship between the slave labor and the importance of the revolution. It seems that slavery was a major part of the industrialization period. While it is a vile practice, it seems that slavery made the process of industrialization in the United States much easier. However, it the revolution probably would have been inevitable considering the progress humanity has made over the past few years in technology (though many will argue that neocolonialism is responsible for the progress).

      1. Sofia,

        Really good point about how slavery played an important role in the revolution. I do agree in that, industrialization was possible because of slavery. Slaves were seen as commodities and the slave-owners only took care of them to keep them working, it was dehumanizing and a horrible practice. Which only makes it more disappointing when we read about Jefferson owning so many slaves, when he is usually associated with being anti-slavery. Great post!

    3. Hi Sofia,
      I liked reading your post very much. It was very direct, and you provided a lot of examples. I also liked between the paragraphs, you inserted your thoughts/ opinion as well. When reading the articles I was very shocked regarding the treatment of the slaves, and how young some kids were working for Jefferson. Overall I liked your post, very easy to read and to the point.

    4. Hello Sofia,

      I liked reading your article and how you explained that slavery played a huge role in spreading the revolution and revolution was not possible with out it.

  15. Marks uses the concept of conjuncture to explain the process of industrialization, meaning that there was not a single cause for the industrial revolution. He names colonialism and slavery among some of the events that caused it. Historically speaking, Marks states that industrialization began in 18th century England with the mechanization of the process for spinning and weaving cotton threads and cloths. During that time England was also experiencing a high demand for Indian cotton (Calico) due to its high quality and cheap price. This gave India an advantage over England in the textile industry, causing England to then engage in protectionist policies, such as high tariffs on Indian cotton, in search for boosting their domestic textile industry. This is when colonialism and slavery came into play and gave them the upper hand in the industrialization process. As England colonialized land in the New World, they did not suffer the land shortages that India and China did. These newly acquired lands also gave them extra raw materials that they did not encounter in their homeland. Trading colonialist companies, such as the East India Company also played a role in this; they were charted by their governments and given monopoly rights and had their own capital to engage in trade. Slavery, gave England the upper hand because human labor was considered to be a very important economic asset. Slaves in the North American colonies were the main produces of sugar, cotton, and tobacco, which was all taken back to England. Since, they were not able to feed and/or clothe themselves, a demand for cheap cotton textiles occurred in England. The raw cotton from the New World was taken back and with the mechanization of the textile industry, the cotton textiles were made faster and cheaper. This not only allowed England, to clothe their slaves and keep them working, but also allowed them to finally compete with the Indian textile industry. Marks’ historical account can be connected to the articles by Coates and Wiencek because they both engage in the explanation of how slavery benefited those that had slaves. The Wiencek article mentions how Jefferson came up with is own formula that established the economic benefits of owning slaves and how his plantations were producing human assets. Slaves were seen commodities and not human beings, in which their owners could profit from them. Hence, the industrialization process was not only used in the raw materials they produced but also in the slaves themselves. As mentioned in the Coates article, owning slaves was seen as an aspiration by many, given them a certain social status. Much like the materials they produced, the process of selling and buying slaves was taxed and notarized, once again dehumanizing them and including them in the industrialization process.
    In the opening of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels describe the “bourgeoisie” and the “proletariat” as the main social classes in an industrialized society. The “bourgeoisie” is defined as the “the class of modern capitalists” and the “owners of the means of social production”. On the other hand, the “proletariat” is the modern day working class. These two classes can be related to the central concept of industrialization in that there is a relationship between those who work and those who reap the benefits of production. In Marx and Engel’s description in modern day society there is a newly developed form of slavery. The “proletariat” class is slaved to the work they do in order to survive and the “bourgeoisie” are the ones that reap the benefits of modern day society.

    1. Julia,
      You made good points throughout. It was interesting to read about how the West became powerful and India and China were left powerless. I think West was naturally lucky to find coal on their side of the land, and with the colonies it owned, was another factor for building its way up to boost industrialization.

    2. I like that you point out the prevalence of slavery in the “modern day society.” It is definitely an interesting perspective to view the working class and owners as those that are working as a means to survive and those that are reaping the benefits.

  16. In Robert Marks, Origin of the Modern World, in chapter 4, he explains how Europe had an industrial revolution, and how it improved the industrialization in Europe rather than in China and India. Marks points out in his earlier chapters that coal was found in Europe, which was pure accidental, and China had no coal to be found. This is one of the main reasons for the boost in industrialization because Europe, particularly Britain, had coal, and it accelerated in their industry. At this point, the Britain also had colonies, such as Hong Kong and in America, which gave them another reason to exploit them economically. They had workers to produce for them (the Britain) and the vast amount of goods were sold and traded with countries like China and India, which only profited and gave advantage to Britain’s economy and industrialization. This trading gave empowerment to Britain and hence, the trading between China, Britain, and it colonies, which was another reason for their industrial revolution. On page 107, Marks says that China was focusing his labor on agriculture rather then finding the means of an increase towards the industrial revolution. I think we can connect this reading to the two articles about Thomas Jefferson is because it showed that surprisingly, Jefferson owned more than 600 slaves, and through them he made immense profit in the nail business. He paid them less than they deserved for their hard tough labor. Or sometimes they would be paid in clothing rather than money. I think both the articles mention the same injustices that that these workers had to face while working for Jefferson, and economically they never had enough money to support their families.

    In the Manifesto of the Communist Party, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels discuss two terms, bourgeoisie and proletariat. “Bourgeoisie” is a term meaning a class of modern capitalists who are essentially the employers of wage labor. “Proletariat” is a term meaning a class of modern wage laborers. They do not have their own means of production and have to sell their own labor in order to meet the survival needs. These two concepts are vital when discussing industrialization because the bourgeoisie would have the authority to exploit the proletariat because the whole concept was that ultimately the bourgeoisie would benefit more from the means production that the proletariats would put in. For instance, if a worker earns $2 for working in a cloth factory, the capitalist then sells the cloth for $5, which means they control the means of production benefiting themselves and making a huge profit rather than the worker who put effort into producing the cloth. Therefore, the bourgeoisie makes a profit with the production that is produced.

  17. Part 1: Chapter 4 of Origins of the Modern World gives an historical account of European industrialization. In what ways were colonialism and slavery central to these processes of industrialization? How can we connect this history to the articles by Coates and Wiencek?

    Industrialization was a success in Europe due to many reasons. The cotton textile industry of India is one of those reasons. In the late 1700s, Britain was importing more Indian textiles than exporting their own textiles. India produced much finer quality textiles at a faster pace and cheaper price than Britain did. This raised concern so Britain began to raise the tariff on Indian textile imports to Britain, protectionism, to protect Britain’s own textile industry. Another reason of the success of industrialization in Europe is due to slavery. “Additional quantities of Indian textiles were traded in West Africa for slaves who were then sold in the Caribbean, (p.100)” while raw materials from the New World were being sent to England. This was the triangular trade. In other words, Britain had slaves from Africa sent to the New World to produce these raw materials that were being sent back to England. They, in return, sent the slaves basic needs like food and clothing. Another factor that made industrialization a success in Europe was Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, which made it possible to use cheaper American cotton.
    In regards to slavery, The Origins of the Modern World, discusses how slavery positively impacted British industrialization. In Weincek’s article, we learn that Thomas Jefferson made huge profit off of selling slaves and from their cheap labor to build his house, Monticello. This is what was seen within the triangular trade as well. What we do not read in detail in the chapter that we do in Weincek’s article is the white man’s brutality over the slaves. Sever beatings, flogging and dehumanizing of the slaves were seen on Thomas Jefferson’s plantation. This leads us to Coates’ article where we learn that even after slavery ended, the torture continued through terrorization and discriminating against blacks. Because of this, blacks could not get hired anywhere. Reparations for enslaved black family members were starting to be made which was a step towards justice but was nowhere near as successful as it should’ve been. Police brutality was seen against black people as well, which even today still exists in some areas of the country.

    Part 2: In this opening section of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels also give an account of industrialization. What do they mean by “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” and how are these concepts central to their description of industrialization?

    Marx and Engels mention the “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” and the opening section of the Communist Manifesto. The bourgeoisie has “simplified class antagonisms (2),” splitting up society into two: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie focuses on monetary value and cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the means of production, the relations within production, and the make-up of society as a whole (4). The proletariat is the class of wage laborers who rely on their own means of production and sell their labor power to survive. These concepts are central to industrialization because as seen the Bourgeoisie mistreated and took advantage of the proletariat for their labor and their production. The proletariat’s production only earns them a small portion of profit but they have no choice but to rely on the bourgeoisie for survival. The bourgeoisie makes great profit off of what the proletariat produces, while the bourgeoisie produces none of their own.

    1. I like your discussion of Coates’ article, where you talk about reparations and the continuing oppression of blacks through racial discrimination and police brutality. I personally believe it’s tragic that our country has failed to really address these structural injustices and come to grips with our horrific history. Hence, we see these racial injustices persisting even centuries after slavery, decades after civil rights, and years after voting in an African-American president.

    2. I agree with you that police brutality is still going on today, not only against blacks, but also other minorities. This is such a sad thing to see, one would think that as humans we could be more accepting and maybe try to ignore that preconceived judgements that we might have.

  18. Colonialism and slavery were the central parts to the process of industrialization due to the colonies abilities to produce and export more as well as the need for labor. Colonialism provided industrialized countries, Marks specifically concentrates on Britain, with the ability to produce cheap raw materials, more than Britain would have been able to produce. If Britain was not able to use its colonies to produce extra materials, they would have exhausted all of their resources, in particular reference to land, thus falling back into the biological old regime cycle and not being able to achieve the Industrialized Revolution. Slavery, specifically in the New World, was a new labor source that Britain was able to use also in the process of industrialization. African slaves were used due to the lack of migrants from Europe to the New World as well as the labor shortage that was prompted by the Great Dying (100). Britain was able to achieve profits at all three points of the triangular Atlantic slave trade, which prompted the New World to continuously export cheap raw materials while the English tried to gain a monopoly on the New World by prompting them to only consume goods from Britain (100). In connection to this history, Coates’ and Wiencek’s articles explain how much industrialization relied on slavery. In Wiencek’s article, Thomas Jefferson seemed to have created a micro-climate of industrialization within his plot of land, which showed the interworkings of industrialization on a simpler level. It shows how much slavery housed horrible conditions but was necessary to prompt industrialization. This is because slavery required almost no cost, as slaves were not paid necessarily through money but through hierarchy in the house, food, and not being whipped. In Coates’ article, he explains how slavery was needed to continuously produce at the rate of industrialization. Through the passage of time, most people in the South of the colonies wanted to continue with slavery, seeing them as less than a person with no natural rights, rather than in the North where many wanted the mentality for “all men to be considered equal” to be established. This just shows how much people relied on slavery for industrialization.
    In the Communist Manifest, bourgeoisie is meant to be referring to modern capitalists. These are the owners, the wealthy people, and the people who employ laborers. Proletariat is referring to the lower class, the laborers, and the working class. These concepts are central to their description of industrialization because they reference how the proletariat is a group that is getting exploited, just like the slaves previously mentioned. Marx and Engels are also referring to how the bourgeoisie is paying minimal whilst expecting maximum benefits. Essentially they are writing that the exploitation and oppression of one group is replaced by a new group but with the same struggles but in a different form.

    1. I like that you mentioned how the bourgeoisie class is paying minimal while expecting maximum benefits. This clearly defines the mentality and work ethic of those that are a part of this class and how it differentiates them from the proletariat or working class.

  19. The industrial revolution in Europe became successful through the economic boom from India and their textiles. India was able to create cheap land which was fertile and was able to grow cotton and other agricultural needs at a high scale. Britain was importing massive amounts of textiles from India than creating their own because it was simply cheaper. Britain’s plan was ‘low per acre yields, high priced food then relatively high wages which gave a comparative disadvantage. Whereas India and Asia had high price per acre, low priced food, relatively low wages. This advantage gave India a lot of power and thus made a lot of money through their textile exports. Britain became concerned with this approach, like all major powers they had to protect themselves, using ‘Protectionism’. Making it too expensive to import or export in dealing with India directly. Britain then began exploiting the slave trade and had produced materials in the colonial western regions and then having it sent to England. This is also how the slaves acquired their necessities. Basic things like food and clothing. Steam power was growing and machinery like the cotton gin allowed America to make textiles extremely cheaper, but also a lot faster with less man power. Slavery allowed Europe to flourish through the practical no expense of real labor.
    Connecting this to Coates and Wiencek is the horrible conditions for slaves, the beatings were bad and the discrimination was horrible. As strange as it is Thomas Jefferson who states all men are created equal used slaves on his plantation and also had they build his home. Also what we would also called a modern day human trafficking business, he would make money selling slaves and making profits for every new born. Coates explains how the injustice amongst blacks after abolishment didn’t allow them to get jobs, the discrimination was rampant along with any oversight to stop it. Marx and Engels explain the bourgeoisie as the rich and powerful, as if a modern day CEO. The other end are the Proletariat, the workers at the bottom, who fight for work and low wages. They continuously seek and find work because the industrial innovations don’t lend a hand to more of the proletariat labor. It allows for more money, more efficiency and thus, leaving the proletariat oppressed and broke. They were replaceable and without the power of money, it led them nowhere. The bourgeoisie exploited the proletariats, a similar practice we see in fortune 500 companies today unfortunately.

    1. It is amazing to me how we consider Jefferson to be a hero for freedom and individual rights when he owned as many slaves as he did and used a system that by today’s standards would be considered human trafficking and highly illegal. We had an interesting discussion in class over whether we should honor people like Jefferson and George Mason who both owned slaves and treated them horribly. I personally think that we should consider changing the name of our university, or at least have more of an acknowledgement of the way that George Mason treated his slaves, instead of ignoring reality.

    2. Hey George,
      I liked how much you connected the readings to contemporary parallels. I do wish that you had gotten into your point about England and India’s relationship a little bit more because I think that you have some unique insight there.

  20. In his historical account of European industrialization, Marks suggests that two elements proved crucial to the rapid success of Western countries; colonialism and slavery. Colonialism provided large, cheaply obtained, productive lands for the provision of resources that could be brought back to colonial powers to fuel their industrializing economies. This took resource constraints off of the colonial powers and allowed them to focus fully on industrial development as opposed to meeting other material limitations that they otherwise would have faced. The populations of colonized lands also provided markets for the products of industrialization, causing more wealth to flow from these places to their colonial rulers. Slavery served as an easily obtained, low cost labor solution that proved highly effective in cultivating colonial lands, freeing up additional labor and accelerating the pace of industrialization in the West. Thus, it is clear that industrialization in Europe would have been severely stunted if not for colonialism and slavery.
    This history can be connected to the articles of Coates and Wiencek in that they both convey how the subjugation of people through slavery or other forms of structural exploitation served as generators of great wealth for those responsible. Coates discusses how slavery developed into an economic asset in the United States as an essential source of cheap labor and as a type of investment that could be easily sold. He also explains how even after the end of slavery Americans continued to formulate policies that excluded African Americans from gaining wealth and contributed to continued exploitation. Wiencek focuses on Thomas Jefferson, one of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States who was a slave owner. Despite his history of advocating for ideals of equality of all men, the article displays how Jefferson recommended the practice of investing in African Americans as property and exploited them in industrial processes. Both of these articles illustrate that the same patterns of manipulation of slaves that allowed for European industrialization played a similar role in the post-colonial industrialization of countries such as the U.S.
    The concepts of “Bourgeoisie” and “Proletariat” introduced by Marx and Engels in their description of industrialization focus on the notion that there are two classes of people in a capitalistic system. The bourgeoisie are the small rich class who own modes of production and have power in society. The proletariat are the large working class who provide labor and are exploited as commodities in a capital structure dominated by the bourgeoisie. Marx and Engels characterize these two classes of being locked in a struggle, with the proletariat attempting the rise despite the bourgeoisie superiority. Industrialization was an event that increased the power of the bourgeoisie in relation to the proletariat. The innovations in modes of production forced the proletariat to struggle to find labor and eliminated a rising middle class, all while the bourgeoisie profited. However, they assert that the inefficiency of this arrangement for the majority, along with the new arrangements of workers, will result in an eventual sociological change, and thus believe that industrialization should be a precursor to a workers revolution.

  21. Part 1: Chapter 4 of Origins of the Modern World gives an historical account of European industrialization. In what ways were colonialism and slavery central to these processes of industrialization? How can we connect this history to the articles by Coates and Wiencek?

    Colonialism and slavery were needed because it is discussed to be essential for industrialization. Britain was able to import hundreds of thousands of pounds of raw cotton to the United States. The products that are produced like cotton were highly demanded. Marks discusses that the labor from slaves was important in industrialization because it allows the production of raw materials in the colonies. The colonies were essential in the process pulling out slaves from their homelands and forcing them to produce cotton and other raw materials that were needed to be produced cheaply that were in demand. Slaves were there to work to keep up with the demands like cotton and other raw materials. As a result, Europe exported a lot of goods to the New World with the use of slaves to produce products for a very cheap labor. This can connect to Coates and Wiencek’s articles because they talk about importance of slavery and how they were useful in the process of industrialization in the United States during industrial revolution.

    Part 2: In this opening section of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels also give an account of industrialization. What do they mean by “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” and how are these concepts central to their description of industrialization?

    The proletariat is described as working class of laborers who are dependent on labor to continue their lives. Therefore, their priority is to find work and this is on their value list. Proletariats do not have any means of production to sell other than their labor; therefore, they work for a survival. The Bourgeoisie is defined as the class of modern capitalists; they are the ones who are the owners of the means of working classes. These concepts make up the means of industrialization. Bourgeoisie are the upper class people while proletariat is the working class being on the lower class. Bourgeoisie have the power over the poor, who are proletariat. This shows a hierarchy of social classes.

  22. Chapter 4 of Origins of the Modern World discusses how European industrialization drastically altered the Old Regime, enabling society to “escape from the constraints of the old regime and to build whole new economies and ways of organizing human life on the basis of stored sources of mineral energy, in particular coal and oil” (Marks 118). Although some may claim industrialization is what led to the “advancement” – particularly technological innovation – of human society, there were also a myriad of consequences – many of which are still evident today. Colonialism and slavery were at the forefront of these processes of industrialization. For example, without establishing colonies in the New World (both in the United States and Caribbean islands), the British would have ended up like China, which heavily exhausted its own land and labor, which were limited. Britain, on the other hand, imported goods (cotton, sugar, wool, linen, hemp cloth) from its numerous colonies, thereby allowing British citizens to reap the benefits i.e. added calories, flourishing textile business. Of course, it is important to realize that the British benefited at the expense of others: they exploited indigenous peoples in almost every way possible – their land, resources, and humanity.

    In “The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson”, Wiencek highlights how even our Founding Father – Thomas Jefferson – can attribute his success to the exploitation of others, as he made it his mission to establish a program to “modernize slavery, diversify it and industrialize it” (Coates 5). Monticello, his famous plantation, consisted of a nail factory, a textile factory, coopering, and charcoal burning, as well as plans for a flour mill and canal. All of the work on these factories were carried out by Jefferson’s slaves, and the land which Jefferson inhabited was not truly his (it was forcibly taken over via “establishing a colony”). Thus, we see that this industrial revolution was truly at the expense of exploiting others through colonialism and slavery.

    Coates’ excerpt from “The Case for Reparations” highlights how the legacy of both colonialism and slavery continues to have lasting impacts in today’s American society. Despite the abolishment of slavery and passage of the Civil Rights Act, Coates states that black people did not possess an equal playing field, as mainstream society insisted repeatedly. Coates declares that “the plunder – quiet, systemic, submerged – continued” (Coates 7).

    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ Communist Manifesto places a huge emphasis in the history of class struggles, and highlights the relationship between the “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” in regards to industrialization. While the bourgeoisie are defined as a “class of modern capitalists,” the proletariat are a “class of modern wage labourers” (Marx and Engels 13). Hence, there is a clear hierarchy present, which Marx and Engels state is tied to industrialization. The bourgeoisie were only able to achieve their high socioeconomic standing by exploiting others – which became the proletariat. The proletariat, once exploited, were at a disadvantage as they had no means of production of their own, and could not escape their servitude. Industrialization could not have been possible without these two groups of people: the bourgeoisie and proletariat.

  23. 1. Robert Marks explains European industrial revolution and its circumstances in Chapter 4 of Origins of the Modern World. He argues that colonialism and slavery where central to industrialization to supply the demands for labor and land. Undoubtedly without slaves and colonies industrial revolution would not happen due to Europe land shortage. In addition of land, the other important factor that leads the industrial revolution was cheap labor and that is where slavery comes to play. Marks provides historical events that lead colonialism and slavery during the European industrial revolution. England imported a large amount of cotton from India during the seventeenth century because of its high quality and more importantly cheaper price. The lower price of cotton in India was not because of Indian lower standards of living; in fact Indians had living standards as high as English back to the time. The lower price of cotton in India was because of India efficient agriculture. Due to difference between English and India agriculture, English was not able to produce cotton as low price as India could. As Coates and Wiencek explain in their articles, slavery was the important part of industrialization in America as well. As colonies expanded during the industrialization period, slaves became the cheapest form of labor for the production. As instance, unlike the public opinion that Thomas Jefferson was against slavery, he used slaves in his plantation. He actually raised slaves from childhood to adulthood to work in his tobacco, nails, and cotton businesses. This is important fact that helps understanding one of the founding fathers beliefs and thought process regarding to financial growth and making profit during the industrialization period.

    2. In the opening section of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels criticize industrialization period. According to Marx and Engels, “proletariat” is the working class citizens that are being abused by “bourgeoisie” or upper class citizens. Based on this ideology, “proletariat” is the oppressed and “bourgeoisie” is the oppressor. These two social classes are by-product of industrialization where “bourgeoisie” make profit out of the “proletariat” hard work. Even though in this case the working class citizens are not slaves, there are similarities between them and the slaves during the industrial revolution considering their low wages, low living standards, and low quality of work conditions. The “proletariat” or working class citizen existence is to fulfill the upper class demands for production with almost no benefit from the profit that they make. Marx and Engels believe the wealth has to be shared between all social classes.

  24. Part 1
    In the Chapter 4 of the Origins of the Modern, a comprehensive background of European industrialization was presented before the readers. There is no doubt that the significance of industrial revolution could never be ignored, and the author considers the ways in which cotton textiles and the British need for coal contributed to the Industrial Revolution. Therefore, with the development of international market and the demand for adequate factories, laborers are needed as well. Marks points out that Britain’s New World colonies provided additional “ghost acres” beyond its borders that allowed the first part of the story of industrialization, that of cotton textiles, to unfold (p.111). Without coal or colonies, the dynamics of the biological old regime would have forced Britons to devote more land and labor, even resources for industrial production.

    Coates’ article is focusing on Thomas Jefferson who is a benevolent slaveholder, and tells us a real story from a new perspective. Although Jefferson’s strictures on slavery and the slave trade would have committed the United States to the abolition of slavery, the cruel facts can never be denied. Jefferson mentioned that for the first time he was making a 4 percent profit every year on the birth of black children. In addition, the enslaved were yielding him a bonanza, a perpetual human dividend at compound interest. It is obvious that those slaves were regarded as trade goods instead of human beings. In the article of “The Case for Reparations”, Coates talks about that how the black people (slaves) sought for reparation for their work. However, having been enslaved for 250 years, black people were not left to their own devices. They were terrorized. In addition, while the people advocating reparations have changed over time, the response from the country has remained virtually the same which was really terrible. The fact is although the Industrial Revolution brings historical and economic opportunity for human beings, the real gap between the rich and the poor was increasing, not only economically but also politically.

    Part 2
    In the opening section of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels offer an account of industrialization. Both of them emphasize the status of different classes, as they said that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” Therefore, they came up with two classes: bourgeoisie and proletariat. Bourgeoisie stands for the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. While proletariat is the working class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live. These two concepts became the basic foundation for Communists to demonstrate poor and rich during the industrialization. In addition, more struggles and fights were triggered by this theory based on the essential contradiction between bourgeoisie and proletariat. Those people who belong to working class would realize that they need to fight against the owners for better working and living conditions.

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