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The working class before the First World War

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  1. Introduction
  2. First World War
  3. The process of industrialization
  4. Major innovations across Europe
  5. La Vie tragique des tavailleurs
  6. Conclusion

The places the working class came from were often characterized by a high level of trade unions and a large amount of strikes. However, only a small part of workers used to be involved in working-class organisations at this time. People of the working-class are those who have no other way to survive than selling their work. They are not owners. The 19th century was a period of industrialization where there was a great increase in productivity of workers. One of the main reasons was the process of mechanization (e.g. steam engine).

There were great differences in the level of education and skills. For most workers, there was a rise in the standard of living. The politics of the working-class were often seen as more radical. They were characterized by both national and international solidarity.

In the early 19th century, a number of strikes broke out across Europe: 1905 in Germany, 1906 in France, and 1912 in Russia for instance. It would be wrong to say that workers changed their position because they still wanted to fight. The State was very quick to respond with pressure and violence.

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