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Social Revolutions and social aspects in revolutions in Great Britain - Referat


1. Definition of Revolution
2. Social Aspects in the American War of Independence
3. Social Aspects in the Industrial Revolution
4. Commonwealth: a. Commonwealth of Nations; b. form of government
5. Graphics
6. Sources



Definition of Revolution (generally and social Rev.):

In the Sociology, Revolution means a – at most times radical- change of the political and social system and circumstances, which can rely on support from a large part of the population. Beyond that, a revolution should always maximise personal liberty (no matter if it is political or social)
In the anarchist Parlance, the social revolution means aiming to reorganize the social life, and always is characterised by big changes in the society. Examples are the civil Rights movements in the United States.
Peter Kropotkin- a popular anarchist in the 18th and 19th century- described social revolution as followed: “Social Revolution means the reorganization of the industrial, economic life of the country and consequently also of the entire structure of society.”


Social Aspects in the American War Of Independence:

The American War Of Independence started in 1775 and ended in 1783 in the Peace of Paris, where Great Britain accepted it’s lost.

The resistance developed because of the Forbiddance to use the currency of the colonists, the colonial Scrip, which led to poverty and sinking prosperity.

After the end of the “Siebenjähriger Krieg” in Europe, England tried to balance the unbelievable high costs by raising the taxes in the colonies. The People in the colonies became poorer and poorer but Britain did not allow them to deal free, the colonies had to buy expensive products in England, and were not aloud to manufacture products on their own.

The British Parliament did not care about the colonial problems, and after the Boston Tea Party, every single one of the 13 colonies denied trading with Britain.

The Victory in the Battle of Saratoga made the Americans win the War, after France, Spain and the Netherlands took part in it on the site of the Americans.


Social Aspects in the Industrial Revolution:

The industrial Revolution began in England and spread all over Europe in the 18th and 19th century. One of the biggest inventions was the steam engine, by James Watt, and it was only one of over 750 hydraulic patents.

Social Reasons were the sinking death rate because of better medical care that led to more labours. The Calvinism gave also a reason due to the fact that it demanded for industriousness.

Because of the steam engine, the people were no longer dependent on weather conditions; it was possible to build up production facilities away from rivers, and yarn working was done much faster because of inventions like the spinning jenny.

The companies needed workers and the farmers could not sell their products as cheap as the ones from the firms were, so many people started moving. The migration into cities began. All that happened so fast that it was hard to build up so many houses in such a short time, so the buildings and the apartments often were in bad conditions, and had only one toilet/bathroom in a house made for over 10 families. Today, you would call them slums.

During the revolution, a new class rose up, the working poor. A working poor family was characterised by living in slums, having a lot of children, and by their poverty.
There were no civil rights or protection against child
work, or maternity protection.
The workers in the families did not gain a lot of money, their work was bad-paid, and so the children and the women had to work, too. Their jobs were often as hard as their men’s jobs, but the women and kids only got a fraction of their money.
The work was often dangerous and there had been no insurances. If a father hurt himself and could not work no more, the family had no money.

In the Factory Act in 1833, Child working was forbidden for children younger than nine years, and ten years later their employment was forbidden.

Because of the Combination Act, the workers were not aloud to form any kind of trade (law from 1799), but it was repealed in 1824.
Twenty years later, the first strikes began, and Unions were formed to protect the right of the Working Class.




The Commonwealth is often used to describe the confederation of Great Britain and the former colonies.
The colonies mouldered because of the independence movement in some states e.g. India; another big reason were the limited financial funds after the second world war.

Today 16 States in the Commonwealth accept Queen Elizabeth II. As their head of state ands over 30 % of the Population of the World, live in states that take part in Commonwealth.

The commonwealth Office in London is the central of the confederation and once a year there is a summit conference in one of the states, always opened by the British monarch.

Right now 53 states are in the Commonwealth of Nations.


The Commonwealth was a republican form of government that lasted from 1649 to 1660 in England Scotland and Ireland and established with the “Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth. Unlike the Parliamentarianism today, there had been no House of Lords, only a House of Commons, and no King.

Oliver Cromwell declared himself as the Lord-President and later, after the cancellation of Parliament as Lord-Protector.

1660, after Cromwell’s dead and his sons failing, General Monk initiated a new, more royal parliament and Charles II was crowned.



a. b. c.

a. Declaration of Independence
b. Drawing of a Steam Engine
c. Slum in Glasgow, 1894



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