Europe from 1500 to the 1914 enjoyed a time of fiscal and economic progress. Significant economic growth was seen during this time and major developments in industry and technology was very much apparent…
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This period also marks a time of population growth which clearly impacted on the economic developments being experienced by many European nations during this time. This paper shall discuss the major features of economic change in Europe in the period of 1500 to 1914. The economic changes in United Kingdom and on Germany shall be highlighted for this paper. Body In general, from 1750 to 1914, economic changes in Europe included the introduction of railroad use in the transport of goods. These railroads also helped usher in urbanization and a continuity of the imperialism goals of Europe with the spread of their trade with other countries and with the expansion of political linkages (North Penn School District, 2002). Within this same time period, major economic changes were also seen, especially with the increase in commercialized activities ushered in by improved methods in the transport of goods. It also marked a time of improved communication, with common activities involving territorial expansion and exploration (North Penn School Disrict, 2002). Europe’s economic activities also shifted from imperialistic goals to colonization activities as Europeans were now considering expansion as a means of gaining advantage over their competitors. This period also marked a time where the European economy shifted from agricultural activities to industrial activities. Homemade goods became factory made and more raw materials were transported from their various colonies. This led to a significant increase in their production of food, clothing, and other products. The motivation to expand at this time was a major goal for Europe and these goals also shifted towards the acquisition of more lands. The colonies also became major sources of raw materials for Europe and as such, Europe was able to rise as a major global economic power. Its attention now shifted from imperialistic to colonialist goals. And this shift in goals was seemingly dictated by its access to mercantile goals (North Penn School District, 2002). Due to these shift in goals, Europe was able to concentrate its activities toward more industrial goals, expanding its economic activities beyond the ability to feed its population. As a result, it became a major player in trading with its neighbours and with the rest of the world. Two major events were seen from the 1500 to 1914 in Great Britain. This period saw the birth of Industrial Revolution and the manifestation of Demographic Transition (Clark and Cummins, 2009). The Industrial Revolution marked a time of rapid economic growth and the introduction of new innovations. Before the Industrial Revolution, the concern of the governments was to increase population, not to improve their lives. Before the industrial revolution, the higher income population had higher overall fertility rates. Without the industrial revolution, an even greater increase in the population would have been seen (Clark and Hamilton, 2006). Eventually, in England, increased rates in marriage became apparent in the 1890s, however, substantial decrease in fertility rates were seen with the introduction of industrial activities. Hence, the focus of the people and of the government was turned towards decreasing population growth. After 1910, the focus also was turned towards improving the lives of the people – their standards of living – and this saw further possibilities for Britain in improving the potential of the population for more scholarly work (Clark and Cummins, 2009). The Demographic Transition Period was seen from 1870 to 1910. This marked a general decline in net fertility. What was started during the industrial revolution manifested during the period of demographic transition (Clark a
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