Real wages for the mass of the population continued until 1914.
The class structures of Old Regime Europe began to break down with increased wages.
Greater eco nomic rewards for the average person didn't eliminate hardship or poverty, but they did narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.
Industrial and urban development made society more diverse and less unified, which resulted in the great gap between rich and poor.
Marx had predicted that society would split into two opposing classes.
Economic specialization created more new social groups than it destroyed, with one group or subclass Blending into another in a complex, confusing hierarchy.
As the twentieth century opened, it was striking to see the diversity and range within the urban middle class.
The upper middle class, composed mainly of successful business families, gained in income and lost some of their radicalism, was almost irresistibly drawn to the life style of the aristocracy.
The larger, less wealthy middle class followed.
Moderately successful industrialists and merchants, professors in law and medicine, and midlevel managers of large public and private institutions were found here.
The expansion of industry and technology created a growing demand for experts with spe cialized knowledge, and engineers, architects, chemists, accountants, and surveyors first achieved professional standing in this period.
The lower middle class were at the bottom.
The lower middle class was diversified by industrialization and the number of white employees was increased.
White-col ar employees were propertyless, but general, they wanted to move up in society.
The middle classes shared a code of expected behavior.
Hard work, self-discipline, and personal achievement were emphasized in this code.
It was assumed that men and women who fell into poverty were responsible for their own circumstances.
The middle-class person was supposed to know what was right and what was wrong.
The working classes made up about four out of five Europeans.
Many of them were small landowning peasants.
In eastern Europe, this was true.
The urban working classes were not the same as the middle classes.
Economic development and increased specialization expanded the traditional range of working-class skil s, earnings, and experiences.
Skil ed, semiskil ed, and unskil ed workers had different lifestyles and cultural values, which contributed to a sense of social status and hierarchy within the working classes.
The labor aristocracy was a group of highly skilled workers who made up 15 percent of the working class.
The group included construction bosses, factory foremen, members of the traditional highly skilled handicraft trades that had not yet been placed in factories, as well as new kinds of skil ed workers such as shipbuilders and railway loco motive engineers.
The labor elite was in a state of change as people and crafts moved in and out.
The world of semiskil ed and unskil ed urban workers was below the labor aristocracy.
Many of the semi skilled were factory workers who earned good wages and whose importance in the labor force was increasing.
A larger group of unskilled workers, such as long shoremen, wagon-driving teamsters, and maids, were below the semi skilled workers.
Many of the people had real skills, but they were disorganized and divided.
The street vendors and market people had the same lack of unity as the lower-middle-class shopkeepers.
The old putting-out and cottage industries were similar to what we call sweatshops today.
The women were paid by the piece.
Sweating became a catch-all word for meager wages, hard labor, unsanitary and dangerous working conditions, and harsh treat ment, often by a middleman who had subcontracted the work.
Drinking was the favorite leisure-time activity for the working class in Europe.
Heavy problem drinking declined in the late 19th century as drinking became more public and social.
Cafes and pubs became friendlier.
Sports and music halls were two hobbies of the working class.
Racing and soccer were the most popular spectator sports of the second half of the 19th century.
Middle-class opera and classical theater were very popular in Europe.
Changes to women's lives were brought about by industrialization and the growth of modern cities.
The changes were consequential for married women and most of them married in the 19th century.
After 1850, the work of most wives became more distinct from that of their husbands.
Husbands became wage earners in factories and offices, while wives tended to stay home and care for their children.
Women from poor families tended to work outside the home as the economy improved.
The ideal became separate spheres, the strict division of labor meant that married women faced great obstacles if they wanted to work outside the home.
A woman's wage was almost always less than a man's, even for the same work, because well-paying jobs were off-limits to women.