Sunday, September 15, 2013

Engels PSA Assignment

Friedrich Engels. The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844. London: Swan
Sonnenschein & Co., 1892. pp. 45, 48-53.

Friedrich Engels was a German-born philosopher, author, and social scientist. He was a friend of Karl Marx’s, and together they formed the basis of Marxism as it is today. Engels wrote The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 in order to expose the abysmal conditions that the workers of England were working in. Engels is a believable source due to his reputation as “the finest scholar and teacher... in the whole civilized world.” This was written while Engels was observing the situation in Manchester. He was a first hand view and he was writing things as soon as he observed them. There is little reason for inaccuracy due to the book being written continuously while he was in Manchester. When the document was produced the industrial revolution was in full swing in Britain. Hundreds of thousands of people were moving to cities for work and were thrown into terrible living conditions. This document teaches us that for the people who made the industrial revolution happen, life was one step away from a living hell. Some limitations of this source are that there is only one point of view; some other people may have had different opinions. There is no point of view from the workers in the industrial revolution, only from the detached observer, Engels. In his opinion, the situation for working people is completely uncivilized and filthy. He uses a multitude of words to describe to unprecedented dirt and grime. Engels was successful in showing, through words, the unacceptable condition that many British commoners are living in.

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