Application and Reflection Questions
On the whole, did industrialization improve the life of the working class or worsen it? Why?
How did conditions faced by working-class people in the nineteenth century compare to those working-class people face today? Are the problems the same or different? If different, how?
On the whole, do you think there were more benefits to nineteenth-century city life, or more drawbacks? Why?
Is city life better today than it was in the late nineteenth century? Why or why not?
How did conditions faced by those emancipated from slavery in the United States in the late nineteenth century compare to others around the world facing similar conditions? Are the problems the same or different? If different, how?
There has been much talk of giving reparations (monetary compensation) to the descendants of enslaved African American people to compensate them for their ancestors’ labor. Do you believe this should be done? Why or why not? Should other countries in which slavery or serfdom existed do the same? Why or why not?
Why do many people oppose immigration today? Are these reasons similar to or different from the reasons of people in the nineteenth century? In what ways?
What role does race play in the response to immigrants today?
How do we try to help the poor today? Has our approach changed from the nineteenth century? What do we now think are the reasons for poverty?
Are governments today concerned with protecting the rights of workers? Are they more concerned with the rights of workers or the rights of employers?
What kinds of private reform movements exist today? What are they focused on changing?