In both countries, industry was growing rapidly by the 1830s, as capitalists made more and more money, reinvested it, and continued the growth cycle. New laws, particularly modern corporation laws, were powering industrial growth. Previously, corporations had to be "chartered" to serve the government in some way. Now, these new corporations helped businessmen structure their enterprises and reduce risk and liability without having to get a specific charter from the government. Manufactures were also changing in emphasis at this time, from textile to iron production. Steamships services began to appear, further accelerating trade.

As workers continued to live in terrible conditions while the rich got richer, Laissez Faire economists argued that the world had to be this way, because if the workers had easier lives and higher wages, they would simply produce more children, glutting the labor market and driving wages down and unemployment up. Workers, and the thinkers who championed the cause of workers, found fault with this explanation of the system, and suggested other ways of organizing society. The idea of a totally disenfranchised, exploited proletariat class began to appear in the 1830s and 1840s. Observing the plight of workers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote their influential works on Communism.

The Chartist Movement was very progressive, probably more forward-looking than any other major movement at the time. In the late 1830s and early 1840s, British political elites feared that if the uneducated "mob" was allowed to vote, they might destroy democracy by making bad decisions. Although it failed in its own time, the demands of the Chartist movement nearly all became law in Britain eventually. While other acts would soon be passed to satisfy workers, Chartism was simply too advanced for its time.

The battle between the "isms" was continuing, and slowly the balance was turning towards more inclusive, equal societies. (At least in Western Europe) More and more, a division between the Liberal West and the Reactionary East was developing, as the Western bourgeoisie class increased in power. The workers, who had only shared very little if at all in the vast economic growth of the early 19th century, were now starting to enter the political fray.

Popular pages: Europe (1815-1848)