The Exposition Universelle -1900 Paris. Machines and inventions for a new century, attracted
50 million visitors. Personal Cameras, post cards and Film were also popular and widely used.
The driving goal or the progessive mentality, was greed for ‘profit-first and foremost’ it gave rise to the elite
establishment of Industrial Barons, who concentrated ‘paid’ workers in purpose built factories which turned
towns and villages into huge ‘workers’ Cities.
Unskilled workers who traded their labour for wages. The workers kept the wheels of industry churning
out the Manufactured goods for the home and the export trade. Raw materials and goods were effectively
distributed by new infrastructures, ones that remade the whole environment, for example the interconnected
Ports by way of Canal and River systems and new Road networks. Homes were built ‘en-masse’ by the
‘Barons’ to attract workers to come to the these cities and ‘contract’ them to work for them. Once this mass
of people enslaved themselves for money and the Barons, then Revolution began in earnest and there was
little stopping it. The entrepreneurs (and the State) became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. It was this
system of unstoppable industrialisation of a country that continues globally, as we can now see in the new
capitalist driven industrialisation of China, India, South America and many more countries that were once
rural and simple. Yet, industrial wealth comes with a heavy and a high social price.
In the UK for example by the Victorian period, 1836-1901, and well into the Edwardian era, 1901 to 1914,
industrial related disease were at epidemic levels in the new Cities. The killer diseases being typhoid
and scarlet fever. They spread rapidly, caused by overcrowding of populations who lived in unsanitary
conditions. Workers had poor nutrition and were generally overworked and their natural resistance to these
diseases were negligible. It was only a few of the many negative spin-off’s of the drive for more profit for the
industrial Barons, who ran and controlled the ‘brave’ new industrialised Britain.
Another negative spin off at the alter of ‘money’ was unnatural mortality rates of infants, endured by
mothers, and the life expectancy of fathers plummeted sharply. Not to mention genetic mutations, both
consequences of the out of control industrial pollution of the environment and a direct result of the cynical
controlled exploitation of labourers.
Which Artists responded to the all powerful Revolution and how did it begin ?