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The emergence of socialist parties frequently is treated by Marxians and non-Marxians alike, as an inevitable development. From this viewpoint, the Industrial Revolution completed the breakdown of an essentially land-based social structure, economy, and political system. New classes were creates; new interests required political expression. Working people, united by the often miserable conditions under which they lived and labored, ultimately turned to socialism. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section XVI: Developments in Socialism, (1848-1914). The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.