The expansion of European capitalism in the 19th century – Educador

We will use photography as a teaching strategy. This teaching resource will enable the teacher to address the topic: The expansion of European capitalism. Remember that photography tells a story and, when interpreting it, teachers and students are faced with subjective information, but even so, we cannot leave aside the objective character that photography carries, as its use in the classroom will expand a new field of interpretation that perhaps writing within a given topic alone cannot handle.

• When introducing the subject The expansion of European capitalism In class, give a brief summary of what happened The Industrial Revolution and its main consequences generated by it.

• Focus on the pros and cons of the Industrial Revolution.

• I suggest that you work on the concepts of capital, mode of production and imperialism.

The Industrial Revolution began in England at the beginning of the 18th century. The initial phase of this revolution was characterized by the improvement of industrial work processes, contributing to the replacement of tools by machines. As a result, large-scale mechanical production began to predominate and the separation of capital and labor occurred. The means of production became concentrated in the hands of a few and wage labor became dominant.

The consolidation of capitalism has vastly changed the lives of most people. A large part of the peasant population left their lands and started working in factories – this generated a substantial increase in cities and, consequently, in the population. Another fact that deserved to be highlighted was the occurrence of a large female and child workforce that until then did not exist in the manufacturing field.

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We observed that in the 19th century capitalism gained exacerbated strength. How did this process happen?

• Once the synthesis is complete, show the photograph so that everyone can see it clearly.

• Ask students to look closely at the picture and then quiz them orally with the questions below.

Photography: Colonization Process in Africa

• Could you identify the historical context in which the photograph is located?

• What is the photographer’s intention when taking the photo? Teacher, ask for suggestions and do not allow questions to be left unanswered, that is, without justification.

• Does the black man on the left side of the photograph (right in front) differ from the others? Why?

• Who are the other people photographed?

• Is photography related to the expansion of European capitalism? Why?

• Did capitalism only gain strength in Europe?

• Try to emphasize that imperialism was decisive for the expansion of European capitalism throughout the world.

• I suggest that the teacher works on the concepts of capital, mode of production and imperialism in the next class.

By Lilian Aguiar
Graduated in History