Why might the philosophy of communism have appealed to many 19th-century factory workers?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As the industrial revolution produced larger and larger factory systems, it also produced ever increasing opportunities for rampant capitalism to fall prey to its own greed, as is usually the case.

In the 19th century, especially in the US and the other "western" nations, the holders of wealth were able to seed the early expansion of manufacturing and/or processing (as in meat packing) so the means of production was held in the hands of a few, and they had a singular motive to expand their own wealth on the backs of the workers. In the early days of manufacturing, almost no proscriptions existed to regulate life in the factory, and Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle aptly describes the result.

So the appeal that communism had on the economic level was obvioius...a more levelled approach to the means of production and the benefits of working to support that means. Vis. more wealth in the hands of workers as a share of their own labor.

Other factors also apply not as often discussed. In a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 525 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team