Social Movements as a Standard Form of Politics between 1850 and 1914
The desire to talk on behalf of the interest of the people necessitated the rise of social movements as a standard form of politics. Before the nineteenth century, social movements were not common. However, the nineteenth century saw the rise of social movements as they had gained much popularity across territories. Social movements aimed at supporting of or opposing enunciated programs through various means of coordinated actions such as petitions, meetings, demonstrations association and strikes. By 1850-1914, social movements became a standard form of politics. These was caused by various reasons and occurred in different regions.
Several factors influenced social movements becoming a standard form of politics between 1850 and 1914. The increase in state capacity and the rise of democracy made social movements became a popular tool for policy. Moreover colonial territories as well as other countries that had states that a close relationship with the Western democracies adapted social movements as a platform for making claims. Social movements were more suitable for the existing power structures, and such the authorities learned to bargain with their leaders. Democratization especially in high capacity states influenced social movements and contributed immensely towards making them a standard form of politics. Through democratization social movements were able to coordinate their actions over vast spaces. Social movements became a suitable platform to practice politics outside the electoral ground.
In Britain, social movements were most remarkable in the year 1815 when activists were able to constrain the supremacies of slave owners in British colonies. Between the years 1815 and 1867, Britain, through social movements, was able to influence sanctions to slave trade in Spain and Portugal. Brazil abolished the slave trade in 1888 as a result of social movement influence. In the USA, social movements gained strength in the 1860’s. Abolitionist movements began to have an impact in the political space in the 1860s. The Boxer Rebellion in China promoted the adoption of the standard means of social movements. For instance, a boycott of American goods happened in 1905-1906 as a retort to the oppression of Chinese immigrants in the USA. Argentina had seen only a little of social movements politics until the late nineteenth century. However in 1889, Buenos Aires students formed the Youth Civic Union that contributed immensely in opposing government policies.
In conclusion, social movements played a fundamental role in fostering political reforms all over the world. They had a huge influence on the patterns and trends of politics and by the late nineteenth century, they became a standard form of the policy between 1850 and 1914. This situation occurred especially in the Great Britain, the United States of America, China and Argentina.