(CLASS AND POWER in EUROPE – continued)
Between 1870 and 1900, more people in Europe became lawyers, school teacher, doctors and other professionals. Moscow had 24 lawyers in 1840 and 652 in 1897. It had 615 medical workers in 1840 and 3,178 in 1897. [note] But across Europe most of those going into the professions were not from the working poor. Most were from middleclass families. And some among the middle class were trying to imitate the manner of the aristocracy – which made bureaucratic clerks annoying.
Educational opportunities were increasing. England had 12 percent of its population in school in 1850 and 16 percent in 1887. Sweden had 15 percent of its population in school in 1887. Russia had 2 percent of its population in school in 1850 and 3 percent in 1887. [note] More people were learning to read, more so in prosperous and Protestant countries and urban areas – while academic training largely excluded common working people.
At the end of the century, Germany was benefiting from a literacy rate of 99.9 percent and education levels that provided Germany with its engineers, chemists, opticians, skilled workers for its factories, skilled managers, knowledgeable farmers and skilled military personnel. Literacy was not quiet so high in other European countries, but above 90 percent in Britain, France, Norway and Sweden and Australia – one of the ingredients that gave Western societies an advantage in the world in economic advancement. Literacy was in the 70 to 90 percent range in the United States, Canada and Japan; 78 percent in Italy; 50 to 70 in the Balkans; 30 to 50 percent range in Russia; and below 30 percent in China, India, Africa and the Islamic countries.
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