The Industrial Revolution led to rise of the influential middle class of businessmen and industrialist which was not homogeneous. During the Industrial Revolution the differences within middle class became more distinct, especially between the upper middle class (the high bourgeois) consisting of bank and factory owners and the lower middle class (the petty bourgeois) consisting of small craftsman and merchants.

The rise of the middle class was achieved by the work, capability and education. Intellect, thriftiness and order became the main principles in life of the middle class. Special role in the life of middle class had family which offered peace and rest after had working day. The head of the family was the father, while wife represented a mother and housewife. Wanting to preserve their high standard the middle class families had usually only two children to which they tried to provide the suitable life standard what meant good education, possessing material goods... While the boys were sent to studying, girls were taught to be a good mother and wife. In such way the middle class created a conviction of belonging to "the better circles".

The middle class was also faced with critics. While the nobility saw the middle class as social climbers without tradition, the artists and philosophers accused the middle class of materialism. The biggest critics of the middle class came from the working class which believed that industrialists and businessmen lived from exploiting the workers.