Industrialisation in the Twentieth Century

  • R. M. A. van Zwanenberg
  • Anne King


The basis of the wealth of the western capitalist world and Soviet Russia, wealth which has been created over the last hundred and fifty years, has been the rapid growth of manufacturing industry (which for convenience we can call ‘industrialisation’). All societies, however simple their technology, manufacture some goods which include clothes and tools for production and defence. During the last two hundred years or so we have learnt how to manufacture not only the old things which people have always wanted, like clothes, on a vast scale, but also new things like motor cars and aeroplanes, which our forefathers never even dreamt about. We have learnt how to produce all these things by understanding our material environment. Men have always understood their environment to some extent; those aspects which they could not explain in material terms, they explained in terms of the working of supernatural powers. But it has only been since the time of a scientific understanding of the material environment that man has been able to consciously manipulate it in order to produce the goods he wanted. The difference between an historical understanding of the physical environment and a scientific understanding is as follows.


Manufacturing Sector Parent Company Economic History Industrial Growth International Firm 
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© R. M. A. van Zwanenberg with Anne King 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. A. van Zwanenberg
  • Anne King

There are no affiliations available

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