Second Industrial Revolution  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of the larger Industrial Revolution corresponding to the later half of the 19th century until World War I. It is considered to have begun with Bessemer steel in the 1860s and culminated in mass production and the production line.

The Second Industrial Revolution saw rapid industrial development in Western Europe (Britain, Germany, France, the Low Countries, Denmark), the United States (Northeast and Great Lakes) and, after 1870, in Japan. It followed on from the First Industrial Revolution that began in Britain in the late 18th century that then spread throughout Western Europe and North America.

The concept was introduced by Patrick Geddes, Cities in Evolution (1915), but David Landes's use of the term in a 1966 essay and in The Unbound Prometheus (1972) standardized scholarly definitions of the term, which was most intensely promoted by American historian Alfred Chandler (1918–2007). However some continue to express reservations about its use.

Landes (2003) stresses the importance of new technologies, especially electricity, the internal combustion engine, new materials and substances, including alloys and chemicals, and communication technologies such as the telegraph and radio. While the first was centered on iron, and steam technologies and textile production, the second revolved around steel, railroads, electricity, and chemicals.

Vaclav Smill called the period 1867–1914 "The Age of Synergy" during which most of the great innovations were developed. Unlike the First Industrial Revolution, the inventions and innovations were science based.

See also

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