An overview of the 20th century technological revolution worldwide

Further Construction 19th Century Technological Revolution Between the 15th and 18th centuries the development of naval weapons was hardly perceptible. Ships remained platforms for carrying infantry and, later, as basic gun platforms. Sail and wood construction limited the role of the ship and greatly reduced the number and caliber of guns that could be placed upon them.

An overview of the 20th century technological revolution worldwide

A shift is occurring in the sociotechnological paradigm that underlies our current sophisticated industrial structure. This old paradigm consists of the mass production of essentially standardized goods in ever-larger units; an emphasis on quantitative goals for production, requiring ever higher inputs of capital, energy, and raw materials to produce more and more; and little attention to environmental impact, resource use, and conservation issues.

In contrast, the new paradigm taking shape is identified with an emphasis on quality and diversification of products and processes, diffusion of small but highly productive units that rely on new technologies and are linked to a process of decentralization of production, adoption of process and product choices requiring far less energy and materials input per unit of output, and a greater awareness of the need to preserve the quality of local and global environments.

Thus, we are in a period of transition between two epochs, a time comparable to the industrial revolution, when the steam engine was introduced and coal was the emerging energy source.

20th century - Wikipedia

Then, as now, there was widespread fear of the future, a fear derived from the difficulty of even imagining the range of opportunities that an ongoing revolution brings in terms of new activities and related jobs. During a transition of this magnitude, past equilibria are disrupted and conditions of mismatch occur in labor markets.

The demand for new jobs and skills increases, and old activities disappear or lose their importance in the marketplace. These changes are visible; their impact is almost immediate.

It is now clear that the paper-free office is going to be widespread in a few Page 24 Share Cite Suggested Citation: The National Academies Press. The human-free factory is also in sight. With increasing automation and robotization, it is not only blue-collar jobs that will be eliminated.

21st century technologies: a future of promise - OECD Observer

The change is more profound. We are witnessing the sharpened decline of the factory as the primary function and chief labor-absorber in industry.

Now manufacturing itself becomes ancillary and often even a candidate for contracting out. This does not mean, however, that manufacturing technologies are becoming secondary in importance.

The contrary is true, and here, too, history offers a parallel. All through the history of industrial society, agriculture improved its output and productivity enormously, although it no longer dominated the economy and was not the main source of jobs as it once had been.

Industry will repeat this pattern, as the transition to a postindustrial, service-oriented society is completed. The present era of change is being brought about by a whole cluster of technologies, some of which have an exceptional capacity for horizontal diffusion in all sectors of the economy and society and an equally exceptional capacity for cross-fertilization.

Key technologies in this category include the microelectronics-information technologies complex, the biotechnologies, and the new materials science. This process of technological change spurs structural changes in the economy and society.

Mature sectors such as machine tools and textiles can be rejuvenated by grafting new technologies onto their processes and products.

When this rejuvenation occurs in industrialized countries, these traditional sectors take the lead in international competition. Italy is a case in point, since Italian prosperity is in no small measure due to the restored competitiveness of such sectors.

An overview of the 20th century technological revolution worldwide

These sectors demonstrate a highly flexible approach to production, making possible less standardized products specifically designed to satisfy the tastes and needs of customers. They also demonstrate considerable creativity through attention to design factors and closer links to the market and its fluctuations, attentiveness to moods and fashions with highly imaginative marketing, and a capacity to absorb new technology and indeed to interact with it to generate improvements and adaptations.

The fact that in Italy these sectors tend to consist of dynamic, small- to medium-size firms organized in industrial districts is extremely important. Such districts operate as coalitions of competitors, interdependent yet united by a common goal. This pattern encourages the diffusion of technology through all firms in the district.

This is in marked contrast to experience elsewhere when competing firms tend to keep technological advances closely Page 25 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Mature sectors that undergo such technological renewal and then strive continually to keep abreast of technological developments and market trends can retain competitiveness even in the face of increasing international competition.

This pattern is one of the elements suggesting that long-established concepts of comparative advantage and ensuing international division of labor must be challenged.

But the emerging technologies are not the exclusive domain of advanced countries, and their intelligent application in developing countries may speed up their economic growth and open possibilities for decentralized patterns of development.

Until recently in the advanced countries, the main technological innovations in production have involved mass production and standardization. The emerging technologies make it possible to give an effective answer to the demand for diversification, product customization, and personalization.

Thus, the structure of supply is becoming more flexible and innovative.Much of the 19th-century optimism about the progress of technology has dispersed, and an increasing awareness of the technological dilemma confronting the world makes it possible to offer a realistic assessment of the role of technology in shaping society today.

The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid industrialization in the final third of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The First Industrial Revolution, which ended in the early to mid s, was punctuated by a slowdown in macroinventions [ clarification needed ] before the Second Industrial Revolution in The 20th century was a time of enormous technological and cultural changes, including two world wars and the Great Depression of the s.

The 20th century was a time of enormous technological and cultural changes, including two world wars and the Great Depression of the s.

An overview of the 20th century technological revolution worldwide

The Most Deadly Wars of World History: An Overview of 20th. The Civil War defined the 19th century in the United States and was a seminal historic event. After the war, the inventions of usable electricity, steel, and petroleum products led to a second industrial revolution from to that featured the growth of railways and steamships, faster and wider means of communication, and inventions that are taken for granted in modern lifeā€”the light.


The 20th century Technology from to Recent history is notoriously difficult to write, because of the mass of material and the problem of distinguishing the significant from the insignificant among events that have virtually the power of contemporary experience.

19th Century Technological Revolution.

Between the 15th and 18th centuries the development of naval weapons was hardly perceptible. Ships remained platforms for carrying infantry and, later, as.

History of technology - The 20th century |