The development of industrialisation in continental Europe from 1871 to 1914

The development of industrialisation in continental Europe from 1871 to 1914






Industrialisation refers to a harmonized evolutionary transition and is from traditional or pre modern to a modern society. Industrialisation technology is greatly described in the theories of social evolutionism, existing as a pattern or a template that has been followed by those societies that have attained or achieved modernity. Many critics have alleged that the development of industrialisation in continental Europe from 1871 to 1914 may be possible for some different societies to make that transition in completely different ways.

Some theorists also state that urbanization accompanied the rapid industrialization process and industrialisation. In the sociological critical hypothesis/theory, industrialisation is connected to an overarching rationalization process. Industrialisation history and theory have been used explicitly as guides to those countries that are eager to grow and develop rapidly, for instance Europe (Marian, 2006). Undeniably, industrialisation has been suggested as the most useful and practical framework for the world history in the Europe continent, because as a developing country that began late, industrialisation had to be based on the lessons and experiences of other different countries.

How industrialisation manifested itself in Europe

Industrialisation has manifested itself greatly in Europe in different concepts. Communities are smaller nowadays, the aging population is becoming more aware of its future, the personal choices are also becoming abundant and the society has greater diversity than before. A central concept that is in this study of industrialisation is social change. Industrialisation refers to social patterns that result from industrialization (Cordon, 1976). Modernity refers to the present relating or in relation to the past; it is the process of social change that was begun by industrialization. From 1871 to 1914, Europe went through numerous industrialisation changes. These changes ranged from their national population to the average petroleum gallons products that were consumed per year by per person.


The impact of industrialisation was the use of its principles to understand the innovative management practices and organizational forms emerging throughout the Europe continent. It endeavoured to bring in the concept of value driven organization, characterized by flexibility and fluidity based on principles of interaction and synthesis (Sylla and Toniolo, 2003). Various issues such as intense global competitions, corporate restructuring and worldwide recession had caused management to rethink their organizational processes and forms. Industrialisation suggested new forms of organizational development and new ways to think about human resources and how they were managed (Edelman, 1994). Trends towards industrialisation included less bureaucracy, more integration and flexibility in structure. It viewed an organization as more of a process than an entity.


Industrialisation involved the progressive destruction and weakening of these traditional and small communities. They were comparatively cohesive communities where individuals have found meaning and solidarity throughout most of their history. Small and isolated group of people still exist in Europe but they are home to a small number of people (Milward and Saul, 1977). Nowadays their isolation is just geographic: telephones, cars, computers and television give these rural communities the larger society pulse and they also connect them to the whole world. As this power of the tradition weakens, individuals start perceiving their lives as a continuous series of choices/options, a process that Berger defined as individualism (Edelman, 1994). For example, many people that are in Europe choose a certain lifestyle that shows openness to industrialisation or change. It is indeed a common belief that individuals should take control of their own lives.

Industrialisation was a continent-wide trend although there were many Europe countries that had not been touched by the modern ways of the globe. However, many countries that had advanced greatly had moved into post modernism world (Bhagwati, 1997). Theory of mass society argues that the scale of industrialisation had increased in Europe between 1871 and 1914. Cities growth, population increased and economic activity that is specialized and that was driven by industry revolution had gradually improved industrialisation in many different countries (Kemp, 1993). The growing scale of industrialisation has had positive aspects but at the cost of people’s cultural heritage.


The development of industrialisation in continental Europe from 1871 to 1914 supported a positivist approach and it also emphasized the objective and external aspects of reality. The term industrialisation refers to a form of knowledge based on principles of rationalism, differentiation and the one-best method. Industrialisation in Europe had the entrenched, rationalist and bureaucratic view of organizations. The primarily role was on making simple machines and manufacturing mass-produced goods, thus making possible the technological explosion (Bhagwati, 1997). They emphasized more on form over substance, structure over people, and power over working relationships. However, organizations needed to survive, thus there was need for producing something of value and meeting workers needed, new structures and forms.

In preindustrial communities, in the development of industrialisation in continental Europe from 1871 to 1914, influential religious beliefs and powerful family ties discouraged change and diversity and they also enforce conformity. Industrialisation promoted a continent-wide that is more scientific and rational as tradition loses its grip and individual gain more individual choice (Marian, 2006). The cities growth and the impersonal bureaucracy expansion and the people’s social mix from different backgrounds came together to encourage diverse behaviour and beliefs.

Raw materials

As human race and population became expanded that is, when it enlarged, particular communities claimed to have invented those machines and as a result conflict arose. In relation to industrial caused different countries manufactured the same types of machines and these led to war for example it is observed today in the world of business, there are different companies offering the same type of commodity and that’s why they have to come up with new innovative ways of being top most preferred. Another cause that triggered economic cause under industrialization was resources (Jon, 1985).

The decrease in the economic resource led to conflicts of interest among the individuals and as a result began to develop hatred over each other. This continues absence of peace and unity among the people is what escalated into warfare. From this limit or inadequacy in the resources available for consumption caused by the increase in human population is significantly what led to the conflicts (Slaughter, 1998). A good example is Germany in the 1800s, like all other European nations, German was known to be poor in resources. It relied heavily on the importation on things such as foodstuffs and, raw materials. German improved on these and by 1890s it started to pick up by nationalizing business and subordinating to the commands of government. As if that’s not the end, a powerful and aggressive nationalism nation comes into picture and believes it’s strong enough to crush all other nations and conquer all those countries whose resources are essential for our own economic well-being and that was the beginning to an economic warfare (Sylla and Toniolo, 2003).

Labour supply

Industrialisation has brought about so many consequences in our world today and Europe especially. Industrialisation had changed people’s families and their way of living both socially and economically. There were also obvious consequences such as air pollution, where we can now see in the sky, there are factories pollutions. Some theorists said that Industrialisation weakened the traditional communities and it expanded and people’s personal choice, increases the diversity of behaviours and beliefs and made people to have keen awareness of their future (Slaughter, 1998).

On the other hand Emile Durkheim perceived industrialisation as a society’s function that expands labour division. A mechanical solidarity that is based on shared beliefs and activities, slowly gives way to the organic solidarity where specialization made individuals interdependent (Kemp, 1985). According to Weber Max, industrialisation replaced the traditional thinking with level-headedness or rationality. Max Weber feared the effects of dehumanizing in the rational organization (Paulson and Obstfeld, 2000). Karl Max saw industrialisation as the capitalism triumph over feudalism. He viewed the modernized and the capitalist societies as conflict arenas. Marx mostly spoke out for the revolutionary change that the development of industrialisation in continental Europe from 1871 to 1914 attained a more democratic socialist society.


Free trade policies allowed for the concerned countries, states or nations to produce what they could produce best. Global efficiency in the allocation of resources bolstered the cosmopolitan efficiency thus favouring the free trade. This was more relevant when considering the designs of trade regimes that are international and multilateral in nature. With underpinning assumption that such designs of market regimes would not encounter any market failures, so that the task of price determination was accomplished by the market themselves (Milward and Saul, 1977). Free trade policies made it possible for products to be delivered to the individual that would derive highest utility from it (Marian, 2006). If protectionist policies were applied then those individuals who highly valued those products could not get them when barriers are put in place to hindered free flow of commodities. When in the development of industrialisation in Europe from 1871 to 1914 put in measures to improve the domestic methods of production, this led to improved national efficiency as a result of measures like production of goods in large quantities to reduce product prices due to reduced marginal cost of production.

When European countries entered into free trade agreements, there were those that had comparative advantage over others. Those countries would definitely gain from their comparative advantage. Components of the free trade policies however held that those countries or states that did not have the comparative advantage would definitely gain from trade diversion (Jennifer, 1985). The argument was that with multi-lateral free trade agreements, countries were capable of importing commodities from the most efficient producers (based on the assumption that goods from those nations that are most efficient will be cheaper the rest). Trade diversion occurred when the agreement incorporates an extra state or country that is less-efficient in production (Berend and Ranki, 1982). While the most efficient country would have an edge in the exportation market, the less efficient one would be more appealing in the import market hence trade would be diverted from the most efficient producer to the less efficient one (Jon, 1985). The trade diversion also resulted to the trade agreement making the goods from the formerly efficient producer to become more expensive than those within the trade bloc. Tariff commonality within the trade bloc favoured the European countries against those outside it.


Industrialisation is likely to continue in the Europe. Industrialisation is coming along with industrialization, industrialization change the cultural, the social, the economy, and the politics. Europe has been and will always be the leader of this world. Its industrialisation revolution took place a long time ago before other countries in the 19th century. The development of industrialisation in continental Europe from 1871 to 1914 is thus of great significance. Countries such as China and European countries are competing with the Unites States and as a result the US will continue to keep their industrialisation reputation so that they can be the pioneers and also advance in the war or global industrialisation. Europe has brought about the industrial age (Bhagwati, 1997). The society has grown and has also gone on with its progress; industrialisation and progress go hand in hand in the development and growth of a country. Once industrialisation has grown or taken hold of a society or a country, it never lets go, individuals who have knowledge and potential thrusts for more and so industrialisation is forever here to stay.

Generally industrialisation is the act of improving something, these improvements and advancements increases value. At present many countries have modernized but there are countries out there that need the touch of modernity. Industrialisation goes in hand with industrialization and when a country is industrialized, it is modernized. Industrialisation is standardized evolutionary change that changes people’s traditional ways of living into modern ways (Edelman, 1994). Industrialisation is very significant and should be appreciated by all individuals. Although at times communities lose their cultural heritage, industrialisation is a great change that improves people’s live. The paradigm shift in the present economics and the integration of nations to form trade agreements that would see free flow of trading activities between them, free trade policies have a lot of economic value as compared to the protectionist policies.


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